Lentils are part of the legume family (think also chickpeas, kidney beans, black beans etc.) and are one of the healthiest foods you can incorporate in your diet, so say hello to this everyday healthy meal, the Lentil Dahl. This is one of my favourites for a healthy and cheap meal during the week and it can be cooked in batch and frozen too, so perfect for meal prep!
Lentils are a good plant-based source of protein and their protein & fibre content will help you to stay feeling fuller for longer!
A 2016 research study highlights that including legumes in the diet daily showed a significant reduction in body weight. That was comparing both a diet of standard calorie intake and calorie deficit diet incorporating one serving of legumes daily, with both showing a positive outcome. Key Nutrients - Lentil Dahl
Fibre – Lentils are an excellent source of fibre and whilst mentioned they are useful for weight management, fibre is essential to regulate bowel movements and reduce LDL cholesterol. This recipe contains approx. 7g fibre per serve and approximately one-quarter of the recommended daily intake.
Protein - Used in every single cell in our body, protein is far more than just muscle building. Lentils are an AMAZING plant-based source of protein and this dish packs in approx 17g protein per serve!
B-Vitamins – B vitamins are an essential part of the process to create energy from the food we eat and lentils are a particularly good source of thiamine (B1), niacin (B3), vitamin B6 and folate (B9).
- 1.5 cups red lentils (or 250g)
- 1 litre vegetable stock
- 1 punnet cherry tomatoes (or 200g)
- 1 handful baby spinach (to be added when serving - if refrigerating/freezing add the baby spinach fresh when reheating)
- 1 big piece fresh ginger (be generous, ginger really adds to the flavour & warmth)
- 2 large cloves garlic
- 1 onion
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp turmeric
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 pinch salt
- Rinse the red lentils thoroughly in a colander for at least 5 minutes, this will help to remove any foam that will float to the surface when cooking, the longer you rinse beforehand the more this reduces.
- Finely chop the onion, crush/chop the garlic and grate the fresh ginger. Rinse and chop the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Place the lentils into a saucepan and add 1 litre vegetable stock. Bring to the boil and then reduce to medium heat.
- Once the lentils are on, heat a frying pan and add extra virgin olive oil, when heated add the onion, garlic and ginger. Saute until softened and add the tomatoes and spices; cumin, turmeric, coriander and garam masala.
- When this is mixed together, remove from the heat and add the mixture to the lentils and allow to cook for approximately another 20-25 minutes.
- During cooking the lentils will absorb a lot of the water and stir regularly whilst cooking to ensure it doesn't stick and burn.
- Just before serving add a few handfuls of baby spinach and stir through until wilted and then serve.
- Perfect to serve with rice, steamed / roasted veggies or my buckwheat chapatis!
- Tip: If you are making this in a batch to refrigerate or freeze, add fresh baby spinach when you reheat your serving as this is much nicer than reheating with previously cooked spinach in as I find it tends to go a bit soggy.
- - Sieve to rinse lentils - Grater - Frying pan - Saucepan for dahl - Sharp knife - Chopping board - Stirring spoon Saucepan for rice
As well as rice, I've got some additional serving suggestions that taste great served with Lentil Dahl;
Amy Savage is a qualified Nutritionist with a Bachelor of Health Science in Nutritional & Dietetic Medicine and is available for consultations online and in Sydney CBD. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.