Red lentils are rich in protein and iron with beneficial dietary fibres, folate and vitamin B too. Due to their high levels of slowly digested starch they are great for diabetics and come in many forms from with or without skin, split or whole and range in size, colour and taste from brown to green, black, red and yellow. As a vegetarian they are a huge part of my diet and I adore adding them to curries, soups and homemade burgers.
This is a delicious and wholesome summer lunch that you can really get stuck into, my inner cavewoman loves eating food with my hands, dribbling it down my chin and licking my fingers when I’m done. Food is love and boy oh boy do I love my food. This is certainly a dish that leaves you wanting more, feeling fresh and healthy and keeping that bikini body in shape.
First of all I start by bringing a pan of red split lentils to the boil and simmer on a low to medium heat until they have changed to a pale yellow colour, this usually takes half an hour or so. Whilst my lentils are lightly bubbling away I peel and chop my vegetables into a pan. As always the ingredients of a dish really depend on what’s in my fridge drawer, so today I used a stick of celery, one carrot, a couple of mushrooms, a single sweet yellow pepper, an inch of root ginger, a handful of mangetout and a good shake of dried coriander seeds. I drizzle over a splash of extra virgin olive oil, crumble in a vegetable stock cube and lightly fry until they just start to turn soft.
Once the lentils have changed from red to yellow I strain them in a sieve and rinse with water to remove any starch before adding them to the pan with the vegetables. I top it up with a little water to loosen the thickness of the lentils and add a very generous splash of dark soy sauce. Soy sauce is a great alternative to using salt to season and tastes amazing with lentils. I have a cool garlic salt and dried chilli flake grinder mill in my spice rack and add a few clicks to the pot to give it a bit of heat whilst the flavours infuse for several more minutes.
I plate up a baby leaf green salad and flour tortilla wrap, add a couple of scoops of my veggie lentils and top with sesame seeds for texture and a sprig of fresh basil out of the garden and oh em gee is it divine! The thick, creamy lentils, sweet carrot and yellow pepper are balanced beautifully by the kick of chilli flakes, bold coriander seeds and salty dark soy. The sesame seeds add a subtle contrasting texture, and the freshly picked garden basil a light and fragrant twist. Once you’ve made a batch of lentils you can keep them in the fridge so that you can have a wrap within minutes and they freeze well too. I like to pile the salad leaves into the wrap, fold it over, pick it up with my hands and eat it like a hungry shark. It is beyond mouth watering and I want more now just writing this!