Lentils are a favorite food in our house. Loved by all — baby, me and even hubby!
Unfortunately, many people overlook them, perhaps due to an awful-tasting meal in the past, or simply because of their appearance.
But, if you’re after cheap, healthy and delicious meal options, you really should give lentils a go.
And after reading this, you’ll not be able to excuse yourself by saying, ‘I don’t know how to cook lentils.’
Here are a few reasons to love lentils:
- They provide slow burning complex carbohydrates, giving you plenty of energy
- They are so easy to cook — compared to some of the others legumes, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare.
- They are very nutritious — a good source of iron, fibre, vitamin B1, folate, and contain many (but not all) the essential amino acids.
- They are low in calories, with around 200 calories for one cup.
So, wondering how to cook lentils?
Here are a few suggestions:
#1 Mix cooked lentils with chopped vegetables, then season with fresh herbs and spices to make an easy salad for your lunch-box.
#2 Make lentil soup with red split lentils, onions, and some carrots.
#3 Lentil mousakka/lasagna — use your regular lasagna recipe, but replace the meat with lentils (pre-soaked).
#4 Make lentil burritos — green lentils work well for this one.
#5 Try a lentil curry with chickpeas or other peas/beans.
My favourite way to eat lentils right now, is to serve them with some brown rice, a dollop of natural yoghurt on top, and a green salad. Here’s the lentil recipe I use:
Adapted from Delia Online
8 oz (225 g) red lentils
2 level teaspoons ground ginger
1 level teaspoon ground cumin
1 level teaspoon turmeric
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon rice bran oil
1 large onion, peeled and grated
1 red chilli, de-seeded and chopped
1 level teaspoon Madras curry powder
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tin of tomatoes
Salt and cracked black pepper
- In a saucepan containing 1½ pints of water add one teaspoon each of ginger, cumin and turmeric, then bring it all to the boil. Stir in the lentils, let it come back to a gentle simmer and cook for 5 minutes.
- After that add the diced potato and continue cooking until the lentils have turned mushy (making sure the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan by giving it a stir now and again).
- While that’s cooking, heat up the butter and oil in another pan, and fry the onion and pepper in it (over a fairly high heat) until the onion has browned – then lower the heat and stir in the Madras curry powder (if you like your curries hotter, you can add more), the garlic, the remaining ground ginger and the tomatoes.
- Cook for a minute before adding the lentil mixture, then taste, season and cook gently for a further 5-10 minutes (stirring from time to time).
I think this recipe is super-delicious, I hope you enjoy it too!
Have you tried lentils? Do you eat them alone, or combine with other foods?
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