Lentils: The Instant Bean

Originally uploaded by Monster.

How to eat them: Soup Ingredient, Entree over rice, or burger/roast ingredient.

Why to eat them: Cheap, Quick to fix, full of protein, iron and fiber.

Beans, peas and other legumes are a staple for the vegan diet. But most of them are complicated to cook from scratch, requiring hours of soaking, rinsing and cooking.

Lentils, on the other hand, cook as fast as rice, usually a 15 minute simmer will suffice. They require no rinsing or soaking.

Lentils come in many varieties and colors, and each variety has its own flavor and texture. You are probably familiar with brown lentils, which have a satisfying earthy flavor and texture. Yellow and Red lentils get softer when cooked, so they are great as a spread for wraps, or in a blended soup. Black lentils are firmer and smoother, with a delicate flavor, which makes them great as an entree, in a soup broth, or a bean salad.

Quick Recipe: Lentil Soup in 20 minutes.

1. Put a sauce pan on medium heat.
2. Cover the bottom of the pan with virgin olive oil
3. Quickly dice garlic and or onion into the oil. As little as three cloves of garlic, or as much as 10, and 1/4 to one whole onion.
4. Once the garlic/onion starts to brown, add a cup of lentils and two cups of water
5. Dice in whatever vegetables you have on hand. I generally use one carrot and one potato
6. Three shakes of cumin and three shakes of an herb of choice. Oregano or marjoram are nice.
7. Salt and Pepper to taste
8. Simmer for 15 minutes
9. Optional secret ingredient: Diced dates added with garlic/onion

Serve with a dollop of soy yogurt or vegan sour cream.

One Response to “Lentils: The Instant Bean”

  1. Clotilde M. Says:

    I love those lentils! What rich colors and of course, the flavor. Lentils are one of the most flavorful sources of protein around. Thanks for sharing.

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