Food & Drink Magazine

The Joy of Lentils

By Yonni @vegandthecity
Did you know lentils are a vegan girl's best friend?  Well ok, I'd prefer diamonds, but these versatile gems are pretty terrific.  They are not only packed with vitamins like follate, thiamin, magneisum and B vitamins, they reduce inflammation and provide a steady form of energy unlike starchier foods.
There are many different kinds of lentils.  Black belugas, brown and green, puy green (also called French or Italian), macachiados (yellow Mexican lentils), red (or Middle Eastern) and yellow, which hail from India and Pakistan.  As diverse as are their colors, their flavors vary a bit as well, with the puy kicking off a peppery bite and black with a hearty flavor that holds up well in soups and dip.
I recently came across what sounds like a hearty, zesty salad in Experience Life magazine (is that not a great name?) that also happens to be a filling and complex vegan meal.  Let me know what you think!  Just beware...this recipe makes 10 servings so keep that in mind when you make it.
You will need:
1 c. black beluga lentils, rinsed
1 TBSP garam masala curry powder
2 c vegetable stock (or water)
1/2 c quinoa, rinsed (now THAT is a perfect food!)
1/4 c finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 c finely chopped carrot
1/2 c finely chopped red bell pepper
1 c vegetable stock
1 c mandarin oranges, cut in half
2 TBSP chopped fresh mint
2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
1 TBSP rice wine vinegar
1/2 tsp sea salt
Pinch of white pepper
Bring the lentils, curry powder and stock to boil in a medium saucepan, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes or until lentils are al dente.  Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
Stir quinoa in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat until dry and light brown.  Add onion, carrot and bell pepper and cook one minute.  Add vegetable stock or water, bring to boil, turn heat to simmer and cover until all the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, gently toss the cooked lentils and quinoa with the oranges, mint, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper, and serve!

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