A few times a year, I start to feel that old familiar slump in my energy levels. It usually occurs after a particularly stressful time or if I’ve fallen off the healthy eating train. My hair falls out by the handfuls and my mood is complete garbage. The lightbulb goes off after I start to get a strange, yet signature craving for fried clams. Ding dong. My iron is low again.
It’s tough being a girl sometimes.
But it’s much less tough when you know those levels can bump back up with a few small additions into our diet. Lentils are a go-to for quick reversal because they are one of the richest natural sources of iron that the body absorbs extremely well. Plus, I would much rather eat some DELICIOUS lentils than take a supplement with not so pleasant side effects. When I say delicious, I mean, I-could-eat-these-every-day-delicious. I have had enough trial and error with lentils to know that they can be incredibly dull and tasteless if not cooked the correct way. They can also take half your life to cook. If you thought waiting for water to boil was painful, try making the wrong lentils. After several tries and tweaks, this variation is truly the best and doesn’t take all day. I like to cook them in a cast iron skillet too, as the pan actually helps release substantially more iron into the food. As if the lentils were awesome enough by themselves, we take them to another level with fresh pico and a nice hefty sprinkling of queso fresco. Iron absorption is best when eaten with other foods high in vitamin C, like tomatoes and citrus, so this perfect flavor pairing is also a perfect vitamin/mineral partnership. Don’t you just love it when some foods are really just delicious medicine for your body and soul!
With much love from my table to yours,
Do you LOVE tomatoes? Check out these SOUTHERN STYLE SHRIMP N GRITS!!
The BEST Lentils (seriously...the BEST!!)
A delicious iron rich meal topped with fresh pico di gallo and queso fresco. Perfect for a cool fall or winter day!
- 1/2 large white onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- olive oil for saute
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1 large carrot, grated approx 1 cup
- 1 can diced green chilies 4 oz
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 lime juiced
- 2 tsp himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 cups Red Lentils I use Bob's Red Mill
- 3-5 cups Low fat Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- PICO DI GALLO
- 1 large tomato diced
- 1/4 large white onion diced
- 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
- 1/2 lime juiced
- 1 tsp salt
- TOPPINGS PER SERVING
- 2-3 tbsp Pico Di Gallo
- 1 oz queso fresco
Saute onion and garlic in a swirl of olive oil for 2-3 min or until fragrant and onion starts to tenderize. Add tomato, carrot, chilies, cumin, lime, salt, lentils and 2 cups broth. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Add more broth 1/2 cup at a time as it is absorbed until lentils reach the right consistency. This takes about 30 minutes. They should just lose their chewiness, but not become too mushy.
While lentils are cooking, make pico by adding all ingredients together and set aside to marinate.
When lentils are done, top with 2-3 tablespoons fresh pico and 1 oz queso fresco. Serve warm and enjoy!
For a delicious flavor twist, top lentils with a fried egg before adding toppings. SOOOO GOOD!! :D
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