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Lentils take center stage in the summer phase of FoodWork's first Annual Global Street Food Competition

FoodWorks, Compass Group's restaurant incubator, recently launched the second phase of its first Annual Global Street Food Competition,
lentils
Lentils are the highlighted ingredient for this phase of the competition. | Photo: Shutterstock.

FoodWorks has challenged its culinary partners to create innovative plant-forward dishes spotlighting the versatility and unique qualities of lentils. To that end, the restaurant incubator, which is owned by Compass Group, has teamed up with Lentils.org for the summer phase of its new street food competition.

The first phase of the competition kicked off in March, which featured peanuts as the central ingredient. The winners of the first phase were revealed in June.

According to a research paper from the National Library of Medicine and the National Center for Biotechnology Information, lentils "can positively affect health by reducing inflammation, providing antioxidants, and displaying antimicrobial properties. Lentils are rich in proteins, essential amino acids, minerals, and fibers, making them a valuable source of nutrition, particularly in low and middle-income countries."

Health benefits from eating lentils can include positive effects on diabetes management, support for cardiovascular health and antioxidant properties, which are attributed to lentils' phenolic content and their ability to inhibit inflammation-related enzymes, according to the paper. Fiber and protein content also makes lentils a power player in future menus. They even have a low glycemic index, which is important to people with diabetes. 

Lentils.org offers many lentil-forward recipes, including Beef & Lentil Bolognese Sauce, Lentil Fajita Bowls, 20 Minute Mediterranean Linguine, Lentil Egg Skillet Bake, Lentil Energy Bites and more. 

 "We are incredibly excited to partner with Lentils.org for this summer’s phase of our Global Street Food Competition," said John Coker, president of FoodWorks, in a statement. "This collaboration not only celebrates the creativity and passion of our culinary partners but also highlights the amazing versatility of lentils. We look forward to seeing the innovative, plant-forward recipes our partners will create and share with the community.”

The contest, which is exclusively for FoodWorks culinary partners, is open now and runs until August 31.

The first-place winner will receive $2,500 and entry into the running for the grand champion prize—two passes to the Culinary Institute of America’s Menus of Change conference.

The second-place winner will receive $1,500 while the third and fourth place winners will both receive $500.

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