Lentils and peas
Beans aren’t the only member of the legume family worth celebrating. Lentils, packed with fiber and protein, are just as nutritious. Plus they cook up—no soaking required—in only 15 to 20 minutes. A French ami shared her mother’s traditional recipe for lentil salad with me years ago. This simple salad, seasoned with a French vinaigrette, is classic dish in France. It makes a wonderful, protein-rich highlight of any meal. Because the flavors continue to meld, it’s also great the next day. Recipe from Plant-Powered for Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes, © 2014 Sharon Palmer. Reprinted with permission from The Experiment.
This lentil salad is unique, blending Indian flavors from the cumin and coriander with the Mexican flavors of mango and lime. One of the best things about salad is you can combine ingredients that you wouldn’t normally pair up, and it usually works wonderfully. French lentils, also known as du Puy lentils, are the best type of lentil to use in salads. Green, brown, and red lentils are perfect in soups and stews because they’re soft and tend to fall apart, while du Puy lentils work better in salads because they hold their shape well when cooked properly. All in all, a refreshing summery salad, with great sustenance from the lentils. Recipe and photos contributed by Sophia Zergiotis of Love and Lentils.
Here’s a simple soup of quick-cooking red lentils, embellished with tender greens. It’s a warming homemade soup you can have on the table in less than 45 minutes. Once you’ve done the onion-garlic sauté, there’s very little additional work to do! Serve with fresh pita, croutons, or crispy pita chips that you can crumble right into the soup. The recipe yields a flavorful but mild soup; see notes on seasonings following the recipe if you’d like to kick it up a few notches.
This satisfying soup features lentils, potatoes (and optional sweet potatoes) and greens, a trio of compatible ingredients in a mildly curried broth. This is a wonderful soup to come home to on a cold late fall or winter day, so make it on a quiet Sunday and enjoy it when you come home from work the next day. It’s also a good choice to pack in a Thermos, to take to work or school. more→
The earthy flavor of these protein-packed legumes shines in this basic rendition of lentil soup. Make sure to see the variations listed below the recipe. This is perfect as a soup centerpiece, served with crusty bread or fresh cornbread, and any kind of salad you enjoy.
Celery is used twice in this dish: softened in the beginning with a little olive oil, and tossed in at the end for a decisive crunch. You may substitute traditional couscous for the whole wheat and brown or green lentils for the black ones. (The black ones are especially pretty, though.) Recipe reprinted with permission from Ripe: A Fresh, Colorful Approach to Fruits and Vegetables* © 2012 by Cheryl Sternman Rule, photography by Paulette Phlipot; Running Press, a member of the Perseus Book Group. more→
This cauliflower recipe makes the most beautiful presentation and it’s a breeze to make. Minimal ingredients … whole foods at their best. I served these with a big, fresh salad. Perfect lunch! The trickiest part to this recipe is slicing the cauliflower, only because you will lose some. It’s mostly the inner slices that will easily retain their structure. The rest just fall apart, so be prepared to have another cauliflower recipe on hand for the leftovers! Contributed by Helyn Dunn from her blog Helyn’s Healthy Kitchen. more→
Split peas cook down with pieces of potato and aromatic vegetables to create a thick and hearty, stick-to-your-ribs soup that’s excellent served with saltine crackers or slices of bread. Green split peas are rich in protein, complex carbohydrates, several vitamins and minerals, and beneficial dietary fiber, all while being extremely low in fat and sodium. This makes them a great choice if you’re trying to eat more healthy and nutritious meals. Reprinted with permission from The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Vegan Slow-cooking* by Beverly Bennett (Alpha Books, 2012). more→