Versatile. Tasty. Nutritious. A good protein source. All good reasons to eat red lentils. But the best reason of all? They cook quickly!
We can all use a side dish that can easily double as a main dish that cooks in 10 minutes.
For plain red lentils, simply rinse lentils in a sieve until water runs clear. Use a 1:2 lentil to liquid ratio (one cup lentils to two cups liquid). Place uncovered, in a microwave safe bowl (large enough to prevent boil overs) and heat on high for 3 minutes. Reduce heat to 40% power, or power level 4 and cook for an additional 4 minutes. Remove from microwave and let sit for 3 minutes. Add a little bit of olive oil and salt to flavor. Serve.
- Cook in chicken or vegetable broth with chopped carrots, celery, onion, garlic and bay leaf for a quick soup. Add cooked meat or other beans or veggies to your liking.
- Let cool and mix in chopped veggies and dressing for a cold salad.
- Heat with salsa, corn, cheese, cilantro and guacamole for an easy mexi-bowl and serve with fresh tortillas or tortilla chips.
- Serve plain lentils warm as a side dish accompaniment in place of rice, pasta or mashed potatoes. To boost nutrition even more, stir in chopped fresh herbs, greens or sprouts.
Red lentils are good for you with each 1/2 cup serving of lentils providing 9 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber. High in iron and folate, naturally low in fat.