Peas and lentils are good for you!

Here’s a beauty tip: lentils and all those legumes don’t cause bloating if eaten by their lonesome so it’s good to incorporate these in your diet.They are also packed with protein, fiber, anti-oxidants, calcium, and iron. Just make sure you don’t suffer from gout or similar.

Having heard of the benefits of these “superfoods,” this is the reason why I went out of my way to attend a cooking demo attractively titled “Peas Be Unto You, and Lentils too!” at the Genting Star Tourism Academy in the Resorts World Manila Complex one Saturday before Christmas. The invite was extended by the folks behind Ideal Macaroni which also distributes the Easycook brand of beans, peas and lentils in the market.

Am usually feeling lazy on weekends but I was glad to come up with an effortlessly casual ensemble for this event. The OOTD: sleeveless pantsuit bought at BF Ruins, white shoes by Guess and a striped nautical bag which was given by Glyderm to hold their press kit…. eh heh.Thanks to Cha for taking the photo :)

me before Christmas

Veteran chef Ojie Reloj, an architect by profession, presided over the demo. It was my first time to see him in action but I was impressed by the dishes he made which were not only healthy but very tasty, something you can wow your loved ones with.

Chef Ojie Reloj
Here’s the line-up:

Lentils and Pesto Macaroni Soup (note: I think you can omit the macaroni from this recipe if you want to lessen the carbs)

Lentil soup

Recipe: Combine 1 cup Easycook lentils, 1 3/4 cups chicken stock, and and 2 1/2 cups water in a large saucepan; bring to a boil.Reduce heat, cover and simmer for about 35-45 minutes, or until peas are very soft. Stir in 3 tbsp. pesto, 1 cup zucchini and 1 cup scallions and simmer for 5-10 minutes longer. Add 2 cups shell macaroni pasta previously cooked according to package directions and stir. Sprinkle soup with grated parmesan cheese and top with croutons.

Chicken with Red Curried Kidney Beans and Jalapeno Pepper . This dish is quite fancy to make and uses ingredients that are not readily available in the markets like cardamom pods, garam curry powder and galanggal. Still, I loved the addition of roti prata with curry since it is one of my favorites! You can serve the chicken with French bread too.

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This Sticky Chipotle Pork with Barbecue Pinto Beans was my favorite in the cooking demo. It was quite delicious too, something you can whip up on weekends or special occasions.

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Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients

3 teaspoon olive oil
½ cup onions, chopped
1/8 cup bacon, chopped and fat removed
2 cups Easycook Pinto Beans, soaked and drained
4 tbsp. Spicy barbecue sauce
2 tsp. American or Dijon mustard
2 tsp. cider vinegar
1 tbsp. unrefined soft brown sugar
1 tbsp. chipotle Paste in Adobo sauce
1 1/3 cup pork tenderloin, fat trimmed off
1 cup tomatoes, sliced
¾ cup red onion, sliced

Procedure:

Fry the onion and bacon in 1 tsp olive oil in an ovenproof pan with a lid for 5 minutes. Add the EASYCOOK Pinto Beans, barbeque sauce, mustard, 2 tsp of vinegar and ½ tbsp of brown sugar. Season, cover and bake for 20 minutes.

In a pan, sear pork till brown. Mix the remaining sugar and the chipotle paste and rub the mixture into the pork. Put in a shallow roasting pan and cook in the oven along with Easycook Pinto Beans for 20 minutes.

Toss the tomatoes and the onion with the rest of the vinegar and olive oil. Serve the pork with the beans and tomato salad.

Yield: 5-6 Servings

Note: Easycook variants include yellow and green split peas, lentils, great Northern beans, pinto beans, and light red kidney beans and are available in leading supermarkets like SM, Robinson’s, Shopwise, Rustan’s, and Metro Gaisano.

Easycook peas, lentils, and beans are distributed in the Philippines by Ideal Macaroni and Spaghetti Factory Inc. For more information, please go to their website http://www.idealmacaroni.com

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