The fun thing with writing about food and nutrition is attending events that feature some of my favourite chefs. Last week that was Food Network host Michael Smith. Smith is well-known for his straightforward approach to home cooking and for supporting local farmers. So it’s not surprising that he agreed to team up with Canadian lentil growers (Saskatchewan is the biggest producer in the world) to produce online videos that feature tips on how to cook and serve lentils, as well as some simple everyday recipes.
Why bother adding more lentils to your diet? These legumes’which come in red, green, black (called beluga) and French varieties’are high in fibre, protein, folate, iron, potassium and manganese. Plus they are low in fat and calories, and take only 15 to 30 minutes to cook, depending on the type you’re using.
One of the dozen of online "webisodes" features Chef Smith providing "sneaky" ways to incorporate an easy-to-make lentil purée into dishes where kids won’t even notice the added nutritional hit, including tomato sauce, soups and’surprisingly’ biscuits and cookies. Another webisode takes you through how to sprout lentils. They then make a crunchy bean-sprout-like addition to salads.
You’ll also want to try some of Best Health’s simple lentil dishes, including our Chicken with Lentil and Carrot Salad, Easy Salmon and Lentil Supper and Lentil and Watercress Salad with Grilled Pork.
Do you have a favourite "sneaky" lentil dish, or just one that just tastes great?