Lentils with red beets

The shorter the days become the lesser we want to be outside and the more we need meals that help us fight the winter melancholy. We need to strengthen our immune system to help make the changes and we can do that in lots of ways. One is with a good sleeping pattern the other is with the healthiest foods we know and are available in this season. All the roots provide excellent nutrition and vitamins and lentils are a grate source of iron, protein, vitamin B1, pantothenic acid, zinc, potassium, and vitamin B6. Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are of special benefit in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. But this is far from all lentils have to offer. Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of seven important minerals, our B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. The calorie cost of all this nutrition? Just 230 calories for a whole cup of cooked lentils. This tiny nutritional giant fills you up—not out.

Buy them soak them cook them and enjoy them.

You Need

750 gr or 3-4 raw red beets ( 1 tbsp white vinegar, salt)
225 gr brown or red lentils ( lemon peel, salt)
1/2 red onion, cut in thin slices
radishes, cut in paper thin slices
your choice of a fresh herb: oregano, cilantro, parsley, chervil or all combined, I used oregano


4 tbsp Yuzu*
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp maple sirup
juice from 1/2 lemon 
freshly ground black pepper

red beets

Keep one red beet aside and cook the other 3 in a pot with some salt and a dash of white vinegar for an hour or until tender when pierced. Sometimes it is necessary to add water to the pot if it evaporates too quickly. They should at all times be covered in water so they cook evenly. Let the beets cool. This is easy to prepare ahead, as the beets can be refrigerated for two days until you need them. Peel them and cut them in slices.

Cook the lentils according to the instructions on the package but add a little flavor to the water: a small peel of a lemon and some salt. 

This should take 15- 20 minutes, pour the lentils through a sieve, let them drain well, remove the peel and let them cool.
Marinate the lentils with the help of 3 tbsp of Yuzu, olive oil, salt and pepper. 

With the help of a mandolin or vegetable slicer, cut the raw beet into paper thin slices. 

The 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp yuzu, 2 tbsp maple sirup, lemon juice and salt are well combined.
Now you can add all ingredients to the bowl of the cooled lentils, stirring gently and serve it in a bowl a platter or individual cups, garnished with the red radishes, oregano and another dash of olive oil.

DD Tip:
I personally love the taste of Yuzu and if you are like me, you can add a little more to intensify the aroma, with a little extra maple sirup the balance can be kept easily. 

Lentils with Red Beets

is sold in bottles in Asian food stores and is used in the Japanese and Korean cuisine and since the 21st century chefs use this aroma more and more in the West as well. The fruit resembles a small grapefruit with uneven skin, is rarely eaten on its own, due to its intense taste. We can buy it bottled in liquid form and fermented to vinegar. You will love using it on raw fish or other dressings if you feel adventurous.

Inspired by Ottolenghi