Recipe: Lentil Salad

Recipe: Lentil Salad

I love a good salad but at times spinach, kale and iceberg just don’t cut it. I crave and need something a little bit more substantial to my plate. One of my favorite go to  “lettuce replacements” are lentils. Lentils are a high protein, high fiber member of the legume family. Like a mini version of a bean, lentils grow in pods and can be found in red, brown, black, and green varieties. Lentils are also high in folate, which many of you may know is a staple nutrient for childbearing woman. Folate is critical for the prevention of birth defects and has been shown to cut the chances of early delivery by 50 percent or more if consumed for at least a year before pregnancy.

The Center for Disease Control recommends consuming 400 micrograms of folic acid every day specifically for women of childbearing years. One cup of lentils provides almost 90 percent of your folate needs for the entire day.

In just one cup of lentils you receive: Nutrient Facts:
  • 230 calories
  • 18 grams of protein
  • 20 grams of carbohydrate
  • 16 grams of fiber
  •  4 grams of sugar
Vitamins and Minerals:
  • 90 percent of folate
  • 37 percent of iron
  • 49 percent of manganese
  • 36 percent of phosphorus
  • 22 percent of thiamin
  • 21 percent of potassium
  • 18 percent of vitamin B6
Lentils are also a source of riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and selenium. Lentils include all the nutrients crucial for your first trimester. During the first trimester, vitamins and minerals are more important than calories, particularly zinc, folate (or folic acid), vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12. The high fiber content is extremely beneficial for heart health and digestive health as well. These nutrient packed legumes also offer as a great source of protein for vegetarians and vegans. And lets be honest, when pregnant sometimes you don’t want to go through the hassle of making a well balanced plate, well lentils will be able to tick off your need for protein, carbohydrates, fiber and vitamins/minerals! I also love to pair this dish with baked or grilled salmon which is loaded with Omega-3’s and DHA another two crucial nutrients needed during pregnancy. I adapted this recipe from my mom and I absolutely love it! Its great served cold or warm and is a great addition to your dinner plate. Loaded with protein, lentils are a great and hassle free legume to cook with. Their earthy, nutty taste adds instant flavor to your dish without even trying. INGREDIENTS:
  • 8oz French Green Lentils
  • 2 Bay Leaves
  • 1 Spring Fresh Thyme
  • 1 Carrot Finely Chopped
  • 2 Diced Scallions
  • 1 Teaspoon Chopped Garlic
  • 2 TBL Mrs.Dash (or any other all purpose seasoning)
  • Salt & Peper to taste
  • 1 Celery Stalk Finely Chopped
  • 2 Plum Tomatoes
  • Any Vingerette of Choice: I personally love Tessemae’s Organic Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing
DIRECTIONS 1.) In a medium saucepan add: Lentils, Scallions, Bay Leaves, Thyme, Carrot, Celery and Garlic. 2.) Cook until soft. Cover with water one inch above contents and bring to a boil. 3.) Reduce heat to medium/low for 15-20 minutes, if you want your tomatoes soft add them in during the last 5 minutes. If you rather have them crunchy, add at the end. 4.) Drain and Discard Bay Leaves 5.) Place in a large bowl to cool and add dressing of your choice.   Eat Well and #beNaturAli  

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