One question that I’m frequently asked is, “Will I get enough protein while on the Daniel Fast?” The answer is yes, you will. However, you need to make sure you include a variety of high-protein foods, such as beans, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Contrary to popular belief, it is possible get adequate amounts of this necessary building block without consuming meat or animal products.
One excellent source of protein you should consume is featured in today’s recipe. Allow me to introduce a tiny little legume called the lentil. Lentils have the third-highest level of protein (nearly 30%), by weight, of any plant-based food, after soybeans and hemp. They are small in size but mighty in nutrition. Lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%). Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.
Following are additional benefits to eating lentils:
Promotes heart health. Studies have found that people who eat high-fiber legumes like lentils have a much reduced risk of heart disease.
- Loaded with iron, especially good for people who don’t eat red meat, like vegans and vegetarians.
- Lowers cholesterol due to high levels of fiber.
- Provides steady, slow-burning energy and helps to balance blood sugar levels (good for people with diabetes).
- Rich source of B vitamins, most notably folate and niacin (B3), which are important for the healthy functioning of the nervous, digestive, and immune systems.
Blackened Lentils & Onions
3 cups water
1 cup dry green or brown lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 teaspoons Creole Seasoning
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sliced onion, sliced pole-to-pole (see Recipe Notes)
3 cups cooked brown rice, optional (1/2 cup per serving)
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1/3 cup)
Place water and lentils in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and lower heat. Stir in Creole Seasoning. Cover, and simmer with lid tilted for 40-45 minutes or until lentils are softened and nearly all liquid has been absorbed. While lentils are cooking, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions, and cook 20-25 minutes or until slightly blackened and crispy, stirring occasionally. Set aside until lentils are done cooking. To serve, place lentils on a plate alone or with brown rice. Top each serving with 1 heaping tablespoon of onions.
- To sort lentils, place them in a single layer on an 11 x 17-inch baking sheet. Look for discolored and misshapen beans, and discard any unwanted debris. Place good lentils into a colander and rinse thoroughly using cold water.
- To slice an onion pole to pole, or into half rings, think of the onion as a globe. Trim root end (South Pole) and stem end (North Pole). Peel off outer layers. Cut onion in half from North pole to South pole, making a series of vertical slices perpendicular to the equator of the onion.
- Top with diced tomatoes, Salsa, or chopped avocado.
- Use Taco Seasoning instead of Creole Seasoning.
- Serve with “Refried” Beans.