I live off buddha bowls most days. As a busy mama, I need quick throw-together meals that don’t require much cooking or recipes to follow. These super easy spiced lentils can be batch made and then thrown onto a buddha bowl, on top of a salad, or as a taco filling.
Not to spiced for the kiddos and a meal they enjoy as well!
A little confession, some days I am so busy I end up eating them right from the bowl while standing in front of my fridge. The door closed of course because I’m not a monster (wink wink).
Since lentils are so good for your health, I decided to throw in a bit of research, down below, cuz that’s how my nerd brain roll.
Oh and so you don’t leave empty-handed scroll down for the recipe for these easy spiced lentils! And for more easy lentil recipes check out (this easy lentil bolognese sauce, or this wickedly easy vegan lasagna)
Lentils contain a good amount of protein and NON-protein antinutritional factors. While many people worry about the negative effects these antinutrients have, recent research suggests we don’t have as much to worry about as initially thought.
FUN FACT: did you know that eating just 5 raw kidney beans could kill you!
Phytic acid is a small molecule that is found in legumes, grains seeds, and nuts. It is often criticized because of its powerful mineral, protein, and starch binding properties. When e eat foods high in phytic acid, the bioavailability of these nutrients is decreased (7).
However, our small intestine has the ability to produce phytase, an enzyme that can break down phytic acid. Recent studies suggest that diets rich in foods containing phytic acid can prompt extra production of phytase (8). Isn’t our gut a wondrous thing!
More importantly, dietary phytic acid is actually believed to have a protective and health-promoting effect within our bodies. It is a powerful antioxidant (9), has protective effects against cancer and heart disease and may be responsible for the cancer-protective effects known from consuming high-fiber foods (5, 10, 9).
Iron and zinc are critical elements for many biological and metabolic processes, such as carbohydrate, lipid and protein synthesis, degradation and plasma membrane stabilization (5). Vegan diets are often criticized for being low in iron and zinc!
Lucky for us plant-eaters, lentils have a significant amount of iron and zinc. Just 1 cup of cooked lentils provides roughly 50-60% of your daily recommended iron intake and 80% of your daily recommended zinc intake (2).
Research has found an association between the consumption of lentils and low rates of heart disease (12, 2). It seems that eating foods rich in folate and fiber (like lentils specifically) help reduce cholesterol blood levels, LDL, and triglycerides (12)
Plant lectins and phytic acid are a unique group of proteins and glycoproteins with potent biological activity. Lectins have been associated with reducing certain types of cancer, activating innate defense mechanisms and managing obesity (4). Since lentils are high in lectin, lentils are suggested to be an important food for preventing certain cancers (2, 13, 14).
Recent discoveries of a plant lectin called ‘defensin’ have shown promising resulting in its ability to halt tumorigenesis due to its ability to block ion channels and protein translation (15).
Lentils are also a good food option for managing diabetes. Due to its low glycemic index and high fiber content, lentils can help attenuate post-meal spikes in blood sugar (2).
Probably my favorite reason for loving lentils! They require a short cooking time when compared to other pulses or legumes. They do not necessarily need to be soaked and can even be prepared in the Microwave.
Ok now that this post is super long and SEO hates me, let’s move on tot he recipe shall we…
Easy spiced lentils are super nutricious and delicious. Perfect to meal prep and throw onto a buddha bowl, salad or as a taco filling.
2 cups cooked lentils, brown or french lentils
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs veggie bouillon ( I like this one) **
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1.4 tsp salt
Juice of one lime
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Until then, tchau