About two years ago I fell in love with Lentils.
I had never eaten them before but I was having a few health issues and the doctor asked me to start adding more protein and iron to my diet…so I started reading about and trying different recipes with beans.
SO many beans.
Some recipes and beans have become staples in my kitchen…others…not so much. But lentils have been a proven winner.
Here’s a few things to note about lentils:
They are cholesterol free, gluten free, fat free, and (if you buy them dry) are sodium free.
They are also high in fiber, protein, and iron and are rich in complex carbohydrates, folate, and other important minerals.
What great little beans!
Plus they are inexpensive to buy and easy to cook, you don’t even need to soak them like most other beans!
I always buy mine dry and then rinse them well in a strainer before cooking…looking for any stray grit. Then I simply pour them into a pan with twice as much water as beans and simmer until the beans are soft. (Depending on the color 20-30 minutes.)
Lentils can be used in anything from salads to dips to being ground into flour for mixing…but most often they are used in soups and stews…which is my favorite way to eat them.
Lentils have a mild, earthy flavor that lends itself nicely to taking on the flavor of the spices and vegetables added to them and come in a variety of colors (red, yellow, black, green, and brown).
I have quite a few lentil recipes and eat lentils at least once a week…most often for lunch. The following recipe is a favorite. It makes a large batch of a thick stew that freezes well. So when I make this soup/stew I will portion it into individual serving size containers and freeze it so I have easy lunches to grab and microwave.
1lb lentils rinsed and drained
1 large onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
2-3 carrots diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon oregano
2 cups vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
- Place all ingredients, except for the red wine vinegar, into a pot and bring to a boil over medium heat.
- Lower heat and allow to simmer for 1-1and 1/2 hours. Stirring occasionally. Thin with water as needed.
- Add red-wine vinegar as well as salt and pepper to taste just prior to serving.
It is so easy and so warm and delicious.
I like to eat mine with pickled vegetables on the top…so good!
And it’s good for you!