I went 40 years of my life without either eating lentils or knowing that lentils existed. In the last few months, I've started adding lentils to my pantry and I started searching for recipes using lentils. So far, I tried just two recipes: Chef AJ's red lentil chili & Protective Diet Sloppy Jerrys. I've heard lots of people raving about Chef AJ red lentil chili, but I discovered quickly that I am NOT a fan. Second, I tried the P.D. Slow Cooker Sloppy Jerrys. This recipe is fabulous, so I know I do like lentils.
Types of Lentils
In Colleen's podcast, I heard that lentils are popular (staple food) all over the world. People in the USA are less familiar with them. (so true!) They are used a lot in Indian Cuisine. They are lens shaped and they come in lots of different varieties. She mentioned just a couple types:
- French Green Lentils (really holds it shape after cooking, wonderful flavor)
- Brown Lentils (very common, can hold their shape, wonderful flavor, earthy flavor)
- Red Lentils (yellowish red, sometimes called yellow lentils, mostly used in dishes where they are soft)
- Black beluga lentils
I can easily find brown and red lentils at my local grocery stores and Walmart. I found French Green Lentils at a natural food grocery store (4 hrs round trip) in bulk so I picked up a tiny bit to try. The Green lentils are more expensive per pound, so I'll have to decide if they are worth it. Vita-Cost carries lentils, so I can get them shipped to my house also.
Lentils are full of nutrition
1 cup of cooked lentils has the following:
- have 230 calories (less calorie dense than pasta)
- 90% of daily value of folate (in one cup)
- 36% of daily percent of iron
- 35% of daily percent of protein
Ways to use lentils
Recipes/ways to use lentils per Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (I haven't tried any of these). It's amazing to see how versatile lentils are. They are used in recipes from salads, burgers, lentil loafs, to stews.
- Sprinkle lentils on a green salad
- Brown lentils seasoned with balsamic vinegar and salt
- Warm lentil salad (The Vegan Table) can be served over greens or eaten in a pita pocket
- Lentil loaf
- Red lentil and artichoke stew
- Cashew and red lentil burgers