Okay, I’m fully aware that lentils aren’t the most sexy topic of conversation. And, that I could spend an equal amount of effort saying “Love Your Body!” or “Love Your Life!” or “Love Ryan Gosling!” … but the truth is, you should love your lentils. In fact, they’re what top chefs and epicureans refer to as a “Hidden Healthy Superstar”.
Did You Know?
Out of all plant-based foods, lentils contain the most folate.
Their exceptionally low glycemic index (low GI) values and resistant starch content make them suitable for a diabetic diet.
Lentils are naturally gluten-free, making them a delicious staple in a gluten-free kitchen.
They are high in complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories.
And… they’re delish! A staple in so many Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines, lentils are progressively making a transition from side dish to star attraction. But don’t take my word for it – Chef Michael Smith, one of Canada’s most celebrated chefs (The Inn Chef, Chef at Home, Chef at Large and Chef Abroad) wants you to #LoveLentils too – and you can win BIG!
Here’s the scoop: Visit www.loveyourlentils.ca, where notable chefs across Canada have submitted their best dishes featuring the famed legume. Then, simply vote for your favourite (you can do this once per day!) and you’ll be entered to win this faboosh prize:
“On Saturday, August 4th, Food Day Canada, one very lucky voter and guest will join Chef Michael Smith for a culinary adventure on and off Prince Edward Island as he sets sail with a bag of lentils and a boatful of local farmers, fishers, distillers and culinary artisans. Gather a bounty of special ingredients with him from his favourite farms, distilleries and oyster beds. Then join him as he prepares a feast of unique local ingredients paired with the world’s best lentils and celebrates his personal Food Day Canada!”
What’s Included: Flight/transportation to Prince Edward Island for August 4th, 2012; 2 nights accommodation (August 3rd/4th) at the luxurious Inn at Bay Fortune; and $500 spending money for the trip.
Holy Hannah! At this point I’m weeping that I’ll be in New York that weekend, drat! Would trade NY cabs for PEI crabs any day. And a chance to hang with Chef Michael Smith? I used to watch “Inn Chef” while in university; while I was trying to wrap my head around Statistics 101, he’d be in the background sautéing scallops in brown butter. Today, while I can barely recall the ins and outs of hypothesis testing, I do know how to sear the perfect scallop. Translation: Best peripheral education EVER.
So what are you waiting for? #LoveLentils and Vote for Your Favourite Today!
In the meantime, if you’ve got long weekend BBQ on the brain, why not try this Lentil Burger, submitted by Chef Rémi Cousyn of Saskatchewan:
2 cups du Puy lentils
3 large onions, finely chopped
3 ½ tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp ground coriander
1 tbsp herbes de Provence
2 tbsp cornstarch
1/3 cup olive oil, for frying
Cook lentils until tender in boiling salted water, about 20 minutes.
Sauté the onions in the olive oil on medium heat until lightly brown, add the garlic, spices and herbs and sauté for 3 more minutes.
Process the lentils in a food processor until a medium meal is obtained. Add the lentils to the onions and cook for 3 or 4 minutes on medium heat. Transfer the lentil mix to a bowl and add the cornstarch. Mix thoroughly. The mix will get slightly sticky.
Shape into patties (12 to 16 depending on size). Fry the patties with olive oil in a cast iron pan as needed or freeze for future use.
This post is sponsored by Canadian Lentils. The opinions on this blog are my own. And, I happen to #LoveLentils.