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Lentils…The Unsung Bean

17/11/2010

Well actually a lentil is a legume but let’s not split hairs beans.  I’ve been a canned bean-aholic for a long time.  It’s so easy to just open and can and dump them into a pot, crock or otherwise.

Yet I have a strong desire to use dried beans instead.  It might be the excess salty stuff I always have to rinse off or the fact that cans take up a TON of space in my awesome pantry.  Either way I keep buying bags of beans hoping I’ll be inspired to make them someday.

The day finally came…actually I ran out of canned lentils and had to think on my feet.  Luckily for me lentils are super easy to cook from scratch.  No overnight soaking, no long hours in the pot.  Quick simple and dinner can be on the table before Hunni eats his arm.

Here’s my basic way to cook lentils.  It’s amazing the many ways Google can help in the kitchen.  I took a little of this and a little of that and hoped for the best.

Basic Garlic Lentils

  • Lentils
  • Garlic
  • Water

Sounds simple enough right?  Oh it is.  You can make a ton ahead and freeze…eliminating the need to ever buy canned again.

  1. Grab your dried lentils and try to guess how much is in the jar…maybe I’ll win a prize.IMG_5345 I’m thinking about two cups.  IMG_5346Wooohooo! Perfect.
  2. Be sure to sort through lentils to remove and rocks or stick.  Extra fiber is great but that would be a bit too much.
  3. Add lentils to large pot and cover with water.  A good ratio is 2 cups of water for every cup of lentils if you are going to use them in soups or brothy thing…3 cups for any other preparation.  IMG_5348
  4. At this point you can add any flavors you want.  Really, any! I add garlic to anything to ward off the vampires so I added a few smashed cloves to the water.IMG_5350
  5. Cover and cook on medium until the water comes to a rapid boil. Double, Double, Toil and trouble. IMG_5352
  6. At this point you want to vent the lid and allow the lentils to cook until the water is absorbed.  IMG_5356You have to let the steam escape or it can explode like a mad woman.
  7. Cooking takes approximately 20-30 minutes.  Be sure to taste the texture so it’s to your liking. IMG_5358

From there your recipes are endless.  Perfect for my lentil chili or Lindsey’s Vegan Enchiladas.  You should check back later for my Lentil Sloppy Joes too.   I froze the leftover so I can dream of more fun with these new legumes Smile

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21 Comments leave one →
  1. 17/11/2010 9:42 AM

    Love lentils and they don’t need much fussing over to taste great. Like that even more. 🙂

  2. 17/11/2010 9:43 AM

    I have never made anything with lentils before but would like to try. Right now my husband and I are experimenting with quinoa.

    • 17/11/2010 9:45 AM

      Lentils and quinoa are actually great together. And you can cook them both in the rice cooker at the same time if you have one.

      • 17/11/2010 9:47 AM

        Oh we do! I need to go pull out the manual and see if it tells me how. What a great idea.

      • 17/11/2010 10:02 AM

        I found the ratio online. It is similar to brown rice. SO simple. You can even add your flavors and spices into the pot.

  3. 17/11/2010 10:16 AM

    I have been loving lentils lately, and so has Nick – I’m looking for new recipes all the time. They’re just so good!

  4. 18/11/2010 3:44 AM

    i loooove lentils. we’ve got a LOT of them in the house now!

  5. mrsfattypants permalink
    18/11/2010 3:29 PM

    I LOVE lentils! I typically make them in a soup with a tomato base! Thanks for sharing~ 🙂

    • 18/11/2010 4:43 PM

      I’ve never cooked them directly in the soup. That’s really a great idea.

      • Toni permalink
        18/11/2010 5:08 PM

        Yep! It’s really easy actually. It’s really a 10 minute meal!

  6. 18/11/2010 6:53 PM

    I love lentils! They’re so inexpensive, full of protein, and taste great. I’m actually having some tonight! 😛

    • 18/11/2010 9:44 PM

      That is one of the big things that got me to use them. So versatile for so little money. What are you having?

  7. 20/11/2010 12:31 AM

    Thanks for giving the lentils some love! I feel like they are a forgotten bean, for sure 🙂

    You’ve inspired me to grab that bag of lentils and use them tomorrow!

  8. 20/11/2010 12:38 AM

    Be still my growling stomach! I mean…be still my heart.

    Sounds delish – keep us posted on how it goes! : )

Trackbacks

  1. Sloppy Joes – Vegan « It All Changes
  2. You Can Make This : Dried Beans « It All Changes

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