Lentils are available in several different types. Most commonly used is the brown lentil, but there are also available in green and red. Lentils are very popular in a variety of ethic cooking -- particularly in regions of the world where meat is not eaten because of ethical or religious reasons – because they are so high in protein.
Lentils contain lignans, which may help reduce the risk of estrogen related cancers. The lignans are a weak phytoestrogens – similar to those found in soybeans – although this is a controversial topic, many people believe that they help suppress excess estrogen production in the body. Keep this in mind if you have had estrogen receptive cancer that these types of foods should be consumed in moderation.
Lentils also stabilize blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Lentils – like other beans -- reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Lentils are very reasonable and make a very inexpensive meatless meal. Unlike other beans lentils do not require soaking time and cook up relatively quickly.
Roasted Fall Vegetables with Lentils, adapted from Whole Living recipe
Note that you can use any vegetable in this dish that you desire. It would be equally delicious with acorn squash, brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes etc. Use what you like and what you have on hand.Ingredients
- 1/2 pound carrots, halved lengthwise
- 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges
- 1 small butternut squash, halved, seeds removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup dried French green lentils, rinsed
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 4 teaspoons raw apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 stalk celery, chopped in 1-inch wedges
- Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange celery, carrots, onion, and squash on a baking sheet and drizzle with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper. Roast, turning once during cooking time, for about 30 minutes.
- While the vegetables are roasting place the lentils and garlic clove in a medium saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer, covered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain; discard garlic. Season with salt and pepper.
- Combine vinegar and mustard. Pour remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil in a slow steady stream, whisking constantly. Toss lentils with vinaigrette and season with salt and pepper. Spoon over roasted vegetables.
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