Lentils are an incredible, cheap, tasty source of vegan protein. Lentils like other types of beans are a member of the legume family. They grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds, are high in nutritional value and are available throughout the year. Unlike other types of beans, they are quick cooking, making for a fast weeknight dinner.
Lentils are a fiber all star with 16 grams of fiber in a one cup serving. All this fiber helps balance blood sugar and lower cholesterol. Given their high fiber content and low calories, they are an excellent choice for people trying to lose weight. They are also an excellent source of folate, copper, phosphorous and manganese. Lentils are good for increasing energy due to their high iron content. Eating just one cup of lentils will provide your body with over 35% of its daily protein needs.
Lentils can be purchased dried, often from the bulk bin. Store lentils in an airtight container in a cool, dry and dark place for up to 12 months.
Try this quick and easy recipe to add some lentils into your life.
- 2 roasted delicata squash
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1- 1 1/2 tbs of curry powder (to taste)
- 1 cup of red lentils, rinsed
- 1-2 tbs of coconut oil
- 1/2 inch nob of ginger, peeled and diced
- 1/2 can coconut milk, more for drizzling
- 1 cup of chopped mixed greens
- 4 cups of veggie broth
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook squash according to directions in the recipe link.
- Heat oil in large pot.
- Add onions, ginger and garlic and cook til begin to turn translucent.
- Add curry powder and heat til becomes fragrant.
- Add lentils and broth and cook until lentils become soft. (About 30 minutes.)
- Dice up the cooked squash.
- Add half of the cooked squash to the pot and set the other half aside.
- Blend soup with an immersion blender or in a regular blender in batches until no chunks can be seen.
- Now add the remainder of the squash.
- Add coconut milk.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Add greens.
- Let simmer til greens are wilted and squash is heated through.
- Serve with a drizzle of coconut milk or plain according to your taste.
Photo by Jessica Spengler on flickr.