Tag: lentils

11 Recipes that Will Make You Fall in Love with Lentils

“Beans! Beans! Good for your heart. The more you eat the more you…”

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I’ll be honest, that¬†little song didn’t mean much to me for most of my life because I didn’t eat beans! Aside from the occasional lima bean or green bean, I didn’t eat so much as a chickpea until I was an adult.

When I was a junior in college, I spent a semester abroad in southern Spain and was exposed¬†to dozens of foods I had never eaten before. Since I was a picky eater, I wasn’t exactly excited about this but knew it was a way I needed to grow. I even told my study abroad program¬†I was allergic to seafood, so I wouldn’t have to try any of it!

I remember sitting down for lunch one day, as my host mom, Matilde, served me a big bowl of what looked like tiny, brown flying saucers (got that reference from Rebecca Katz!).

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It turned out to be lentil and carrot stew, and I had no choice but to try it (doing anything else was considered rude in Spain). Fortunately, Matilde was so skilled at combining flavors in delicious ways that I tried it and loved it! Now, lentils are one of my favorite foods.

They also happen to be packed with nutrition to fuel your body and brain! Check it out:

  • They are PACKED with energy-balancing, weight-stabilizing,¬†fill-you-up fiber. *In fact, lentils fill me up more than any other food I eat.*
  • They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein. Green and¬†French¬†lentils are especially high in protein!
  • They’re mineral-rich and contain calming magnesium, heart healthy potassium, and are the #1 plant source of folate, which is essential for brain and nervous system function, healthy pregnancy and fetal development, reduced cancer risk¬†and heart health support
  • They’re one of Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GBOMBS foods, which are some of the most nutrient-packed, anti-inflammatory, disease-preventive foods on the planet.

It’s nice to know that lentils are such a nourishing food, but where do we buy them and how do we cook them?

There are several different kinds of lentils, but the ones I tend to use the most are green lentils, French lentils and red lentils. Red lentils cook much faster but aren’t as firm as the other two kinds and contain less protein, so I don’t use red lentils as much as green we always have them on hand. Our favorite kind of pasta is actually made out of red lentils (one ingredient!) and is made by a company called Tolerant. We find it cheapest at Home Goods, but Whole Foods and MOMs sell it, too.

tolerant rotini

Every grocery store sells lentils, and you’ll find them either in the international aisle or in the health food aisle. Trader Joe’s also sells several different kinds of lentils, so we end up buying ours there to save a buck or two.

I scoured some of my favorite blogs and pulled together 11 lentil-loving recipes ranging from salads to soups to casseroles. I hope they inspire you to get excited about trying these little filling, fueling legumes!lentil-cover-image

Red Lentil Hummus by Jo Cooks

Lentil Bolognese from i heart eating¬†(We made this for dinner this past week and served it over Tolerant lentil pasta…it was DELICIOUS!)

Photo Credit: i heart eating. Used with permission.

Photo Credit: i heart eating. Used with permission.

Balsamic Lentil Salad from Destination Delish

Photo credit: Destination Delish. Used with permission.

Photo credit: Destination Delish. Used with permission.

Cozy Quinoa Buddha Bowl from Simply Quinoa

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Photo Credit: Simply Quinoa. Used with permission.

Curried Lentil & Brown Rice Casserole from Nourishing Mealscurry

Warm Lentil Kale and Potato Salad with Lemon Dijon Dressing from She Likes Food

Photo Credit: She Likes Food. Used with permission.

Photo Credit: She Likes Food. Used with permission.

Baked Salmon & Lentils from Gimme Some Oven

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Photo Credit: Gimme Some Oven. Used with permission.

Lentil & Sweet Potato Stew from Eat Yourself Skinny

Mushroom, Lemon & Lentil Salad from Delicious Everyday

Red Curry Lentils by Pinch of Yum

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Photo Credit: Pinch of Yum. Used with permission.

Best Lentil Soup from Cookie & Kate

Photo Credit: Cookie & Kate. Image used with permission.

Photo Credit: Cookie & Kate. Image used with permission.

Do you like lentils? Do you have a favorite way you like to prepare them or a recipe you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!

Comforting Curried Lentil & Rice Casserole {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

Mashed potatoes. Ice cream. Pizza. Mac & cheese.

We tend to crave these foods. They comfort us. We have really great memories of them from a young age.

Broccoli. Brussels sprouts. Carrots. Spinach. Butternut squash. Collard greens. 

Not exactly the same effect, right?

Many of us grew up thinking that only the foods in the first group can taste good and make us feel good.

What if the same foods that “comforted” us also nourished us?¬†It’s possible!

curry

Our body has an amazing ability to adapt our taste buds and preferences, even for those of us who consider ourselves picky eaters.

Trust me. I get it. For most of my life, I was one of the pickiest eaters you would ever meet! I was loyal to my egg¬†noodles, parmesan cheese, chicken fingers, and broccoli. Sauces / soups / salads / seafood / sandwiches / dips / dressing / ethnic food?…no thanks!

I didn’t eat any of it.

Now, Bill and I eat lots of foods that not only make us feel good but also nourish our bodies.

I’m excited to share one of my NEW favorite, Indian-inspired recipes with you! I just made it for the first time last¬†week, and Bill and I loved it. It’s¬†one of the tastiest, most warming and wonderful meals we’ve ever made. We had it for a week and never got sick of it. You have to try it!

Keep in mind…

  • You will do very little cooking.¬†The only thing you actually take time to cook in this recipe are the onions (mixed with spices).
  • The rest of the meal is “set it and forget it.” Once you’ve cooked the onions, you pretty much dump them and all of the other uncooked ingredients into a casserole dish and leave it alone in your oven until it’s finished cooking. It’s almost impossible to mess this one up!
  • This recipe makes A LOT of food. Perfect if you’re having lots¬†of friends over for dinner or want a meal you can cook once and eat about 4-5 times. I cooked it in a deep¬†lasagna pan.
  • Don’t be intimidated by longer ingredient lists. Just because an ingredient list looks longer than you’re used to doesn’t mean it’s more difficult to make. A lot of the time, our ingredient lists may appear¬†longer because half of the¬†ingredients are herbs and spices. Fortunately, they don’t make the recipe take any longer to prepare but do add tons of flavor! Just make a list and pick them up on your next shopping trip.

casserole bannerIngredients

a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil OR coconut oil (we used coconut oil)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 to 2 tablespoons fresh ginger root, peeled and finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh turmeric, or 1 teaspoon dried
2 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons sea salt
4 carrots, chopped
1 1/2 cups french lentils or green lentils
1 cup long grain brown rice
5 cups water
1 can coconut milk (full fat)

Click here for the full recipe from Nourishing Meals!

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