Lentils are the ultimate superfood in my book. They are nutritional powerhouses with virtually no fat, slow release energy to keep you fuller longer, and they rank 3rd highest on the legume protein source list (source). Those are some of the many reason you should love lentils too (if you would like more reasons check out this article).
But if being a superfood isn’t enough reason to love lentils, consider some additional facts that make me love them.
They are tasty and versatile. They naturally have a mild nutty flavor that become velvety the longer they cook. They also do a great job of taking on flavors well, and compliment many types of cuisine.
They are readily available. So many times its easy to read deliciously looking recipes with ingredients you haven’t heard of or simply can’t find at your local market. Not so with lentils. Even most ethnic grocery stores stock lentils. They also come any a few colors too, so keep your eyes out for variety.
They are extremely affordable. An average prepackaged pound bag costs about a dollar or two around here. Have a bulk food section? Then you may be able to score them for less than $1 a pound!
They cook faster than other legumes. Most beans take some soaking and an hour or so of cooking time (unless you own a pressure cooker). Not so with lentils. I do still take time to sort through them to make sure there are no rocks or debris, but them a quick rinse and they are ready to cook. Short on time? Don’t worry. Lentils usually cook in about 20 minutes.
So why aren’t they a staple in your home yet? Give them a try and they will be. Here is a super simple and delicious recipe to try out. I loosely call it a recipe since its only has a few ingredients. Lemony Lentils are so tasty and fun to say (try saying it 3 times fast!). If this is your first try with lentils then be sure to try a few plain, before adding the lemon and herbs. Then you can learn how beautiful their natural taste is so you can let your mind run wild in ways you would like to try them seasoned next time.
Cook Time: 20-30 mins
- 1 cup dry lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- zest of 1/2 of one lemon
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 Tablespoon of summer herbs of your choice (I used Thyme, lemon balm, and basil)
- Salt to taste
In a medium sauce pan combine the lentils (sorted, rinsed and drained) with the vegetable broth.
Bring to a boil over medium high heat.
Reduce heat to a gentle simmer. Cover the pan with an ajar lid to prevent boil over.
Simmer for 20-30 minutes or until lentils are tender.
Remove the lid, add lemon zest, lemon juice, and herbs. Add salt to taste.
Stir to combine and serve warm.
Also makes a tasty cold salad after spending the night in the refrigerator.