Loving Lentils

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Lentils are one of those power foods that are high in fiber, protein, an array of minerals and vitamins and is low in carbs. It’s a great legume that is easy to cook, can be flavored a variety of ways and gives you staying power to keep you feeling full longer. While I’ve cooked them before primarily in soups and other dishes, I don’t often highlight it as the gem it is.

This week I wanted to introduce myself to a new whole grain and decided barley would pair well with lentils. Barley is also loaded with fiber, vitamins and minerals and is known for being a heart healthy option because of it does not contain cholesterol, a known contributor to heart disease. Typically as a whole grain, it takes longer to cook like brown rice; however I saw a 10 minute bag of barley in Trader Joe’s that I thought was just too good to pass up. I cooked the lentils in stock and dried herbs and the barley on a little olive oil, balsamic vinegar and salt to add as much flavor as possible to them both. Since I also am a fan of sour cream or guacamole on my beans I made a quick little topping of sour cream, a splash of rice wine vinegar fresh chives and salt and pepper to top it. Check out the recipe below and share your thoughts!

Lentils ingredients (serves 4)
8 oz lentils
16 oz organic chicken or organic vegetable stock
2 cups of water
1 tbsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tbsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. onion powder
1 tbsp. rice wine vinegar

Barley ingredients:
1/2 cup dry barley
1 1/4 cups of water
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 tsp. sea salt

Lentils Directions:
1. Add liquids to a medium pot with herbs, vinegar and seasoning. Bring to a boil.
2. While boiling pick through lentils for debris then add lentils.
3. Set timer. Top, reduce to low heat and cook for 35-40 minutes.

Barley Directions:
1. During last 15 minutes if lentil cooking, add barley and liquid to a small pot and bring to a boil. Add oil, vinegar and salt and stir before topping and reduce heat to low.
2. Let cook 10 minutes and strain any extra liquid.
3. Serve with lentils and enjoy

 

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