Basil-Coriander Vinaigrette in Vegetable Green Lentils For Healthy Heart

Hello Substantial Living!

So for those of you who know me, I LOVE lentils.  I eat them Indian style, American style, ANY style.  They are literally one of my favorite foods of all time.  Luckily they are fairly easy to make, and are good for you, and really tasty as a curry, soup, or salad.  This recipe has evolved with me inspired by Smitten Kitchen whose inspiration came from the Polpo cookbook from London, and the Basil-Coriander Vinaigrette is DIVINE and so easy to make.  This can be served as a “salad” appetizer or it can be a main dish-either way, it will make everyone happy and healthy.

Since Valentine’s Day is on the horizon, and we can always use more heart-centered food, health and talk in our life…I thought this would be perfect! Let’s first quickly talk about why green lentils are good for our heart.

Science:

  • Brain Food:  Filled with folate, a B vitamin shown to help boost brain power.
  • Brain Food:  Folate also plays a role in decreasing levels of amino acids that can impair brain functioning.
  • Heart -Fiber Connection:  A study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine confirms that eating high fiber foods, such as lentils, helps prevent heart disease. Almost 10,000 American adults participated in this study and were followed for 19 years. People eating the most fiber, 21 grams per day, had 12% less coronary heart disease (CHD) and 11% less cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those eating the least, 5 grams daily.

Design:

Ingredients:

    • 1 1/2 cups dried lentils de puy or other small green lentils
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 2 medium zucchinis,  diced
    • 1/2 medium eggplant, diced
    • 1 small or 1/2 medium yellow onion, diced
    • Leaves from 5 fresh sprigs thyme
    • 1 jalapeno chilli, diced
    • 3 large garlic cloves, minced
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • Few sprigs of fresh coriander leaves

BASIL-CORIANDER VINAIGRETTE

  • 1 1/4 cups fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons whole grain French Dijon mustard, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of ground
  • 1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons red or white wine vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook lentils: Pick over and rinse lentils. Place them in a medium saucepan and cover with 3 inches of cold water, seasoned well with salt. Simmer the lentils over medium heat for 25 to 30 minutes, until firm-tender. Drain and set aside.  Don’t over-cook them, make sure they are “al dente”

Meanwhile, make vinaigrette: Blend basil, ground coriander, mustard and vinegar together in a food processor. With machine running, drizzle in olive oil in a thin stream. Season well with salt and black pepper. You’ll need to scrape the machine down a few times to get all of the leaves minced. No food processor? Very finely mince leaves on a cutting board with a sharp knife. Place in medium bowl and whisk with mustard and vinegar. Drizzle in olive oil in a thin stream, whisking the whole time. Season well with salt and pepper.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add zucchini, eggplant, onion, thyme, jalapeño, salt and pepper and cooking, stirring frequently, until softened and just barely picking up color, about 9 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add cooked lentils back to pan and stir to mix and re-warm; you can add a splash of water if they’re sticking. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Assemble: Transfer lentil-vegetable mixture to a large, wide serving bowl and stir in 2/3 of vinaigrette. Drizzle with a little extra vinaigrette, a few pinches of sea salt and a couple extra grinds of black pepper. Scatter basil leaves and coriander leave over and dig in.  This recipe itself is vegan.

If you would like,  adding half cut buretta cheese or 1 tablespoon of creme fraiche or even free  yogurt with give the recipe a creamier flavor.  Good both ways though!!  XO

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