Pistachio Vegetarian Lentil Curry

4 (2-cup) servings.

2/3 cup In-shell American pistachios
2/3 cup Sour cream
1 teaspoon Minced garlic
3/4 cup Chopped yellow onion
2 tablespoons Olive oil
3/4 pound Carrots (about 4 medium), pared and sliced
1 large Sweet potato pared and cut into 1-inch cubes
8 ounces Lentils (1 1/2 cups)
1 Bay leaf
1 Teaspoon caraway seeds, crushed
1 teaspoon Curry powder
1/2 teaspoon Ground coriander (optional)
4 Green onions, cut into 1 1/2 -inch lengths
1 can Pineapple chunks, undrained


For topping, shell pistachios (to get 1/3 cup) and grind in electric blender. Mix with sour cream and lemon peel. Refrigerate. For curry, sauté garlic and yellow onion in 1 tablespoon oil in large skillet until translucent. Add carrots and sweet potatoes. Sauté 10 minutes longer. Remove from pan. Briefly sauté lentils in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, scraping up drippings left in pan. Add bay leaf, caraway seed, curry powder, coriander and broth. Cover, bring to boil and simmer 20 minutes or until barely tender. Add sautéed vegetables, green onion and undrained pineapple and simmer 15 minutes longer or until tender. Serve curried lentils with sauce spooned on top.

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fun facts

Pistachios, when eaten with high-carbohydrate foods, may result in lower than expected blood sugar levels, an important factor in reducing risk of diabetes.

According to a Penn State University study, it is suggested that pistachios reduce the body's biological response to stress.

One serving of pistachios has as much potassium (300mg, 8%) as an orange (250mg, 7%).

Pistachios are high in phytosterols which may lower cholesterol levels and decrease the risk of heart disease. In animal studies phytosterols have been shown to potentially have anti-cancer properties.

One serving of pistachios is 49 nuts, more than any other tree nut.

Forty-nine pistachios serve up to 20 percent of your Daily Value of B6, about the same as half an avocado.

You can obtain more dietary fiber from a serving of pistachios (3g) than a 1/2 cup of cooked broccoli, and the same amount of dietary fiber as an orange or an apple — approximately 10 percent of the Daily Value.

Just a single serving of pistachios provides you with the same amount of protein in a one-ounce serving of soybeans and can serve as a protein alternative to meat, poultry or beans according to the USDA Food Guide Pyramid.

Pistachios are a naturally cholesterol-free snack and contain just 1.5 grams of saturated fat.

Celebrate the greatness of nuts! October 22 is National Nut Day and February 26 is National Pistachio Day!