Lentils. .. . . what the heck is a lentil?!?!?!
Let me tell you! Lentils are part of the legume family. They come from an annual plant and grow in a pod. The seeds inside are “lens” shaped and SUPER good for you!
Lentils come in MANY colors; brown, red, green, black and others. They can be found near the other dried legumes (black eyed peas, split peas, black beans, etc.) in your local grocery store. They usually run approx $0.74 per pound ~ so they are really affordable! Health.com has rated lentils as one of the world’s healthiest foods!
Let me break down some of the nutritional info for you ~
For comparison sake, a 6oz broiled porterhouse steak has 38 grams of protein, 44 grams of fat – 16 of them saturated. That is ¾ the total daily recommended intake for saturated fat!! On the other side, 1 cup cooked lentils provides 18 grams of protein and <1 gram of fat! So this little 1 cup of lentils provides roughly 40% of your daily recommended intake for protein and 65% of the daily recommended intake for fiber! That is super good for you! In India, families normally eat lentils at least 2 times a day. They are usually served with bread and/or rice.
Just for review – Lentils are SUPER good for you and cheap to buy! But. . . are they easy to cook? What the heck do I do with the things?? YES and YES – they are both easy to cook, and super yummy to eat!! Cooking is usually 30min or less, with no “overnight” soaking such as other legumes. I do not suggest using a pressure cooker to cook these, as they are done so fast on their own, this is not necessary. Lentils can be made into a variety of dishes; they are also SUPER yummy to sprout!! You can put sprouted lentils on your salads and tacos for a super yummy good for you boost!
Now, I want you to all go out and buy some lentils and try one of these recipes I have provided for you!! Both of these recipes were created by me, so let me know what you think!! Leave a comment below if you tried them!
1 Cup uncooked Lentils
2.5 Cup water
1 Tblsp Low Sodium Soy sauce (Kikkoman)
¾ Cup Oatmeal; fine ground (use blender)
¾ Cup Corn flakes
2.5 Tblsp Old Bay seasoning
½ Cup Ketchup
½ Cup “parmesan cheese” (see recipe below)
1)Rinse and pick through lentils. Add lentils and water to saucepan. Bring to a boil. Let boil for 4 minutes. Reduce heat to med-low, cover, and simmer 30 minutes or until soft and done. Add more water if needed! Once done, remove from stove, and let cool 10 minutes.
2)In a large bowl, add lentils, Soy sauce, Oatmeal, Corn flake crumbs, Old Bay, ketchup and parmesan cheese. Mix all together well. Once all well combined, form into “patties”. Fry in a small amount of oil 1 -2 min each side, or bake at 200°F for 15 min.
Enjoy on hamburger bun with all the fixings, or eat alone. It is super yummy either way!!
Parmesan Cheese –
Ground together equal amounts of whole unsalted cashews and nutritional yeast. Add garlic powder to taste. Store in refrigerator and use on anything you would normally put parmesan cheese on!
Lentil Sloppy Joes
1 cup lentils
2 cup water
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 teaspoon green pepper flakes*
2 teaspoon cornstarch
1 teaspoon dry minced garlic (the kind in the spice section)
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
1 – 6 ounce can tomato paste
1 1/4 cups water
1) Rinse and pick through lentils. Add two cups water to pan with lentils and bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 55 minutes until tender, but not mushy.
2) For the sauce, combine the minced onion, salt, sugar, dry mustard, chili powder, green pepper flakes, cornstarch, minced garlic, celery seeds. Combine well and set aside.
3) When lentils are done, add the tomato paste and water. Stir in the sauce seasoning. Combine well and heat through.
Serve on whole wheat buns or over brown rice. Makes excellent left over’s too!!!
Note: the dry ingredients can be combined and stored in snack size baggies for your own homemade sloppy joe seasoning to use anytime.
*If you can not find green pepper flakes, add fresh green pepper sautéed until soft.