There are many traditions around the world that involve serving select foods on New Year's eve and January 1st to bring good luck. There are black-eyed peas, long noodles, greens, pomegranates, herring, cornbread, pork, and my personal favorite - lentils. Lentils, shaped like coins, swell into larger amounts in liquid - symbols of future wealth and good fortune. Some are even green, like currency. Also, lentils are an abundant source of protein for many people throughout the world.
Low in calories, rich in iron, folate, and fiber, as well as, an excellent source of protein, lentils are the perfect legume to eat in salads, soups, stews, and as a substitute for red meat. Lentils can be a bit tricky to cook and can turn out mushy so here are a few tips:
In addition to rinsing and soaking prior to cooking, brine the lentils to soften the lentil skins and cook the interiors evenly.
Mild salting during cooking guarantees a creamy, pillowy texture.