Nutrition at a glance
-Lentils are rich in vegetable protein. Though regular lentils are lacking two essential amino acids, sprouted lentils contain sufficient amounts of all essential amino acids.
-Lentils are rich in various micronutrients, including iron and potassium – both of which are essential for active people. Potassium is a key electrolyte essential for many biological functions, and iron is a key component of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to body cells.
-Lentils are a great source of complex carbohydrates and fiber.
Superfoods are all the rage these days. And they should be, as many foods dubbed “super” offer important micro- and phytonutrients many of us are generally lacking in our day-to-day diets. But superfoods are not always the most functional foods, particularly for the person that lives an active lifestyle.
Leafy green vegetables like kale and collards do not contain significant amounts of calories from carbohydrate, fat, or protein, which are absolutely needed to give the body the energy it needs to perform and recover (let’s be clear, quite a large segment of the population should probably sub-in lower-calorie food options a few more times a week). In order to fuel an active, calorie-dependent lifestyle, you would have to eat quite a bit of kale. I look at these foods as supplying the nutrient-backbone to my diet, and try to eat them with every meal as a way to add nutrition over the top of more functional foods that supply larger amounts of carbs and protein.
Lentils on the other hand are one of the more functional foods out there – with a micronutrient benefit. Compared to many other plant based foods, they have an incredible amount of protein relative to carbohydrates. Lentils have a varied spectrum of micronutrients, too, particularly the minerals we lose through sweat like potassium, as well as iron. Iron is important for athletes, but also very important for anyone, especially women who may not eat significant amounts of iron-rich red meats. And lentils taste great (in my opinion anyway). Look to make lentils a regular part of fueling your active lifestyle.
-4 six ounce salmon filets, seasoned with salt and pepper
-3/4 cup green lentils
-1/4 cup arborio rice
-10 radishes, chopped 1/2 inch
-1/2 yellow onion, diced
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-2 T fresh parsley, chopped
-2 T chopped briny black olives
-Olive oil, salt, pepper
Optional: Pecorino Romano cheese
Total time: 35 minutes
Combine the lentils and rice and cook according to lentil package instructions.
Heat olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add onions and cook about 4 minutes. Add garlic and radishes and cook about 2-3 minutes, stirring often. Stir in cooked lentils to onion-radish saute, then mix in chopped parsley. If desired, mix in shaved Pecorino Romano cheese to taste.
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat about a tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Add salmon filets, skin side up, and cook about 2-3 minutes. Flip and transfer to heated oven and cook about 4-5 minutes.
Place salmon filets over bed of cooked lentils and top with chopped. Top with chopped olives.
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Recipe ID: 1709