Healthy Vegetarian Recipes:
Honey Baked Lentils

The addition of honey to healthy vegetarian recipes, such as these baked lentils, can elevate the dish to new culinary heights. Even if you previously have not been a big fan of the humble lentil, this recipe could well convert you to its joys. Although this dish takes 90 minutes to cook, it is very easy to prepare, and you can then pretty much forget about it until it is ready to be taken out of the oven.

Lentils were first cultivated in the Mediterranean and near-east regions, but are now popular worldwide. High in protein, they are easy to cook without pre-soaking (unlike most other pulses) and are very easily digested. Lentils contain healthy chemicals that act to neutralize unwanted muscle acids, and also features a fantastic array of minerals required by many of the body's glands and organs.  In many cultures, lentils are used as a food to feed those who are recovering from illness because of their great health-giving properties, but it is not just the sick who can benefit from their riches. Eaten often, lentils can help to keep your body working in optimum condition and prevent the onset of illness.

Honey, as you doubtless know, is created by bees from the sweet nectar they collect from flowers. It is one of the oldest sweeteners used by human beings, and also loved by other mammals such as bears, who will undergo the pain of multiple bee stings in order to get their hands on its sticky sweetness! Although basically a sugar, honey is much better for the body than processed sugar, as its energy is released far more slowly into the body. It can be used externally to treat wounds, and is highly beneficial when eaten, as it nourishes the kidneys and contains many very useful vitamins and minerals. As it is a sugar, over-consumption is not advised, but the addition of small quantities to main courses and desserts, such as in these healthy vegetarian recipes, is definitely recommended. Enjoy!

Photo: Olga Vasileva

Honey Baked Lentils

Yield 4
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 1/2 hours

Ingredients

1 cup lentils
2 cups water
2 tablespoons honey
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon chopped ginger
1 clove chopped garlic
1 chopped onion (small)
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. Combine ingredients in a covered baking dish or pot and place in oven.
  3. Bake until tender, approximately 90 minutes.

This can be served as a soup or over brown rice or quinoa, and can be eaten as either a main dish or a side dish to other healthy vegetarian recipes. You can optionally substitute 1/3 cup of rice or barley for some of the lentils and add winter vegetables such as squash and potatoes.



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