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Lentils don't need pre-soaking, and rank among the healthiest and most versatile “starch” foods for myriad meals.
Actually, “starch” is a misleading way to describe lentils. These delightful little bean-cousins are low in digestible (i.e., fattening) carbohydrates, but rich in fiber, antioxidants, and “resistant” starch, which stabilizes blood sugar levels and keeps them that way for almost a full day after being consumed.
These strong nutritional attributes would explain why diets rich in legumes such as beans and lentils are associated with radically reduced risk of heart disease and diabetes.
Use regular brown or green lentils, or the French du Puy lentils many diners prefer for the special legume's peppery notes and firm, toothsome texture.
Salmon or Halibut with Almond Herb Crust
1 recipe Lentils and Spinach (optional, see recipe below)
2 (6 oz each) wild Alaskan Salmon or Halibut fillets
3 tablespoons organic raw almonds
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive or macadamia nut oil
2 tablespoons fine dry whole grain bread crumbs
1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons fresh basil and/or flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded organic lemon peel
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 teaspoon bottled minced garlic)
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground organic black pepper
Prepare Lentils & Spinach side dish, if desired, before preparing the fish.
- Preheat oven to 450 F.
- Rinse fish, pat dry and set aside. In a bowl, combine almonds, butter, oil, bread crumbs, Parmesan, basil, lemon peel, garlic and black pepper. Place fish on the greased rack of a broiler pan. Spoon nut mixture on top of fillets; spread slightly. Bake fish in a 450 F oven for 4‒6 minutes per 1/2 inch thickness, or until fish flakes easily with a fork.
- Serve each piece of fish on a bed of the lentils and spinach.
14 oz low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup lentils, washed and drained
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
Organic bay leaf
1/4 cup each finely chopped onion and carrot (optional)
2 cups spinach, chopped coarsely
- Combine lentils and other ingredients in a medium saucepan. Bring to boiling; reduce heat and cook, covered, 25 minutes or until lentils are just tender enough to enjoy.
- Add 2 cups coarsely chopped spinach and cover; cook 1 minute more or just until spinach wilts. Remove bay leaf, drain any remaining liquid, and serve.