Lentils are full of nutrients, fibre, carbohydrates and folic acid. For a low calorie, inexpensive protein dish they can’t be beaten. Use them with cereals, eggs, nuts, seeds or meat for a complete protein dish.
Low in fats and cholesterol and extremely high folic acid they are necessary for women of childbearing age and pregnant women. One cup of cooked lentils provides 90% of the recommended daily allowance.
Combine lentils with vegetables like tomatoes, peppers and broccoli which are are high in Vitamin C and so helps the body absorb the iron more efficiently.
Another benefit of lentils is the amount of soluble fibre they contain which is an excellent cleaner for the digestive system.
This spicy sausage and lentil recipe is an easy if not very to cook quick one-pot dish, full of nutrients and a great hearty dish on a cold day.
It tastes even better if it is made in advance and slowly re-heated or cooked in a slow-cooker to bring out the flavour. Try the spiciest, hottest sausages you can find and you’ll be hooked on the simplicity and tastiness of this dish and the best – it’s really economical, healthy and the kids like it too!
Lentils with Spicy Spanish Sausage
- 2 cups lentils, washed and picked clean
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups chicken stock or white wine
- 4 tbs olive oil
- 2 large tomatoes – skinned, de-seeded and chopped
- 2 slices bacon – cut into small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic - crushed
- 6 peppercorns
- 3 bay leaves
- salt to taste
- 1.5 kg spicy chorizo sausages – cut into chunks
- 1 large onion - chopped
- 1 large carrot - diced
- 2 stalks celery - chopped
- 1 red pepper - de-seeded and chopped
In a large saucepan add the lentils, water, wine or stock, oil, tomatoes, bacon, garlic, half the peppercorns, bay leaves, and salt, bring gradually to the boil and then lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer for about ½ hour.
Add the sausage chunks, onion, carrot, celery, pepper and bay leaves to the pan and simmer for a further 30 minutes.
Serve with some fresh crusty wholemeal bread and heaps of crunchy green vegetables.
Lentils and sausages are often combined and served New Year's Day in Italy as lentils are meant to symbolize money; it’s believed that eating them will bring a year of prosperity and good luck.