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Lentils {Pantry Basics}


It’s Tuesday! That means another episode of Pantry Basics!  Today’s exciting guest is Lentils!  Before becoming a vegetarian I probably wouldn’t have tried lentils.  Lentils seem to have a bad connotation for some reason.  Lentils are actually very  versatile and very economical.  Not to mention delicious!

Lentils come in a few different varieties such as red, black or Beluga, green, brown, and French green or Puy to name a few.  Red lentils are smaller and don’t hold their shape after cooking.  So use these when you want to disquise the fact that you are actually eating lentils.  Brown lentils are the most commonly found in grocery stores.  Green lentils hold their shape a little better after cooking.

All varieties of lentils are relatively quick cooking.  They do not require soaking.  Simply put them in a pot, cover with water and boil for 15-30 minutes.

1 cup of cooked lentils has about 230 calories has less than 1 gram of fat.  Lentils are a great source of protein with 1 cup providing 18 grams of protein as well as 16 grams of fiber.  So they will fill you up and keep you feeling fuller longer!

Lentils are also an excellent source of folic acid which is an essential nutrient for everyone but especially for pregnant women or nursing women.  Lentils also provide calcium, iron, potassium and zinc.

Now what to do with those lentils!  Here are a few recipes to get you started!

Lentil Vegetable Soup 

Barbecue Lentil Meatball Sandwich

Pasta with Spaghetti Sauce and “Lentil” Ground Beef

Lentils and Brown Rice with Caramelized Onions

Lentil Sloppy Joes


Do you like lentils?  What’s your favorite dish featuring lentils?


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  1. This is a great series, Jamie!

  2. Thank you for this. I’m definitely interested in using lentils more, but haven’t really found any recipes I like. I’m looking forward to trying these out!

    • Hopefully you like one of these!

  3. I love lentils! I like to make a plain batch at the beginning of the week and add flavorings as I eat them. That way it’s like a different meal every day! I used them a lot with various Indian spice blends or on top of salads… but if I’m in hurry they are pretty tasty doused in sriracha!

  4. I just posted a lentil recipe today–love them! They don’t have that dried bean smell to them and they don’t require soaking, so I use them much more than beans.

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