Food for Thought Column: Prepare nutritious, tasty fall dishes

Reading Time: 2 minutes

(NC) We all want to feed our family healthy, nutritious food. One nourishing and budget-friendly pantry staple is pulses, a category of crops commonly grown in Canada that includes lentils, beans, peas and chickpeas.

A new Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada research study shows that the nutritional value of pulses can be enhanced through processing methods. In turn, these nutrient-rich pulses can be used to improve the health benefits of other foods we love to eat.

For example, scientists are experimenting with adding pulse ingredients to bread, cookies, muffins and pasta that can contribute to improved gut health and stabilized blood sugar levels. They would also be available to people with gluten sensitivities.

Until these superfoods hit the market, try this delicious lentil patty for a nutritious meat alternative.

Lentil and Feta Patty

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

1 cup (200g ) Canadian lentils, green or brown
2 cups (500 mL) water
1 clove of garlic, crushed
½ celery stalk
3 tbsp (30 g) white onion, diced
1/3 (100 g) feta cheese, diced
3 tbsp (25 g) red pepper, diced
1 green onion, minced
3 tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, divided
3 sprigs oregano, chopped
2 tbsp (30 g) flour
1 egg
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Rinse lentils in cold water. Place them in a suitable-sized saucepan along with the water, garlic, celery and white onion. Bring to a boil; skim if necessary. Cook covered on low heat. When lentils are tender, add salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Be careful not to overcook; the lentils must remain intact. Drain and set aside to cool.
While cooking the lentils, sauté red pepper and green onion in 15 mL (1 tbsp) of olive oil until lightly browned. Turn off heat and add oregano.

In a bowl, combine lentils, cooked vegetables, egg, flour and feta. Mix thoroughly. Shape patties and cook them in a hot frying pan, using remaining olive oil. Brown evenly on both sides.

Find more information online at agr.gc.ca/discoveragriculture.

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