Lentils. A favorite legume. Packed with complex carbohydrates, vegetable protein, dietary fibre, iron and minerals.
When on a vegetarian diet, one is often asked “But how do you get protein?”. Obviously not on the black market…
It is quite fascinating to know that proteins are a puzzle of twenty-two different amino-acids, out of which nine are so called essential: our body cannot produce them, but has to get them through food.
Proteins of vegetable source are not complete, as they do not contain all essential amino-acids. However, by combining different vegetables, grains and legumes we can provide our body with the building blocks of fully-fledged high-value proteins.
See it this way: animal protein (meat, fish, eggs and dairy) is complete and self-sufficient. Vegetable protein on the other hand is all about community – combining and sharing resources. The more the merrier…
This is why lentils, rice and nuts go well together. Lemon juice and parsley contain vitamin C which facilitates the absorption of the iron contained in the lentils.
For four moderately hungry persons, or two big eaters you will need:
150 ml brown rice (I measure in volume, deciliters and milliliters)
60 ml red lentils
1 batch spring onions; a fistful of dill
2 garlic cloves
1 teaspoon each of mustard seed and cumin
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 tsp salt
lemon juice & chopped parsley
Wash the rice and the lentils. Chop the dill and the spring onions.
Heat up a teaspoon of oil in a saucepan, add the mustard seeds and the cumin grains. When they start popping, add the dill, garlic and spring onions.
When the dill and onions are soft, add the rice and turmeric and stir. Finally add three parts water and the salt.
When the lentil rice starts looking dry, add the fourth part water.
When almost all liquids have evaporated, add the juice of half a lemon and oil according to taste. Cover the pan with the lid and let juices and flavours combine.
In a small skillet, roast (you can dry-roast or coat the nuts with a few drops of oil) a tablespoon of raw peanuts. Mix with the lentil rice before serving. Sprinkle with parsley.