23 Aug 2019

Recipe Post: Mediterranean Lentils

Nicole Windas
Recipe Post: Mediterranean Lentils

A light and refreshing dish that packs plenty of fibre. What you may not know is that lentils are also a good source of prebiotics. Prebiotics are non-digestible complex carbohydrates that are fermented in the gut. They yield energy and produce beneficial substances such as short-chain fatty acids, whilst also promoting the growth of beneficial bacteria (particularly Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillae species) in the gastrointestinal tract (Dwivedi et al. 2014) (Johnson et al. 2013).

For those of you who are also suffering from iron deficiency and have been noticing signs such as brittle nails, hair loss and symptoms such as tiredness, this meal could be of benefit. Lentils are a rich source of iron, with studies showing that cooked lentils in the diet can help to prevent iron deficiency anaemia (Ganesan et al. 2017).

Perfect pairings: In the summer months I tend to pair this meal with a fillet of fish such as sea bass or enjoy as a side dish for a dinner party or buffet.

Diet: Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Nut Free, Pescatarian, Soy Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Serves: 2
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Ingredients

Lentils

  • 150g lentils
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, quartered
  • 1/4 of 1 large red onion, very finely sliced (into fine strips)
  • 2 cups of filtered water
  • 1 handful fresh parsley

Lentil Dressing

  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt and pepper

Method

1.    Add the two cups of filtered water into a saucepan and bring to a rapid simmer.

2.    In a sieve, rinse the lentils under the tap and then add them to the pan. Bring to a low simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Note: allowing lentils to simmer as opposed to boiling them will ensure they don't split or go mushy. Once cooked, drain them in the sieve and place them into a bowl.

3.    Add the sliced onion and cherry tomato into the bowl with the lentils.

4.    Mix the lentil dressing ingredients together in a bowl and drizzle over the lentils, onion and cherry tomatoes, stirring through. Serve equally onto two plates and season with some freshly chopped parsley.

Serve at any temperature.

By Nicole Windas (Certified Health Coach and Co-founder of ARDERE)

References:

Dwivedi, S. Sahrawat, K. Puppala, N. et al. (2014). ‘Plant Prebiotics and Human Health: Biotechnology to Breed Prebiotic-Rich Nutritious Food Crops’, Electronic Journal of Biotechnology, 17 (5), pp. 238-245 Science Direct [Online]. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0717345814000748?via%3Dihub (Accessed: 26 June 2018).

Ganesan, K. XU, B. (2017). ‘Polyphenol-Rich Lentils and Their Health Promoting Effects’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18 (11), NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713359/ (Accessed 26 June 2018).

Johnson, C.R. Thavarajah, D. Combs, G.F. et al. (2013). ‘Lentil (Lens culinaris L.): A Prebiotic-Rich Whole Food Legume’, Food Research International, 51 (1), pp. 107-113, Science Direct [Online]. Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0963996912004942 (Accessed: 26 June 2018).

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