What to Do with Lentils? – Pardina Lentils Recipe

Pardina lentils are more commonly known as Spanish Pardina lentils. They are a green-brown color and have a thin skin on the outside. The interior of the lentils is yellow and they are smaller than other lentils. 

As with other lentils, Pardina lentils retain their shape once they have been cooked. They have a mild nutty flavor and are very inexpensive to purchase. They work spectacularly well as a meat replacement 

Pardina lentils have been grown in Spain near the Pyrenees for many years. The crop was introduced into the United States in 1985. Since then a large quantity of Pardina lentils are grown in the US. They need a relatively dry climate with a little humidity. Ideal locations for the lentil crops are Idaho and Montana. 

What are the health benefits of Pardina lentils?

Pardina lentils are tiny powerhouses. A ½ cup raw lentils will equate to around 1 to 1 ¼ cups when cooked, equivalent to a serving. This will give you around 250 calories and 0.8 g of fat. You will get around 4 mg of sodium and 42 grams of carbohydrates, of which 22 grams are dietary fiber. This serving will also give you 18 grams of protein and 12% of your RDA for iron. 

Lentils contain a high concentration of substances known as polyphenols. These are substances known to protect the cells of your body from harm. This could be radiation or infection. Lentils have a higher concentration of polyphenols than chickpeas and have been noted for their incredibly long-lasting health benefits. 

Polyphenols have a host of positive impacts on the body. They are antioxidants, antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-inflammatory. They protect your heart and are also nephroprotective. They are believed to be anticancer, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, hypolipidemic, and have chemoprotective properties. 

Lentils contain a high quantity of calcium. Each cup of cooked lentils contains around 35 grams of calcium. This is vital to support the growth and maintenance of healthy bones. This is very useful for vegans in particular, as they cannot get calcium from dairy sources. 

There is also a large amount of folic acid found in lentils. This is an especially important nutrient when you are pregnant. Deficiencies can lead to birth defects. For those of us who are not pregnant, folic acid is still important to support healthy hair growth and can even lower the risk of developing strokes and heart disease. 

Lentils contain a lot of magnesium, approximately 71 mg per cup. This can help to alleviate symptoms of insomnia, stress, and burnout.  

How do you cook Pardina lentils?

Measure out your lentils and rinse them well under fresh water. For every cup of lentils, you will need approximately 2 and a half cups of water. Place these in a large saucepan with a little salt. Turn the heat up to high and bring the contents of the pan to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat and allow the lentils to simmer for 45 minutes. 

Check the texture of a few of the lentils at the end of this cooking process to ensure they are ready to eat. The cooked lentils should be soft with a little bite.

Pardina Lentil, Green Apple, and Kale Salad

Serves 4

Salad ingredients

  • 1 cup dry Pardina lentils
  • 4 oz kale
  • 1 medium white onion
  • 2 medium tart green apples
  • Dressing ingredients
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ½ tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tsp honey
  • 1 clove garlic
  • ¾ tsp sea salt
  • Large pinch ground black pepper

Method

Place the lentils in a sieve and rinse thoroughly under running water. Place them in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil over a high heat before covering the saucepan. Reduce the heat and allow the lentils to simmer for around 25 – 35 minutes. 

Once the lentils are cooked, drain them through a colander. Rinse well with cold running water to cool them down quickly. 

Trim the stems of the kale and remove the thick ribs of the leaves. Finely chop the rest of the leaf, making it easy to eat. It is a good idea to spend up to 5 minutes massaging the chopped kale leaves. This helps to soften the fibrous leaves, making them much more pleasant and easy to eat.

Finely dice the onion. Wash and core your apples, before finely chopping these too. 

Combine all of the ingredients for the dressing in a large bowl, and whisk together well. Add in all of the remaining salad ingredients and mix well.

This salad can be kept in the fridge for a few days, and will even taste better the day after you have prepared it. 

Spanish lentil stew

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced 
  • 2 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 medium green pepper, finely diced
  • 1 large tomato, finely diced
  • 1 ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 cups water
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 large potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 ¼ cups Pardina lentils
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • Black pepper 

Method

Heat a large pan over medium heat and add in a splash of water or oil. Add in the garlic, onion, tomato, and green pepper. Cook the vegetables until they are very soft, adding water to prevent burning. Allow them to get super soft before you move on as this will help the stew’s flavors infuse. 

Wait for any additional water to steam out of the pan. Add in the paprika and bay leaf then cook for 1 minute. You should stir the contents of the pan constantly to prevent the spices from burning. 

Add the water, carrots, lentils, and potato. Bring to a boil before covering and turning the heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes, until the lentils have a soft consistency.

Add in the soy sauce and seasonings. Stir well and serve. If you like, you can run some of the stew through a blender for a thicker consistency. 

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