Beth Baldino, MSW, CHHC
Certified Holistic Health Counselor
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Recipe: Spiced Lentils

Beans are a rich source of protein, fiber, minerals including iron, potassium, and magnesium, and vitamins like folate. They also contain phytochemicals like flavonoids, anti-oxidants that help the body avoid oxygen-related damage. Their health benefits include blood-sugar maintenance, cancer-prevention, and promoting heart health. Beans can also play an important role in weight management, as they provide lots of satisfying “bulk” without a lot of calories.

Lentils are a particularly good source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They are also provide special benefits in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. They also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein-all with virtually no fat.

And the spices in this dish provide more than amazing flavor. Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices, known for it’s anti-diabetic and anti-inflammatory properties. Coriander is also being studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Cumin seeds are a very good source of iron and known to benefit to the digestive system. Cumin seeds may also have anti-carcinogenic properties due to their potent free radical scavenging abilities as well as an ability to enhance the liver’s detoxification enzymes.

Like all bean and vegetable salads, this dish can be served warm as a side, cold on lettuce, or in a wrap with some lettuce or sprouts or tomatoes or all of the above. When I have a few of these types of salads in the refrigerator along with a pot of grains that will last several days — I can easily eat well for days with plates of various combinations that are satisfying, delicious, and will give me a stable and sustained energy.

Spiced Lentils


1 cup green or brown lentils
2 1 /2 cups of water
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, diced
3 stalks celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
Sea salt
Parsley, minced


  1. Prepare lentils by rinsing with cold water and checking for rocks or broken beans. Add to water and cook for 30-45 minutes, using bay leaves,  until beans are tender. Add 1 teaspoon of sea salt about 5-10 minutes before beans are done.
  2. Sauté onion, carrot, celery, garlic and spices for 5-7 minutes.
  3. Mix sautéed veggies with cooked lentils and garnish with parsley.

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