I’ve been trying out different sources of protein, especially since my older daughter has declared herself to be vegetarian. The husband and I have started working out more regularly during lockdown so a cleaner and more sustainable diet has been helpful to keep our results in check.
The husband is a big fan of lentils because of the host of benefits it brings. Usually, I use them for traditional recipes like Dahl and lentil soup which isn’t as exciting, to be honest. Given that lentil itself can be quite versatile and quick to cook, I substituted meat for lentil in our family favourite Pad Kra Pao or Thai Basil Stir-fry. The end result was a huge success! The husband ate 2 large portions of it that evening, and more for supper later that night. I omitted chilli padi for the kids’ portion which was equally tasty.
Lentils are a part of the legume family and come in red, brown, black, and green. They are considered a pulse. Pulses contain almost no fat and they come in many shapes. For this recipe, I used USA red lentils which are split, making it quick and easy to prepare. One of the many benefits of using lentils is the accessibility use to the low cost while providing high levels of protein and fiber. Each kilo of dried lentils can make about 15-20 portions!
These USA pulses are also earth-friendly and sustainable. Farming sustainably means encouraging biodiversity, conserving scarce water resources, and building healthy soil through techniques like composting and planting cover crops. In short, really taking care of the crops and the earth. Making Sustainable foods friendlier for the environment and healthier for you.
“The American Public Health Association (APHA) defines a sustainable food system as: one that provides healthy food to meet current food needs while maintaining healthy ecosystems that can also provide food for generations to come with minimal negative impact to the environment.” – Wikipedia
Nutritional facts: Lentils are made up of over 25% protein, making them an excellent meat alternative. They are also loaded with iron & folate which is essential for our red blood cells. Being a fiber rich food, it helps to improve blood sugar, regulate bowel movement and promote the growth of healthy gut bacteria. The phytochemicals in lentils improve heart health, lower cholesterol and protect us from type 2 diabetes. With all these health benefits, it’s about time to add this superfood to our diet. Let’s start cooking!
Thai Basil Lentil
- ¾ cup red lentil
- 1 cup Thai Basil leaves
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 shallot diced
- 120 g haricot
- 3 chilli padi sliced
- ½ red pepper sliced
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp cooking oil
- 1 ½ tsp brown sugar
- 1 tbsp kicap manis
- 2 tbsp soy sauce or fish sauce
- 1 tbsp dark soy sauce
- 3 tbsp water
- Dash of white pepper
- Boil ¾ cup lentil in water with ½ tsp salt over medium-low heat for 10 minutes.
- Drain and rinse with tap water, then set aside.
- Mix all the ingredients for the sauce in a bowl and set aside.
- Heat pan over medium-high heat with 2 tbsp of cooking oil.
- Cook red pepper until soften.
- Add shallot, chilli padi & garlic to cook until shallot is soft & translucent.
- Add haricot beans to cook for a minute.
- Pour in drained lentils and sauce mixture.
- Stir-fry until combined and remove from heat.
- Stir in Thai basil leaves and serve immediately.
This post was made possible by USA Dry Pea and Lentil Council