A hearty cost-effective dish perfect for winter and is packed full of lentil goodness!
In comparison to other common legumes such as chickpeas, green pea and mung beans, lentils have the highest total antioxidant content (Ganesan et al. 2017). And if you haven’t heard all the hype about antioxidants, where have you been?
Antioxidants are well-known for their beneficial effects on our health. Antioxidants are molecules that fight free radicals. Free radicals are simply molecules with one or more unpaired electrons that can cause cellular damage in our bodies through a process called oxidation. Hence the term ‘anti-oxidant’, as antioxidants are molecules that can stop this oxidative process from happening. Free radicals can be generated naturally by the body but they are also increased by lifestyle factors such as stress, a poor diet, pollution, smoking and alcohol. Free radical damage is thought to be one of the major causes of ageing and a contributor to many Western diseases, so incorporating more antioxidant foods into our diet is a key step towards a healthier lifestyle.
What’s more, if you suffer from Type 2 diabetes or you are keen to lose a little weight, this meal could be beneficial for you. Regular consumption of lentils has been shown to improve blood glucose levels as well as support fat metabolism in diabetic and healthy human beings (Aslani et al. 2015). Also, because lentils are rich in fibre they can help you to feel fuller for longer, which will decrease the chance of you craving sugary snacks later on in the day.
I hope you enjoy this hearty bowl of deliciousness!
200g red lentils (rinsed in water)
200g celery (finely chopped)
1 red onion (diced)
3 large garlic cloves (grated or finely chopped)
1 tbsp coconut oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1.5 litres vegetable stock (check the label if you have an allergy or intolerance)
400g tin of chopped tomatoes
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
Small handful of fresh thyme leaves
Sprinkling of salt & pepper
A handful of pomegranate seeds
A handful of sunflower seeds
A handful of pistachios
Melt the coconut oil in a pan. Once heated, add the onion and garlic. Fry on a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the celery and fry for another 2 minutes, then add the lemon juice.
Add the chopped tomatoes, 1 pint of the stock and all the seasonings (salt, pepper, cumin, oregano, fresh thyme) along with the lentils and allow to simmer on a medium heat for 15 minutes. During the last few minutes, pour in the remaining 1/2 pint of vegetable stock and stir.
Serve into bowls and top with the pistachios, pomegranate and sunflower seeds.
Aslani, Z, Mirmiran, P, Alipur, B. et al. (2017). ‘Lentil Sprouts Effect on Serum Lipids of Overweight and Obese Patients with Type 2 Diabetes’, Health Promotion Perspectives, 5 (3), pp. 215-224 NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26634200# (Accessed: 10 August 2018).
Ganesan, K and Xu, B. (2017). ‘Polyphenol-Rich Lentils and Their Health Promoting Effects’, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18 (11), p. 2390, NCBI [Online]. Available at: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5713359/ (Accessed 10 August 2018).
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