Why choose lentils?
Heart disease, cancer and diabetes, (and now Covid-19) are the leading causes of death in the US. Adding more plant proteins and reducing the amount of red meat/animal protein is a super simple change that can lower your chances of disease and boost immune health.
Here's the deal, you can either completely swap your ground turkey, beef, or chicken with lentils OR go 50/50.
Stretching your dollar (plant proteins are cheaper than animal proteins)
Pack with polyphenols, which boost digestion, brain health, reduce inflammation, and protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cancers
Packed with protein, yes, 1 cup has ~18 g protein
They even have 37% iron, b vitamins, and 15g fiber, which keeps you full longer so helps with appetite, weight control, cholesterol, ... the list goes on.
Spiced Lentil Lahmajun (Middle Eastern Pizza)
1 cup dry lentil (yield: 3 cups cooked)
1/4-1/2 cup reserved lentil water
10 white button mushrooms
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
1 tsp lemon
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp shawarma seasoning (buy pre-made) or make your own (blend of 1/2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp coriander, 1/4 tsp cardamon, 1 tsp garlic, 2 Tbsp cumin, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp ginger, 1 tsp turmeric, and 1/8 tsp salt)
Optional: 1 tsp Mushroom seasoning (from Trader Joes) - helps to enhance flavors
Salt to taste
5 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp Leeks or scallion
Pizza crust options: You can make your own dough or use Trader Joe's frozen Italian crust OR broccoli or cauliflower pizza crust.
Ingredients for dough: (serves 1)
1/2 cup self-rising flour (To make your own by combining ½ c unbleached all-purpose or whole wheat flour + ¾ tsp baking powder + ½ tsp kosher salt)
1/3 cup + 1-2 Tbsps 0% fat Fage yogurt
Preheat oven to 420 degrees F. In a medium pot add 1 cup dry lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover with lid tilted and simmer for 15-25 minutes or until soft.
While lentils are cooking, add veggies (carrots, mushrooms, onions, garlic) to a food processor. Process until finely chopped.
In a large pot add veggies. No oil or water needed. Add spices and lemon juice. Cook for 10 minutes on medium heat. Once liquid evaporates add in 1/4 cup lentil water and tomato paste.
Once lentils are done cooking, add to saute pan. Cook with veggies for 10 minutes. Add leeks or scallions.
If you are making your own dough with above ingredients, mix flour, salt, and baking soda. Once combined, add yogurt, mix with spoon until dough forms, using hands, roll into dough ball. Using a pizza roller, roll out dough on baking sheet lined with parchment paper into pizza shape.
Add 1/4 - 1/2 lentil lahmajun to pizza crust. Place in oven and cook for 20 minutes. (If using store bought dough follow instructions on package.
Use remaining lentils for middle eastern style:
Over a baked potato and a dollop of yogurt
You may also freeze for future meals
Makes ~8 servings
1/2 cup lentils - 80 calories
Click here for more lentil recipes.