Lentils are rich in vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibers. They are a good source for iron, which is responsible for transporting the oxygen throughout the body, and essential in the production of red blood cells.
Although the iron on lentils are non-heme, meaning the body doesn’t absorb very well, lentils are also rich in vitamin C, which helps boost the absorption of iron. Because of this combination, lentils are one of the ideal iron sources for vegetarians.
Lentils are also essential for a healthy diet and for weight loss, as they’re rich in protein and fibers, low in fat and calories. One cup of cooked lentils contains around 6.6mg of iron, 230 to 250 calories, leaving one feeling full and satisfied.
Below is a method that you can use to incorporate lentils into your day to day meals. It is a famous dish in the Middle East, served mostly as the main dish, usually with a side of salad or plain yogurt.
Mjadara – rice with lentils
Preparation time: forty-five minutes
Servings: three servings
- Two cup of lentils
- One cup of rice
- One large onion
- Two garlic cloves
- Vegetable oil to fry the onion
- Salt for taste
- Wash and boil the lentils in four cups of water.
- After it’s been boiling for about ten to twelve minutes, add the salt, finely chopped garlic and the rice.
- When the water is level with the rice and lentils, turn the heat to low and cover the pot.
- In a saucepan fry the now sliced onions with the vegetable oil and let it golden.
- Make sure the rice and lentils are well cooked and no water remains in the pot. If rice or lentils still need more cooking, add about a quarter of a cup of boiling water and cover the pot again.
- Place the cooked rice and lentils in a glass bowl and decorate it with the golden onion.
- Serve with salad or yogurt.