Sunday 8 May 2011

A healthy combination of the essentials !

Essentials in your pantry can save the day
The good thing about having a kitchen pantry with some dry staple essentials in it is that, when you are running out of almost everything in the fridge and in your vegetable bowl, there they are. Those dry staple foods come to the rescue and you can whip something out of 
them. So, dry beluga lentils will turn into a salad today.

Beluga lentils, bay leaf, garlic and onion
Cook the lentils until al dente
Steam the carrots
My lentil salad!
Serve with salad and a sprinkle of goat's cheese

Some of the ingredients and their healthy benefits


200g beluga lentils
1 bay leaf
½ onion
1 garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
2 carrots, sliced
A bunch of fresh coriander, chopped roughly
½ red onion sliced
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
Soft goat’s cheese

For the dressing

Juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 garlic clove, minced
A drizzle of maple syrup or honey
Sea salt and black pepper

To make the dressing, whisk all ingredients together.


Put the lentils, bay leaf, the half onion and garlic in a pan. Add cold water until the ingredients are covered by about 2cm, then bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 min, or until the lentils are al dente. In the meantime, put the sliced carrots in a steamer and let them cook. When ready, reserve.

Place the red onions in a small bowl with the red wine vinegar and a pinch of sea salt. This will soften the onions.

When the lentils are done, drain them, and discard the bay leaf, onion and garlic. Toss the warm lentils with the dressing, then add the red onions, carrots and coriander leaves, mixing gently. Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with the goat’s cheese.

 I ate mine with a leafy salad of roasted cherry tomatoes and radish.

For a more complete meal you can eat it with rice.


Some of the ingredients and their healthy benefits 

Lentil (Lens esculenta or Lens culinaris): is a member of the legume family (beans and peas). Unlike beans, it doesn’t contain sulphur and consequently doesn’t produce so much gas. It is a good source of soluble fibre. It helps control blood sugar levels and lower “bad” cholesterol. It contains protein, which is a good choice for vegans and vegetarians; folate, phosphorus, potassium and B vitamins (especially B1). It also contains iron, which can increase your energy and is a good choice of food for women when menstruating. Lentil has a compound called lignan, which helps balancing hormones naturally.
Carrot (Daucus carota): is high in carotenoid, an antioxidant compound associated with many healthy benefits. They contain lutein and zeaxanthin (carotenoids present in our retina), which is why carrots are famously known for being good for your eyes. The carotenoids and vitamin A contents found in carrots are fat-soluble vitamins - when eaten with a little fat (olive oil, coconut oil, ghee etc) they are better absorbed by your body. Carrots also provide good levels of vitamin K, fibre, vitamin C, biotin, vitamins B1 and B6.
Onion (Allium cepa): belongs to the allium family (leeks, garlic and shallots).  They contain powerful antioxidants and antiviral properties. They are also anti-inflammatory, and contain the compound quercetin which supports the immune system and acts as an anti-allergenic. People who suffer from hay fever are often recommended a therapeutic supplementation of quercetin. That may help to alleviate their symptoms. Research has shown that onions help build strong bones and keep serum cholesterol and blood pressure low, preventing heart disease.
Goat’s cheese is a good source of calcium and protein. Goat's milk has a more digestible fat and protein content than cow's milk, that could be the reason why some people who are intolerant to cow's milk can tolerate goat's milk. Goat's cheese also provides magnesium, potassium and vitamin A.
Till next week!

1 comment

  1. What a great idea, sweet Margot! I'l start right now! I hate thinking about "what to do" your suggestions, allways perfect, are wonderful for me!!! A big hug|||


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