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Lentil Puttanesca the perfect healthy summer salad

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Lentils, a small but nutritionally mighty member of the legume family, are a very good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up--not out.

You can prepare lentils thousands of ways, but these bold flavors makes this one of my favorites. It's so versatile since you can make it year round, though garden fresh tomoatoes and herbs take it to the next level!

Lentil Puttanesca

  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onion, approximately 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons capers
  • 1/4 cup, rough chopped pitted kalamata olives
  • 1 teaspoon minced anchovies or anchovy paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup diced canned Italian style tomatoes (or fresh tomatoes when in season)
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Directions

In a small saucepan, over medium heat, add 1 cup of water and 1/2 cup rinsed lentils. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes. Drain and set aside.

Place olive oil in the same pot in which the lentils were cooked. When the oil is hot add the onions, capers, olives and anchovies. Stir often until the onions are just starting to caramelize. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute for 2 minutes more. Stir in the tomatoes, red wine vinegar.Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the lentils and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.

"Summer afternoon - summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most

beautiful words in the English language." - Henry James

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