Spotlight on Heart Healthy Lentils

Ode to Lentils

Oh lentils, how we love thee! You economical, quick-cooking, legume you! Full of fiber and protein. Great for heart and digestive health. You are so very versatile. A dreamy match for soups, stews, pasta sauces, salads and us! Tell us, what would you add to this lentil love letter?

What Are Lentils?

Lentils are edible seeds from the legume family and come in a variety of colors like brown, green, red, yellow and black. Like other members of the legume family, lentils grow in pods. Lentils are a food staple in many countries. Lentils are easy to cook. Unlike many other legumes, they don’t require any prior soaking and can be cooked in less than 30 minutes.

Need a recipe to try these heart-healthy stars? Try our recipe for Vegetable Tomato Lentil Soup with Parmesan. To reduce sodium in the recipe and make this a heart healthy dish, we used water instead of broth. The parmesan cheese adds enough saltiness, and the squeeze of lemon brightens all the flavors without additional salt.

Soups and broths can be a hidden landmine for sodium. Products labeled with phrases like “less sodium” can still have a lot of sodium and defeat your best efforts to moderate your intake. Look at the back of the label for the Nutrition Facts and see how they compare to your goals.

Vegetable Tomato Lentil Soup with Parmesan

Ingredients:

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 cup Carrot, small diced (about one large carrot)

1 cup Celery, small diced (about one large stalk)

1 cup Yellow Onion, small diced (about ½ large onion)

3 cups Water

1 14.5oz can No-Salt Added Diced Tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

1 cup dry Red Lentils, sorted & rinsed

1 cup Zucchini, sliced thin in quarters (about one small zucchini)

¾ cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese

1 lemon, wedged

Fresh Ground Black Pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  1. Heat a large soup pan over medium heat.

  2. Then, add the olive oil.

  3. Next, sauté carrots, celery, and onion for about 5 minutes. Until the onions are just starting to look golden.

  4. Add the water & diced tomatoes. Bring to a simmer.

  5. Add in the lentils and zucchini.

  6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are tender.

  7. Portion into bowls for serving.

  8. Garnish with parmesan cheese, a squeeze of lemon juice & fresh ground black pepper.

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