Lentil recipes for National Nutrition Month

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Melissa Joy Dobbins talked about the health benefits of lentils. (WLS)

March is National Nutrition Month and it's meant to remind everyone about the importance of healthy eating.

Melissa Joy Dobbins is a registered dietitian who is here to tell us about the health benefits of lentils.
Links: www.Lentils.org, www.SoundBitesRD.com


Lentil & BBQ Corn Salad with Cilantro Lime Dressing

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 35 Minutes
Servings: 6

4 whole cobs of corn, husks on (approx. 3-1/2 cups corn kernels)
1 cup cooked or canned green lentils, drained and rinsed
1 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
2 Tbsp. green onion
1 Tbsp. minced jalapeño pepper
4 Tbsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. lime zest
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
2 Tbsp. canola oil
tsp. salt
tsp. ground black pepper

1. Preheat your grill to 400F.

2. To prepare corn, gently pull back husks and remove inside silk. Place husks back around corn. Soak cobs of corn in lightly salted water for 10 minutes (this will help to keep kernels juicy when grilling). Once 10 minutes have passed, shake off excess water and put corn on grill. Cook with BBQ lid down for 15-20 minutes turning every 5 minutes. Husks should be charred and the kernels tender. Remove from grill and set aside to cool. Once cooled enough so that you can handle, remove husks from corn and cut off kernels. Toss kernels with lentils peppers, and onion.

3. In small bowl whisk, jalapeño pepper, lime juice and zest, cilantro, canola oil, salt and pepper together and toss with corn and lentil mixtures.

4. Serve warm or cold.

Per serving (3/4 cup serving size): 170 calories, 6 g total fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 27 g carbohydrates, 5 g dietary fiber, 8 g sugar, 7 g protein, 210 mg sodium, 456 mg potassium.

Lentil Egg Skillet Bake

Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Servings: 8

5 slices bread (sourdough or whole wheat)
8 eggs
cup skim milk
1-1/2 cups cooked split red lentils
1 cup finely chopped broccoli
1/3 cup shredded Asiago cheese
1/3 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
cup bacon bits

1. In a large skillet or a sauté pan over medium-high heat, spray with non-stick cooking spray and place bread slices in pan. Allow bread to lightly brown and turn over, browning other side.

2. In a mixing bowl, whisk eggs and milk. Pour egg mixture over bread. Use a spatula to press the bread down and allow bread to be covered and soaked by the egg mixture.

3. Sprinkle with lentils, broccoli, cheese, and bacon bits.
4. Cover and allow to bake until eggs are set and no longer liquid, approximately 15-20 minutes.

5. Serve immediately or allow to cool and refrigerate.

To prepare 1-1/2 cups cooked split red lentils: Combine cup split red lentils with 1-1/2 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 5-7 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain any excess liquid and let cool.

Per serving (2/3 cup serving size): 220 calories, 9 g total fat, 3.5 g saturated fat, 195 mg cholesterol, 17 g carbohydrates, 3 g dietary fiber, 3 g sugar, 17 g protein, 360 mg sodium, 321 mg potassium, and 106 mcg folate.

Korean-Style Lentil Bowls

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 2

2 cups cooked green lentils
cup water
1 Tbsp. Korean pepper paste (gochujang) OR miso paste
1 tsp. canola oil, divided
1 cup sliced mushrooms
cup matchstick carrots
cup finely sliced green onion
2 large eggs, soft-boiled

1. Combine lentils, water and pepper paste in a small saucepan. Simmer on medium heat, stirring often for 3-5 minutes, or until water is absorbed. Set aside.

2. Heat tsp. oil in a small non-stick sauté pan. Add mushrooms and briefly sauté for 2-3 minutes on high heat until softened. Set aside. Return pan to heat and repeat with bell peppers. Return pan to heat, add carrots, and sauté briefly for 1-2 minutes on medium heat until warm. Set aside.

3. To assemble bowls: Place 1 cup lentils in the center of each bowl. Arrange vegetables around the lentils in equal piles. Top with a soft-boiled egg.

To prepare 2 cups cooked green lentils: Combine cup green lentils with 2-1/4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender. Drain any excess liquid and let cool.

Per serving (1 bowl): 380 calories, 9 g total fat, 2 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 49 g carbohydrates, 18 g dietary fiber, 10 g sugar, 27 g protein, 460 mg sodium, 1086 mg potassium, 410 mcg folate.

Hoisin Turkey & Lentil Lettuce Wraps

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 20 Minutes
Servings: 6


Canola oil, for cooking
1 lb. ground turkey
1 red pepper, cored and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp. fresh ginger, grated

cup cilantro stems, chopped
cup red lentils
1/3 cup hoisin sauce
1 Tbsp. soy sauce (or tamari for a gluten-free option)
2-3 green onions, chopped

1 head butter, romaine or leaf lettuce, chopped

Peanuts, for garnish

Fresh cilantro, for garnish (optional)

1. Heat a drizzle of oil over medium-high heat in a large, heavy skillet. Add the ground turkey and red pepper and cook, breaking up with a spoon until the meat is no longer pink.

2. Add the garlic, ginger, cilantro and lentils and cook, stirring, for a minute.

3. Add 1/3 cup water and simmer for 10 minutes, until the lentils are tender and any excess moisture has evaporated, and the meat has started to brown.

4. Add the hoisin sauce, soy sauce and green onions. Cook for another minute or two, stirring to coat everything well and heat through.

5. Core the head of lettuce, separating the leaves, and serve the turkey-lentil mixture in a bowl, family-style, with lettuce leaves and your choice of garnishes.

Per serving (1/4 cup hoisin turkey): 70 calories, 2 g total fat, 0 g saturated fat, 10 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber, 2 g sugar, 7 g protein, 230 mg sodium, 49 mg potassium, 19 mcg folate.

Double Chocolate Cupcakes with Lentils

Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 45 Minutes
Servings: 18

1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/3 tsp. salt
1 cup canned lentils, rinsed and drained (half of 1-19 oz. can)
cup canola oil
2 large eggs
1-1/2 cups milk
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. instant coffee
3/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup canola oil

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, breaking up any lumps of brown sugar and cocoa.

3. In the bowl of a food processor, pulse lentils, oil, and eggs until well blended; add milk, vanilla, and instant coffee and pulse until smooth. Add to dry ingredients and whisk until combined.

4. Divide batter among paper-lined muffin tins, filling them about full. Bake for 25 minutes, until tops are springy to touch. Tip them a bit in their pans to let the steam escape and help them cool. Cool completely before frosting with your choice of frosting.

Per serving (1 cupcake): 180 calories, 7 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 20 mg cholesterol, 26 g carbohydrates, 2 g dietary fiber, 14 g sugar, 4 g protein, 150 mg sodium, 141 mg potassium, 38 mcg folate.

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