Lentils are high on the list of foods that keep your heart happy since they are high in magnesium and folate, as well as fiber. They are also high in B-vitamins, protein, iron, and folate. As a slow-burning complex carbohydrate, they help manage blood sugar due to their high fiber content (both soluble and insoluble) that prevents blood levels from rapidly rising after a meal.
They contain a high level of protein; 26% of lentil’s calories come from protein, which makes them a great choice for vegetarians and vegans.
I find that the red lentils cook much faster than green lentils and are much easier on a delicate digestive system.
This ginger and licorice flavored soup, chock full of greens is a gratifying supper any time of the year. ~ Simple Suppers, Moosewood Restaurant
- 1 1/4 cup of red lentils
- 1 inch strip of kombu (optional)*
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 1/2 tsp black mustard seeds (optional)
- 1 1/2 tsp anise or fennel seeds
- 1/4 to 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tsp ground ginger, or 2 tbsp fresh, peeled, grated ginger
- 1 garlic clove, pressed or minced
- 4 cups of rinsed, drained and chopped collard greens, spinach, or mustard greens**
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup coconut milk
Rinse and drain the lentils. In a soup pot, bring 5 cups of water, the lentils, and salt to a boil. Reduce heat, to a simmer, add kombu, cover, and cook until tender, about 30 minutes.
While the lentils cook, warm the oil in a saucepan on medium heat, add the black mustard seeds, and cover until they pop. Stir in the anise, red pepper flakes, ginger, and garlic, and cook for a minute, stirring constantly. Add the greens and the salt and cook , stirring frequently, until the greens are just wilted. Stir in the coconut milk and simmer for a minute. Remove from heat.
When the lentils are soft, stir in the greens and the coconut milk mixture and add salt to taste. If you added kombu, you can remove it after cooking.
Yields 6 cups
Time: 30 minutes
*Kombu helps aid in digestion of beans and legumes. It is available dried in your local health food store or in the natural food aisle at your supermarket. Red lentils are not that gassy so you can try this without them and see how it goes. Kombu can also speed up cooking time so monitor the lentils and turn them off if they are done in less then 30 minutes. You know they are done when they are soft.
*In the winter, I keep high quality frozen greens in the fridge so I can make this if I don’t feel like running out to the supermarket. About 12 ounces of frozen greens can replace the fresh greens.
This recipe is adapted from Moosewood Simple Suppers; a few changes were made along the way!
Resources: Moosewood Simple Suppers
© 2015 Balance Your Life
Judy Banks, Stress Management & Mindful Lifestyle Coach
All right reserved- Reproduce with Permission only