Healthy Cook

...AND They're Full of Fiber

by Kate Sherwood, March 2013

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There's no better way to work more fiber into your diet than to eat lentils and beans. And there's no more delicious way than to add these three simple dishes to your repertoire.

Red Lentil Curry

Total time: 30 minutes.


Try tossing a bag of baby spinach into the pot just before serving. Then top each bowl with a dollop of plain yogurt.

cup red lentils
1
tsp. turmeric powder, optional
½
Tbs. unsalted butter
1
Tbs. canola oil
2
large onion, thinly sliced
1
inch piece ginger
1
Tbs. chili powder
1
15 oz. can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
1
tsp. kosher salt
½
cup cilantro leaves
½

In a medium pot, combine the lentils and turmeric with 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer until tender, 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter with the oil. Sauté the onion until browned, about 10 minutes.

Cut half of the ginger into fine matchsticks for garnish and grate the rest. Stir the grated ginger and the chili powder into the onions. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until the lentils are done.

Stir the lentils into the skillet and simmer for 5 minutes. Season with up to ½ tsp. of salt and garnish with the ginger matchsticks and cilantro leaves.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING (1 cup)

  • Calories: 270
  • Total Fat: 8 g
  • Sat Fat: 2 g
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 38 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Sodium: 300 mg

Chickpeas with Arugula-Lemon Pesto

Total time: 5 minutes.


This bright, peppery pesto is also delicious tossed with a combination of white beans, string beans, and tuna. Or mix it into 2 cups of cooked whole wheat couscous or bulgur.

Tbs. lemon juice
1
clove garlic
1
cups arugula
2
cup fresh basil
1
Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3
freshly ground black pepper
15 oz. can no-salt-added chickpeas, drained
1
tsp. kosher salt
½
butter lettuce leaves
8

Combine the lemon juice, garlic, arugula, basil, oil, and pepper in a food processor. Process until the herbs and garlic are finely chopped.

In a medium bowl, toss the chickpeas with the pesto and season with up to ½ tsp. of salt.

Serve on the lettuce leaves.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING (¾ cup)

  • Calories: 210
  • Total Fat: 12 g
  • Sat Fat: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 20 g
  • Fiber: 5 g
  • Sodium: 270 mg

Stewed Italian Beans

Total Time: 20 minutes


We used red and white (cannellini) kidney beans for color, but you can use any kind. If you prefer fresh herbs, triple the amount to 1½ teaspoons.

stalks celery, diced
2
carrot, diced
1
Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3
cloves garlic, minced
3
tsp. dried rosemary or thyme
½
Tbs. tomato paste
2
15 oz. cans no-salt-added kidney beans
2
tsp. salt
½
freshly ground black pepper
Tbs. balsamic vinegar
2

In a large skillet over medium heat, sauté the celery and carrot in the oil until they start to soften, about 3 minutes.

Stir in the garlic, rosemary, and tomato paste. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

Stir in the beans with their liquid. Simmer for 5 minutes.

Season with up to ½ tsp. of salt, plenty of black pepper, and the balsamic vinegar.

Serves 4.

PER SERVING (1 cup)

  • Calories: 280
  • Total Fat: 12 g
  • Sat Fat: 1.5 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 9 g
  • Sodium: 340 mg

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Watch Kate prepare healthy and delicious dishes at youtube.com/cspitv or nutritionaction.org/healthycook.

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