What would I do with lentils, I asked myself when I received an email pitching me on the idea of being involved with a campaign on Canadian Lentils? Lentils, I love lentils. Although I don’t cook with them as much as I would like, they are a nutrient and protein rich food, and are a great meat substitute. Or, so I hear because why would you want to substitute for meat, right? Well, you might.
Lentils are a very popular crop in Canada, and Canadian Lentils want you to share your love of the mighty lentil. They have recently launched the site http://www.loveyourlentils.ca/ where you can go to find recipes from some very talented Canadian chefs, and vote on your favourite. You can win a chance to hang out with Chef Michael Smith in his home province of P.E.I for the adventure of a lifetime. Yes, it’s that exciting!
“I love lentils, they’re healthy, delicious, versatile, easy to cook and easy to find because we grow the very best lentils in the world right here in Canada! I love that so many great cooks across the country are having fun with the Love Your Lentils contest and I’m looking forward to welcoming our winners to Prince Edward Island for the culinary adventure of a lifetime!” – Chef Michael Smith
I am excited to have the opportunity to work with lentils in my own kitchen, as well as get out to try some of our local chefs creations, including Bannock, Toca at The Ritz, and Frank at the AGO. I am going to post about my experience at all three restaurants, as well as a few recipes from my own kitchen.
What’s the best part about all of this? A contest. Comment on my lentil posts for an entry - each comment is an entry, and you get a bonus entry for commenting on every post. Also, tweet and FaceBook " I voted for my favourte recipe & a chance to win a trip to PEI for @FoodDayCanada with @ChefMichaelSmith at LoveYourLentils.ca #lovelentils" for another chance to win. The winner will enjoy dinner for two at one of the three participating restaurants in Toronto, and see for themselves how versatile and tasty lentils can be.
“I cannot tell you how pleased I am to be part of this campaign. Lentils are relatively new to Canada, but they are already one of our most important foods. They also happen to taste tremendous, especially when they're in the hands of our super-talented chefs. There's hardly a more versatile ingredient in any professional or home kitchen.” – Anita Stewart, Founder, Food Day Canada
Facts on Canadian Lentils
1. There are 8.5 grams of fibre and 7 grams of protein in just half a
cup of cooked Canadian lentils.
2. Canadian Lentils are an excellent source of the micronutrients
folate and iron, and a good source of selenium and zinc.
3. The most common types of lentils grown in Canada are green and
red. Also grown in Canada are black Beluga and French Green or
Du Puy lentils.
4. Canada produces 67 per cent of the world’s lentil supply.
5. In 2011, over 2.55 million acres of lentils were planted in Canada
by over 5,000 lentil growers.
6. Canada is the world’s leading exporter of lentils, exporting a total
value of $872,956,572 in lentils in 2011.
7. Canada only begun growing lentils in 1970, meaning it is a
relatively new crop to Canada.
8. Saskatchewan is the largest lentil growing province in
Saskatchewan, accounting for 95 per cent of total Canadian
9. India is the biggest importer of Canadian lentils.
10. Lentil originated from the wild lentils that still grow in Turkey
and other Middle Eastern countries.