Lentils are a healthy and nutritious food staple to have in your pantry. They are low in calories and high in vitamins and minerals. Lentils are an excellent source of iron, folate, fiber, and protein (18 grams of protein per cup!). They also contain polyphenols which are natural chemicals found in plants that have antioxidant properties that are known to help fight off diseases like cancer and heart disease. Polyphenols are the most abundant antioxidant available so they are found in a wide array of fruits and vegetables including legumes (beans, peas, and lentils). Lentils can be enjoyed alone with some salt and pepper or added to vibrant salads like this one. Enjoy!
Black Lentil Salad Recipe
1 cup uncooked lentils
2 cups water
1 English cucumber
1 red bell pepper
1 bunch of cilantro
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
1. In a large saucepan, add 1 cup uncooked black lentils and 2 cups water. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cook covered for 20-22 minutes. Drain any excess liquid out. Set aside.
2. Cut the English cucumber in half. Using a spoon, scoop out the seeds and discard. Chop the cucumber into small cubes.
3. Cut the red bell pepper in half and remove the seeds. Chop into small cubes.
4. Cut off the long stems of the cilantro and roughly chop. The lemon juice will help wilt the cilantro so you don't chop it too small.
5. In a large mixing bowl add the diced cucumber, red bell pepper, black lentils, and cilantro. Top with the lemon juice, a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and salt. Stir well until evenly mixed. Taste and adjust olive oil and seasonings if necessary.