Lentil with lemon salad gives these wonderful but largely flavourless protein-rich legumes a piquant taste. Let us be honest; without some help they are not a food you would normally recommend.
However both the demands of a planet that must survive the onslaught of mankind, and a people who have no desire to die from the dread diseases associated with red meat, make it sensible to eat more legumes; that means beans, peas and lentils.
Added to that the lemon gives your supper a boost, not only in flavour, but also because it is rich in vitamin C, one of the four that are essential if we are to avoid frailty syndrome.
The beauty of lentils is that unlike other dried legumes, being tiny, they take only a few minutes to cook.
Pepperdews are our favourite because they are easy to grow, with some bite but they will not blow your head off. Cut out most of the seeds if you do not like hot chilli; but that is where much of the anti-inflammatory capsaicin is to be found. We enjoy them daily to spice up our legumes.
Growing peppadews is not difficult. They bear for months.
Citrus fruits such as lemon and lime are the richest source of vitamin C. Once they have been pasteurised and turned into OJ they lose more than half of their value.
The old saying was the first thing to do when moving into a new home was to plant a lemon sapling. It still holds. One tree will provide you with several hundred fruit per annum for thirty years or more. Just price them at the supermarket and do some simple mathematics; it is a far better investment than the fickle stock exchange.
More important lemons and limes provide strong support for our immune systems, so important at this time of the Covid-19 epidemic; you will eat a lot more of them if you have them growing in your garden.
Our supper tonight consisting of lentil with lemon salad, avocado and hummus may look like a dog's breakfast, but the flavour and nutrition is overwhelmingly fine. Add some wholemeal bread, a tablespoon of tomato relish and perhaps some feta cheese and you have a full meal.
One third of a cup of lentils contains only 13g of complex carbohydrate and 6g of fibre, a quarter of your daily requirement according to the American Heart Association.
I love my food and dishes like this are low in carbohydrate so I do not have to hold back.
Legumes have vast benefits for both ourselves and the planet. They are a rich source of plant protein, enabling us to reduce our reliance on red meat. They are a good source of fibre, an indigestible starch that feeds the so-important microbiota in our colons and helps with the passage of the stool, reducing constipation and the risk of colorectal malignant disease.
They are a good source of minerals including iron. Whenever donating blood I am a little anxious about my haemoglobin levels since I eat so little red meat, but, no, it is never a problem.
There are some concerns about so-called antinutrients; phytates, lectins and tannins that inhibit the absorption of minerals. Fortunately most of them can be removed by soaking, rinsing several times and boiling your legumes. Learn more about this topic at cooking chickpeas, one of our favourites that we enjoy every single day. They are a very inexpensive source of protein.
Personally with the exception of lentils and chickpeas we prefer green legumes; they have far fewer lectins, are quick to cook and are far tastier in my opinion. So we grow them year-round in our mild climate and enjoy them daily. Young broad beans straight from the garden are probably my favourite, not least because they play such an important role in preventing and treating Parkinson's disease. Interestingly they are eaten in all four blue zones of the planet where most folk live into strong and vital old age.
I said at the beginning of this paragraph that legumes unlike cattle are good for the planet; nitrogen fixation bacteria attach to their roots improving the quality of our soils; they require one tenth of the water needed to provide red meat.
I think we should acknowledge that legumes are not renowned for their great flavour; we eat them because they are good for us. Generally they do need a little help from lemon juice, garlic and peppers to make them more palatable. I always say in my talks that we have been hoodwinked into thinking we need enjoy only those foods that we find absolutely scrumptious; that is why we are so nutrientally deficient and sickly and why chronic, inflammatory and malignant disease are so prevalent.
Eat more legumes like this lentil with lemon salad.
"Do not eat any refined carbs, period."
Researchers have found that the Atkins diet was the most effective of four chosen. They reported that participants found it extremely difficult to adhere to a low carbohydrate diet for a long period, however they could manage avoiding refined starches.
For example, 100% whole meal bread and corn on the cob would be allowed, but supermarket loaves and what South Africans call mealie-meal is not.
The AMA reports that those who simply added one cup of beans to their diet every day, with no other restrictions, lost on average 5.7 pounds in three months.
Enjoy your lentil with lemon salad and a cup of this spicy ginger tea recipe on the side. You enjoy these wonderful foods you must have ready access to citrus fruit; plant one today if you live in a mild climate. Read more from our tree planting help page.
Always include the pulp with your lemon for the lentil salad, and other dishes; that is where at least half the nutrition is to be found.
Read more about how to avoid the dreaded frailty syndrome; nobody wants to be old before their time, and there are some simple things you can do to prevent it.
Whilst we are not vegetarians, we do believe that getting much of our protein from legumes is essential both for ourselves and the planet. We call it the cyan zone lifestyle; a mixture of green and blue.
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