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Tons of Zucchini and Lentil Fun Facts

Friday, August 09, 2013

So, I had some leftover lentil stuff from dinner. It wasn't enough for a meal on its own, so I broke out the handy dandy "spiralizer" and spiralized up a mess of zucchini.


I love this thing. I eat it raw which retains all of the nutrients and it has a texture similar to al dente spaghetti. It is great with tomato sauce and chicken too.

Anyway, here is what it looks like with my lentil stuff on it (note that this is a lot of food....the plate is a full size dinner plate):

The broccoli looks a little funky from sitting overnight, but still tastes terrific. The flavors are really good. Here's what you do:

1/2 C black beluga lentils, rinsed and soaked 8 hours or overnight (I only had brown lentils on hand)
1 head broccoli, cut into florets (4 cups)
1 small red onion or shallot, sliced into rings (2/3 cup)
1/4 cup chopped almonds, toasted (I used slivered almonds)

Honey mustard dressing
4 Tbs cold pressed olive oil
1 Tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tsp raw honey
2 tsp dijon mustard

Salad: Drain and rinse lentils, then place in a medium stockpot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 18 minutes (I actually had to add more water). "Add broccoli, cover pan, and stem 4 minutes, or until broccoli and lentils are al dente.

Meanwhile, to make Honey mustard dressing: whisk together all ingredients in bowl until smooth.

Drain off any remaining liquid from broccoli and lentils, and transfer to large bowl. Add dressing and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper if desired. Serve garnished with onion and almonds.

Makes 4 servings

I had one serving and here's how the numbers played out:

Almonds, 0.05 cup, ground 27 cal
Honey, 0.33 tbsp 21 cal
Honey Mustard, 1 tsp 10 cal
Olive Oil, 0.75 tbsp 90 cal
Broccoli, cooked, 0.5 cup, chopped 27 cal
Lentils, 0.75 cup 172 cal
Zucchini, 306 grams 49 cal (check out the low calories for a huge plateful of zucchini)
Lemon Juice, 0.1 lemon yields 1 cal
Apple Cider Vinegar, 0.33 tbsp 0 cal


Lentil fun facts:

-Lentils are legumes and originated in central Asia
-They were found in the tombs of the Ancient Egyptians in 2400BC
-lentils come in all shapes and colors – brown, yellow, red and black
-French lentils are known for a delicate taste and they hold their shape better after cooking
-The optical lens is named after the Latin word for lentil
-Lentils are wonderful nutritionally low in fat, high in protein, folate, phosphorus, fiber and iron
-Lentils are used around the world and are particularly popular in Middle Eastern countries, Greece, France and India.
-In the Middle East they are made with onions and garlic, in France often served with roasted meat and in India made into dal.
-There is even a National Lentil Festival in Pullman Washington (WA State....represent!)
-The Soluble fiber in lentils helps keep your cholesterol down and blood sugars under control

.....and more:

facts about lentils

-Canada is the world’s leading exporter of lentils
-Saskatchewan produces 97% of Canada’s lentils
-Lentils are a nitrogen-fixing crop
-Lentils can be bought whole, peeled or split, each step reducing cooking time: Whole 25-30 mins > Peeled 20-25 mins > Split 10-12 mins
-Because lentils are grown in rotation with durum wheat they may come into contact with wheat at harvest. But the meticulous processing at the facility makes for a completely gluten-free product.
-Lentils are an excellent source of fibre with almost 16g per cup.
-Lentils have a very low glycemic index, which means the rise in blood sugar after eating them will be moderate and steady
-3/4 cup cooked lentils provides more potassium than a large banana along with 13g of protein
-Lentils provide more folate than any other plant food

-Bonus food fact: The word lens (as in contact lens) was actually inspired by the shape of the split lentil (Who knew?…)

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