Lean on Lentils

5 Feb

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Lentils are a high protein vegetarian food when cooked can be made into a variety of meals. Lentil burgers, Lentil cakes (as in the recipe below), Lentil hot dogs or Lentil pancakes. Lentils, brown, red or black can be eaten in salads and soups as well. There is also a French lentil called “Le Puy” which is green and creamy when cooked. The seed was brought over to Idaho to produce inexpensive yields compared to the imported lentils.
Canadian lentils are a healthy choice. Lentils provide protein, folic acid, Vitamin C, iron and fiber for the body. Paired with a grain like rice or pasta, lentils can make a complete protein.

How to Cook Lentils:

1. Wash Lentils drain.
2. Remove any debris.
3. Place in water to cover.
4. Boil 1 cup of lentils for 20 minutes or until soft.
5. Do not add salt (it may toughen the lentils).

Delicious Spices for Cooked Lentils:
(Adding spices to plain lentils gives it a flavor boost).
1. Curry
2. Salt, pepper and paprika
3. Red pepper flakes
4. Tabasco sauce
5. Add a creamy sauce or tomato sauce

Black Lentil Cakes with Smoked Salmon and Garlic Aioli

1-cup Canadian black lentils
½ cup chickpea flour
1-tablespoon ground chia
1-tablespoon water
Pinch nutmeg
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsps. Onion powder
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. sea salt
½ tsp. ground pepper
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fennel fronds
1-cup fresh breadcrumbs (about 3 slices bread)
Small appetizer size pieces of Smoked Salmon (rolled up)
Small sprigs of fennel

Garlic aioli

2 tablespoons mayonnaise
½ teaspoon garlic powder
4 teaspoons coconut milk
pinch salt

In a small bowl, add mayonnaise, garlic powder, coconut milk and salt. Mix well.

Method:
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Cook lentils in water over medium heat until soft for 20 minutes. Drain, and then place in large bowl. Add garlic, onion powder, oregano, salt, ground pepper, egg, olive oil and breadcrumbs. Mix well. Place mixture in a food processor or blender. Mix well until ingredients are incorporated. Refrigerate for ½ hour. Make as many cakes as possible. Place on parchment paper. Brush with olive oil. Bake for 10-15 minutes or until crispy on the edges. Cut small pieces of salmon lox. Curl the piece and place on top of each lentil cake. Add a small dollop of garlic aioli on each lentil cake (on top of the salmon) For garnish, use small sprigs of fennel. Makes about 20 two-inch cakes.

Lily Erlic is a food and recipe writer from Victoria, BC. Her work has appeared in Veggie Life Magazine, Amateur Chef Magazine, YOU Magazine and more. Her book “Very Vegetarian-Thrifty Appetizers, Main Meals and Desserts in Minutes” is soon to be published on Amazon Kindle. Currently, she is working on a new cookbook called, Desserts with Olive oil-“I LOVE OLIVE OIL DESSERTS”.

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