Lentils may be small, but they are a nutritional powerhouse: Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they also benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high soluble fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. Lentils also provide important minerals such as iron and magnesium, B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat.
Red lentils cook quickly and do not need to be soaked beforehand as do most beans. For a quick and delicious meal, enjoy this red lentil soup over quinoa or brown rice.
3 cups dry red lentils
1 medium yellow or red onion, roughly chopped
1 cup tomatoes, canned or fresh, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons cumin seeds
1 teaspoon black or yellow mustard seeds
1/2 medium red or yellow onion, finely chopped
1 14-oz can coconut milk
In a large saucepan, combine the lentils, coarsely chopped onion, tomatoes, cayenne, ground cumin, coriander, turmeric, and salt. Add 7 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the lentils begin to break down.
In a frying pan, warm the olive oil over medium to high heat. Once the oil is hot, add the cumin seeds and the mustard seeds. Cover the pan and wait briefly until the mustard seeds begin to pop. Then add the finely chopped onion and cook, stirring, until lightly browned.
Add the onion mixture to the lentils along with the coconut milk. Cook for another 10 minutes or so, until the flavors have blended.