Red lentils have a myriad of beneficial health effects, and their neutral, slightly nutty taste makes them a versatile legume in many tasty dishes.
Red lentils have a high protein content (approximately 25 g per 100 g) and more than double the carbohydrate content; you don’t be alarmed, however, as it has a low glycemic index, so it will raise blood sugar levels slowly.
Red lentils contain vitamins A, B6, B12, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and potassium, among other micronutrients, according to nutritionist Barbara Gogh.
The good news is that red lentils are sold without the shell, so even those who are prone to bloating after eating legumes (gas usually being caused by insufficient digestion of the oligosaccharides in the shells) can try to eat at least a small portion.
For the same reason, lentils can be cooked in as little as about 6-10 minutes depending on the consistency you want, so they can be included in your menu on busy days.
What dishes can be made with red lentils?
Used as a meat substitute, red lentils can be used to make stews, fake meatballs, delicious soups, stews, cakes, biscuits, dips, sandwich spreads, or even salads for a full-value meal.
The following recipe is a possible variation:
Red lentil salad with pesto dressing
- 1 large handful lamb’s lettuce
- 4 cm piece of carrot
- 1 beetroot (fresh or pickled)
- 2 red radishes
- 1 tomato
- 5 cm piece of English cucumber
- 100 g red lentils
- 2 tbsp pesto
- 3 tbsp coconut cream
Wash the red lentils and cook in boiling water for about 7 minutes. This should be just enough time for the lentils to soften, but not to fall apart.
In the meantime, prepare the salad base: grate the carrots and beetroot over the lamb’s lettuce, then add the sliced radishes, tomatoes and the thinly sliced cucumber. Spoon the cooked red lentils over the top.
For the dressing, mix the pesto with the coconut cream and serve.