Posted by: Kara @ The Foodie Dietitian | January 5, 2011

Ringing in the New Year with lentils

With the start of a new year, I thought it would only be fitting to start it off right with a couple of new recipes.

Enter: lentils.

On Sunday, I flipped through Heidi Swanson’s Super Natural Cooking book to find a hearty soup recipe.

What I found was a recipe for Chunky Lentil Soup with a description that was impossible to ignore. “As we need more warmth and sustenance in our food, this earthy textured pot of lentils, squash, and tomatoes is a straightforward and unassuming way to fit the bill.”

Warmth and sustenance. I’m sold.

As I flipped through the book, another lentil-containing recipe caught my eye: Beluga lentil crostini with chevre-chive spread.

First of all, I’m a huge goat cheese fan. Secondly, I hate wasting food so I figured If I could use lentils in two recipes for one meal that would be an eco-friendly gesture on my part.

Two main ingredients in the Chunky Lentil Soup:

  • Lentils (shocking, I know). I went for green lentils.

  • And butternut squash.

Before serving, add a drizzle of olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

For the crostinis, bake a whole-grain bread with olive oil so that it is warm and toasted. Then top the bread with a goat cheese and chive spread. To die for. I might have to eat goat cheese and chives everyday for the rest of my life.

I love lentils because they are a great source of protein and contain significant amounts of iron, fiber, B vitamins, and folate. These legumes are not a complete source of protein for vegetarians as they lack a couple essential amino acids. Pair lentils with whole grains or nuts and you will find all the amino acids you need, fitted into one meal. For instance, my lentil soup plus my whole grain crostinis provided me with a complete protein meal.

A New Years dinner for deux:

The recipe makes 4-6 servings so I will be freezing a couple portions so that I don’t waste any of my lentil goodness. I am excited that 2011 is off to a great start, and that I rang in the New Year with a vegetarian-friendly protein packed meal. Can’t wait to see what other culinary adventures are in store for 2011…

Peace, love, and food,

Kara

How did you ring in the New Year?

 

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