Do you have a way with lentils? Deadline approaches for Pullman's 20th annual Lentil Cook-off

Lentils are especially high in folic acid.
Lentils are especially high in folic acid.

The National Lentil Festival is looking for recipes from across the country for the 20th annual competition, "The Legendary Lentil Cook-off." Interested cooks must apply by 5 p.m. Monday, June 23 online at www.lentilfest.com.

In 2013 organizers of the cook-off received 117 recipes from 32 states and Canada. The top five finalists are invited to prepare the recipes at the festival. These will be tasted by a panel of celebrity judges and by the first 100 festival goers.

The first place winner will be crowned with an official National Lentil Festival chef's hat and goes home $2,000 richer. Second place is awarded $1,000 and third place is $500. There is an additional $100 prize for the "People's Choice Award".

Each recipe submission will be pre-screened by a panel of food experts, who will select the top 5 recipes. All recipes will be rated on ease of preparation, flavor, texture, creativity appearance and use of lentils. The top five recipes will be prepared and tested for accuracy before the finalists are chosen. All recipes are required to have one half-cup dry lentils or one cup cooked lentils and are limited to a maximum of 15 ingredients. Applications for the cook-off are available at www.lentilfest.com.

A 2014 National Lentil Festival Cook-Off Recipe Booklet will be produced for sale online and at this year's festival, August 22 and 23 in Pullman, Wash., located on the Palouse which produces some of the world's highest quality lentils. Lentils are low in fat and sodium, and have no cholesterol or gluten. A one-half cup serving of cooked lentils has only 20 grams of complex carbohydrates, 4 grams of dietary fiber, 9 grams of protein and 115 calories. Lentils are one of the richest sources of folic acid found in nature.

The Legendary Lentil Cook-off is sponsored by the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council.

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