I was lucky enough to snag a free package of lentils from the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council a few weeks ago. At the time, I had no idea what I was going to do with them. The only thing I’ve ever really associated lentils with was soup. It’s 100 degrees here. Far too hot for soup!
The package that the council sent me along with the lentils was full of information! First, as long as they’re kept dry, you can store lentils indefinitely. Second, lentils are extremely healthy! They are full of protein, fiber, Folate (a B vitamin) and Iron. They are also low in calories and contain virtually no fat!
Lentils are also fast! They don’t require soaking, like many dried beans, and cook in about 15 minutes. The cooking ratio is 1 part lentils to 2 parts water. So, if you’re cooking 1 cup of lentils, you’ll use 2 cups of water. Bring it all to a boil, reduce it to a simmer, cover them and cook them for about 15 minutes (or until tender). So easy!
There are 6 types of lentils: Pardina (small brown), Brewer (regular), Skinless Red, Yellow Split Peas, Green Split Peas and Chickpeas. The salad below was made with Brewers Lentils.
Citrus Lentil Salad
This Citrus Lentil Salad is a quick and easy dish that would be treated as a side or a main course! Lentils are packed with protein, so this a great vegetarian option too.
Have you ever tried lentils? What did you think?