Yoga Retreat Vegetarian Cooking
Yoga Retreat Vegetarian Cooking using our traditional Umbrian cuisine – good flavour, freshness, and simplicity by Tess Hunneybell
Umbria’s rich local soil provides its residents an unlimited number of amazing seasonal ingredients which are simply prepared to highlight the true flavour of each dish. The traditional methods still used in the production of such typical ingredients as Norcia’s regional artisan cheeses, regional wines, and our famous treasured black truffle that grows on our grounds here at San Flaviano Retreat. Our cuisine is unique to the region, and authentic to it’s origins. The cuisine of Umbria is healthy, hearty, and born from “cucina povera”. Umbrians have always relied on the natural resources harvested from their fields and forests.
It is honest, Italian home cooking at it’s very finest
Castelluccio lentils with carrot, parsnip & herbs Lentil
This recipe is great as it will keep for several days in the fridge and tastes fantastic.
2 tbsp top-quality red wine vinegar
200g small dark lentils (such as Puy of Castelluccio), rinsed
3 small carrots, peeled
2 small parsnips, peeled
2 celery sticks
1 bay leaf
3 thyme sprigs
1/2 white onion
3 tbsp olive oil, plus extra to finish
12 cherry tomatoes halved
1/3 tsp honey
1 tbsp each roughly chopped parsley, coriander and dill
2 tbsp creme fraiche or natural yoghurt (optional)
Place the lentils in a medium saucepan. Cut one carrot and half a celery stick into large chunks and throw them in. Add the bay leaf, thyme and onion, cover with plenty of water and bring to the boil. Simmer on a low heat for up to 25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, skimming away the froth from the surface from time to time. Drain in a sieve. Remove and discard the carrot, celery, bay leaf, thyme and onion and transfer the lentils to a mixing bowl. Add the rest of the vinegar, 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and plenty of salt and pepper, stir and set aside somewhere warm.
Cut the remaining carrot, parsnip and celery into 1cm dice and mix with the tomatoes, the remaining oil, the sugar and some salt. Spread in an ovenproof dish and cook in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the carrot and parsnip are tender but still firm.
Add the cooked vegetables to the warm lentils, followed by the chopped herbs and stir gently. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Lentils can be served as a meal with some salad leaves and a blob of creme fraiche.
LENTIL FACTS- Fat, Calories and Carbohydrates
One cup of lentils contains less than 1 g of fat and no saturated fat. Low-fat food contributes to weight management and helps prevent heart disease and conditions that are related to obesity. According to Whole Foods, a cup of lentils contains 230 calories. The calories are made up of complex carbohydrates that provide the body with energy without causing rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. Lentils release energy for a long time and are a slow digesting carbohydrate source.
A cup of lentils contains nearly 16 g of fiber, more than half of the recommended daily requirement. Soluble fiber in the lentils helps with regularity and cleans the digestive tract. Lentils also contain soluble fiber. Intake of soluble fiber lowers the risk of diabetes, constipation and heart disease. Lentils help people stay full longer; the high fiber meal keeps the body satisfied longer than low fiber foods.
Vitamins and Minerals
Lentils contain nearly 90 percent of the daily recommendation of folate, which helps produce new cells and is essential to iron production in the body. Lentils also contain magnesium, which is important to muscle and nerve function, strong bones and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Lentils are very low in sodium and may help lower the risk of high blood pressure. Lentils contain vitamin B6, which helps the body break down sugars and starches and supports functioning of the nervous system.
Lentils provide the same protein benefits as meat without the fat, calories and cholesterol that often accompany animal products. One cup of lentils contains 17 g of protein, which is essential to muscle development and growth. A diet rich in protein contributes to healthy nails, skin and muscles.
Lentils should be washed thoroughly before cooking to get rid of small stones or dirt. Some lentils require soaking before cooking (to soften and decrease cooking time). Cooking time varies with lentil types, so follow package directions.
Tess Hunneybell is owner of Abundance Yoga Retreats
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