Ensuring how much protein you are getting in the day is important because protein is so important. It is needed for the structure and function of our body including our immune cells, connective tissue, and enzymes that allow body processes to operate. A healthy non-vegetarian adult would need about 0.8g/kg body weight per day in protein and ideally, a healthy vegetarian person with no other health conditions would want to get 1g/kg body weight per day in protein.
If you are non-vegetarian, it probably isn't that hard to get protein into your day but if you are vegan or vegetarian, you probably have a harder time (especially if you don't eat eggs and dislike tofu). French lentils are just one source of protein. Other lentils, beans, and legumes are great sources of protein as well so you don't have to rely on tofu and/or eggs every day. Nuts and seeds are other good sources of protein too.
Here I used Inari Organic French lentils to make this Indian-inspired vegetable daal using some of the spices we traditionally use in making authentic East Indian food. French lentils are also high in fibre and iron (often premenopausal females can have low iron). Fibre helps you have regular bowel movements. As an aside, if you find you get increasingly gassy or bloated with lentils/beans/legumes or other fibrous foods, this could indicate a dysbiosis (bacterial imbalance) of some kind in your gut we need to address before it creates inflammation in your gut and creates other problems.
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: approximately 1 hour
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tsp fresh ginger
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 carrot
- 1 celery
- ½ cup Inari Organic French lentils
- 5 cups of water
- ½ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin-coriander powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp red chili powder
- 1/3 cup crushed tomatoes
- mince the fresh garlic cloves and ginger
- Heat olive oil in a saucepan on the stovetop at medium heat. Add the minced garlic and ginger and let it sizzle for a minute.
- Add the carrots and celery and let those cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add the French lentils, water, turmeric, cumin-coriander, salt, and red chili powders.
- Give it a stir and once it comes to a boil, let it simmer at medium-low heat for 45 minutes until the lentils are tender but not mushy
- Add the crushed tomatoes and let it cook for another 10-15 minutes so the tomatoes can mix with the flavours of the spices.
- Enjoy with chapatti, rice, quinoa or add it on top of some salad to add some protein to your salad
NUTRITION FACTS (recipe): 436kcal | 55g carbs | 13g fibre | 10g sugar | Fat 14g | saturated fat 2g | trans fat 0g | cholesterol 0g | protein 21g | choline 22mg | folate 31ug | Vitamin A 198% DV | Calcium 13% DV | Copper 13% DV | Iron 48% DV | source of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and vitamin E