Another day, another superfood! Remember, these are in no particular order! Today's superfood is Puy Lentils.
As with Greek yogurt, puy lentils are great as a substitution for other, higher fat alternatives; they are great for vegetarians. Puy Lentils provide good levels of nutrition across all areas of their nutrition profile:
- They have an extremely high level of protein as well as both soluble and insoluble fibre. Soluble fibre is good for reducing cholesterol (it collects LDL and promotes HDL), whilst insoluble fibres help to reduce the risk of digestive disorders. 100g of puy lentils contains approximately 30g each of protein and fibre!
- Lentils are low on the Glycemic Index meaning that they keep you fuller for longer and provide you with a constant stream of energy, balancing your blood sugar levels.
- Puy lentils contain only 115 calories per cooked 100g and are extremely low in fat.
- They are high in folate, manganese, vitamin B, iron (60% of your daily quota per serving) and magnesium (improves blood and oxygen flow).
Anyway, now that you know how good lentils are for you, how can you include them in your diet?
As I mentioned before, puy lentils are a great substitution for mince. Why not use them to make a healthier lasagne, moussaka or spaghetti bolognese (all the same ingredients, just sub the meat)! These lentils are also great in salads (warm or cold), served as a side to meat, chicken or fish and made into a hearty lentil stew (like my favourite Cypriot Fakes Moutzentra recipe below). Below are two great, and extremely delicious, meal ideas.
Puy Lentils With Roasted Veg and Baked FishThis recipe is so delicious and so easy! I've used tinned lentils out of convenience and a time saver.
You will need (for 1):
- 130g drained tinned lentils (1/2 of a can)
- 1 fillet of white fish (cod, haddock, pollock etc.)
- 5 cherry tomatoes
- 1 large carrot and 1/2 a courgette chopped into 4 length-ways then sliced into chunks
- 1/2 an aubergine cut into thin slices then quartered
- 1 onion diced
- 2 mushrooms sliced
- 1/2 tsp oil (rapeseed or olive oil)
- sprinkle each of oregano, basil, garlic powder, salt and pepper
- freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Toss the vegetables with the oil, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and oregano in a metal roasting dish. At the same time, wrap the fish, drizzled with some freshly squeezed lemon and pepper, loosely in a tinfoil parcel. Place both in a preheated oven (vegetables on highest shelf) at 180 degrees for 25 minutes.
2. Take the fish out of the oven (leaving in the tinfoil to preserve the heat) and mix the drained tinned lentils into the roasted vegetables. Put them back into the oven for 5 minutes.
3. Serve the fish on top of the lentils and veg, pouring the fish juices and extra lemon juice on top to taste.
Fakes (lentils in Greek) Moutzentra
You Will Need:
- 1 cup puy lentils*
- 1/4 cup orzo (small pasta shapes, can be substituted with rice)
- 1 large courgette finely diced
- 1 large aubergine finely diced
- 2 large onions finely diced
- 2 large mushrooms finely diced
- 1 small pepper finely diced
- 2 tsp olive oil
- salt and pepper
- freshly squeezed lemon to serve
*This can be made with a tin of pre-cooked lentils, in which case you would miss out step 1 (apart from preparing the veg) and just bring the lentils to boil with the orzo.
1. In a large pan, bring lentils to boil for 10 mins. Meanwhile, prepare the veg.
2. Drain lentils and rinse in cold water a few times until the liquid runs clear. Add just enough cold water to cover lentils and bring to boil again.
3. When boiling, add orzo and season with plenty of salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 10 mins, stirring occasionally.
4. Meanwhile, heat oil in a wok and add veg. Stir fry on a medium heat until vegetables are browned (10 mins).
5. Add cooked veg to lentils and orzo and cook on a low heat for a further couple of minutes, stirring continuously.
Serve with plenty of freshly squeezed lemon juice (and vinegar if desired) and warm pitta bread.
Well, that's superfood number two for you all! Would Puy Lentils make your superfood list? Have you got any recipe suggestions for them? Would you use these as a substitution for meat? What do you think will be tomorrow's superfood?!
Oh...and follow me on twitter! (: