Happy Friday Loves,
I wanted to thank you all for your comments on last Sunday’s blog post. I’m not sure I ever received so many comments on a post, as well as through facebook, and email before! I’m glad it resonated with many. I was definitely nervous about posting it but so glad I did. You’re all amazing. Based on the response I’ll definitely be writing more about this and sharing more about my personal experiences.
Of course I’ll be sharing lots of yummy eats, still!
I’m not sure I’ve ever shared a sandwich on this blog before, so this is an exciting first.
I love lentils so much. I always have.
For years I didn’t eat them because they can be tougher on digestion than other natural foods. Beans and legumes contain both starch and protein which means a slower digestive transit which can mean a higher likelihood of digestive discomforts. For some people with weak digestion, lentils and beans are best to avoid for a period of time while the gut heals.
It’s definitely important to note that lentils are the easiest for most people to digest out of all legumes and beans.
My husband loves lentils, so I never stopped making them, I just stopped eating them for a while! While pregnant I craved them a lot, and for good reason! They are an excellent source of folate (a half cup serving provides about 45% of the recommended daily intake, but if you’re pregnant you’ll want more than that!) and iron. Iron is typically something that pregnant women become very low in, especially around weeks 20-22, when blood volume doubles and many women became anemic and feel very tired as a result. Pregnancy can leave you feeling tired as it is, so being low on iron is something you really don’t want to deal with. It’s also something you don’t want to go into childbirth with, so plenty of iron is imperative during pregnancy. Getting iron from plant based sources can tricky, but lentils are a great source. If you’re looking for an additional iron supplementation, Floradix is the best supplementation. It’s a liquid and will not upset digestion like most iron supplements that are really harsh on the stomach. So harsh, I find I’d rather just be tired from being slightly anemic!
The following recipe is based off of my Spicy Lentils With Tomato and Chipotle . I basically simplified it by making it quicker from start to finish by using red lentils instead of green, which cook in less than half time, and using garlic powder instead of mincing garlic cloves and cooking them in oil.
Curried Red Lentils
1 cup dry red lentils (I get mine in bulk at the health food store, but if you used canned pre-cooked lentils, just be sure they are BPA free)
1 cup marinara (I used a chunky sauce so there were bits of tomato with the lentils, which I adore!)
3 cups vegetable broth (I use Pacific brand low sodium)
3 tbsp curry powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder (alternative, if you don’t mind a little bit of chopping, 1 large leek, sliced)
salt and pepper to taste
If using leeks, heat a tablespoon or two of coconut oil in a sauce pan. Once melted, add leeks and stir around until you can really smell them (mmmm). Then add the marinara, broth, lentils and spices. Bring it all to a boil and then simmer over low heat with a lid on.
This will take only about 20 minutes to cook with red lentils. I use a lot of liquid in this recipe because I like the lentils to be mushy, a bit like refried beans. You can certainly reduce the amount of liquid if you’d like. You may want to reduce the curry powder a bit if you do. If you like a lot of heat, keep all 3 tablespoons!
Now to make your open faced sandwich. Simply spoon some lentils onto a toasted piece of your favorite whole grain bread (I used Alvarado St Bakery’s Sprouted Multigrain loaf, although Ezekiel is another favorite brand of mine), and top with chopped tomato.
Feel free to add some fresh greens, avocado slices, and bell pepper to your open faced sandwich. There really are no rules with this! I kept it simple with just lentils and chopped tomatoes because I enjoyed a HUGE kale salad prior to this. So good.
Nothing is better, I think, than enjoying a nourishing, comforting food that used to be on your list of “bad” foods. It really heals the body and soul. This sandwich was perfection, and will continue to be a freezing cold day staple in our kitchen (we’ve had quite a few of those lately!).
What do you make when you want to be warmed up and comforted by a meal? Please share in the comment section below before I fall into a lentil rut!