Happy Friday! How’s everyone’s resolutions coming along so far- we’re a week and a half in to 2013… is everyone still going to the gym every day and really watching what they eat?
Well, I’m excited to share this recipe with you because not only is it delicious and filling, it’s also pretty healthy. It also features a fairly new ingredient for me: Lentils.
Lentils are a great source of fiber, and are known to help lower cholesterol. They are also low in calories and a good source of vitamins and minerals. You can read more about the nutritional benefits of lentils here at WHFoods.
Sure, that all sounds wonderful, but if these little grains don’t taste good, who’s going to eat them?
Well, that’s the great thing about lentils – they absorb pretty much any flavor you throw at them, and are pretty darn good just on their own. I decided to throw them together with a bunch of fresh vegetables and a very simple dressing, and created a crunchy, flavorful side dish that doubled as lunch for me the next day.
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed and picked over to remove any dirt or small pebbles
- 2 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 2 large lacinato kale leaves, stems removed and cut into ½” pieces
- ⅓ cup frozen corn (if doing the Standard Process Cleanse, omit)
- 1 head broccoli, cut into small florets
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
- Add water, lentils and bay leaf to a medium pot and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, bring heat to low and let cook, uncovered, for 20-30 minutes, until lentils are tender. Remove bay leaf and strain the lentils to remove any excess water. Add the salt and stir.
- Add bell pepper, kale leaves, corn and broccoli and stir, allowing the vegetables to absorb some of the heat from the cooked lentils. Add oil and vinegar, and stir to incorporate.
In related news, I am actually starting a cleanse starting next Monday, called the Standard Process Cleanse. Don’t worry, it’s not one of those crazy juice fads… it’s more focused on incorporating more whole foods and vegetables into your diet, and flushing the toxins from your body. I am working with my friend and nutritionist, Rebecca Meyerson of Simply Healthy Living, during the 21-day process. You bet I am going to turn to this salad quite a bit during that time! So fair warning, over the next few weeks, you are going to see a lot more healthy recipes from me as I go through the cleanse process and make more vegetable-centric meals and snacks.
I also wanted to share two e-books that my childhood neighbor and family friend, Mike Angarola, wrote that are chockfull of delicious Italian recipes, in memory of his grandmother, Gracie. Mike used to own an amazing Italian specialty shop in my hometown of Nyack, Gracie’s Ravioli, and he really knows his stuff. You can also check out his blog at Gracie’s Italian Wine Review. Check out his e-books, here: