Beans and Lentils…

Okay, I know most people don’t really like beans and lentils. They have a bad reputation . I think we just don’t know how to cook them and of course for the dreaded  “flatulence”.  But…they are an excellent source of fibre both soluble and insoluble, which helps lower cholesterol levels and they help maintain bowel health. They are low in fat, low-gylcemic and are great source of protein.  But did you also know that they are good for the planet?  They are actually known as “pulses” and many types are grown right here in our very own Saskatchewan, Canada! The plants actually replenish the soil with nitrogen which means no fertilizers are used and  they don’t need alot of water.  Check out www.pulsecanada.com for more great info. I just picked up this new recipe book (at Costco for $16.99-highly recommended)  and have already made 2 amazing recipes that are in this week’s meal plan. The “Coconut Dal Curry” on pg 151 was really, really good. (See recipe below) A great recipe for those of you who are not really sure anything “curry” is good. It is mild but loaded with flavor and super easy to make. The other was the “classic Three-Bean Salad” on page 79. It was sweeter than it needs to be for our taste buds so next time I would decrease the honey by half. (Even Kirsten liked it who usually picks out every chickpea!) They really take the “fear” out of cooking beans and  have some tips for reducing the gas factor. If you have not been cooking with beans, chickpeas, peas or lentils a whole lot  please take it slow.  Your body will need to adjust.

Coconut Dal Curry (modified slightly)

1 1/2 cups dry red lentils

olive oil, for cooking

1 large onion, chopped

2 large tomatoes, chopped

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp raw sugar

1/2 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp salt

one 14oz can lite coconut milk

1 tsp garam masala (optional)

Handful of chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Put the lentils in a medium saucepan, cover with water by an inch or so, bring to a boil and then simmer for 12-15minutes until soft. Drain. (mine were done in about 10 minutes with no water left to drain). Meanwhile, heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a separate pan and saute the onion for 7-8 minutes, until golden. Add the tomatoes and garlic and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the curry, sugar, chili powder, salt and then the cooked lentils and cook for another 5 minutes. Add the coconut milk and cook until it has the consistency you want- dal can be runny but will thicken up as you cook it. Stir it occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the garam masala and sprinkle with cilantro if you are using. Serve with brown rice or basamati and some side steamed vegetables like cauliflower, carrots, peas.

*Wondering where to buy red lentils?  I buy them in bulk from Springfield Bulk Foods, but you can probably get them anywhere. You can also pick up your spices there  in small amounts especially if you are not sure about using them again.  The garam masala is not spicy, just adds a nice flavor to the dish. Enjoy:)

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2 thoughts on “Beans and Lentils…

  1. This sounds yummy! AND I would love to tell you that today? Instead of my regular banana bread, I made banana oat bread with steel cut oats, half fat (replaced with applesauce) and whole wheat flour! Was delish!

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