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Seared shrimp atop simmered lentils with baby arugula.

Seared shrimp atop simmered lentils with baby arugula. Photo Credit: Marge Perry

SEARED SHRIMP, LENTILS AND ARUGULA

3 tablespoons oil, divided

4 cloves garlic, very thinly sliced lengthwise

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1⁄4 cups)

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 cup brown lentils

2 1⁄2 cups water

3⁄4 teaspoon salt, divided

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (5-ounce) container baby arugula

1 pound large shrimp, peeled

1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika

 

1. Combine 2 tablespoons of the oil and the garlic in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until the garlic is golden, about 5 minutes. Transfer the garlic to a plate lined with paper towel.

2. Add the onion, cumin and coriander to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes until the lentils are cooked through but not mushy. Season with 1⁄2 teaspoon of the salt and the black pepper. Working in several batches, stir in the arugula, waiting until it is wilted before adding the next batch. When all is added, remove the pot from the heat and cover to keep warm.

3. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp with the remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt and paprika. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large nonstick skillet and place the shrimp in a single layer in the skillet. (Use only as much as will fit in one uncrowded layer.) Cook about 1 1⁄2 to 2 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the pan and repeat with the remaining shrimp.

4. Stir the reserved garlic into the lentils and ladle into 4 shallow bowls. Top with the shrimp and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis is for each serving: 376 calories, 33 g protein, 37 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 12 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 571 mg sodium

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LENTIL-MUSHROOM CHEESEBURGERS

Serve on buns with lettuce and tomato if desired.

 

1⁄4 cup quick-cooking brown rice

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped (about 2 cups)

1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1 1⁄4 cups)

3 cloves garlic, minced

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

1⁄3 cup walnuts, finely chopped

1 (15-ounce) can lentils, rinsed

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 ounces thinly sliced (or shredded) reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

 

1. Cook the rice according to package directions.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, cumin and oregano and cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the walnuts, cook 1 minute and transfer the mixture to a large bowl.

3. Combine the lentils and cooked rice in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped; add to mushroom mixture. Stir in the parsley, salt and pepper. Form into 4 ( 1⁄2-inch-thick) patties.

4. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the patties and cook 5 minutes until browned on the undersides. Turn, cook 2 minutes and top with the cheese. Cover the pan and cook the burgers another 3 minutes until the cheese is melted and the undersides are browned. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 372 calories, 19 g protein, 29 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 21 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 610 mg sodium

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LENTIL SOUP WITH CHORIZO AND GREEN OLIVES

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 1⁄4 cups)

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, thinly sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 ounces chorizo, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces

1 potato (about 12 ounces), peeled and cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces

1⁄2 teaspoon oregano

1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1 cup brown lentils

1 can diced tomatoes

1⁄2 cup pimento-stuffed green olives, chopped

Chopped cilantro or parsley for garnish

 

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or pot over medium high. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 minutes. Stir in the chorizo, potato, oregano and smoked paprika; cook 1 minute.

2. Add the lentils and 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Immediately reduce the heat and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 45 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and olives; cook 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper; ladle into bowls and top with the cilantro or parsley if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 454 calories, 20 g protein, 61 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 15 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 834 mg sodium

TIP: Rinse and pick through dry lentils before using to remove occasional tiny stones or broken pieces.

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