Hi No Meat Athlete readers! My name is Sarah, and I blog over at Running To Slow Things Down. I’m currently going to college as a nutrition/dietetics major, and I’m super excited about where that’s going to take me. My foodie philosphy revolves mainly around eating wholesome, natural foods most of the time, and enjoying all foods with balance and moderation. I also think food should *taste* good if its going to be called healthy…otherwise it’s just not worth eating, right?
Anyways, on to the topic of today’s post: I live (and cook) in a family of mixed tastebuds. My dad loves a good ribeye steak, my brother is an active vegetarian, and I’m somewhere in the middle. Sometimes it can be tricky to
make food that pleases everyone, but I’ve discovered that for the most part, I can just make a really good vegetarian dish that everyone loves. There’s hardly every a complaint…Easy Peasy, right?
Well…I’m still learning, but I have found that LENTILS, of all foods, are pretty versatile, and they have found their rightful place as a member of the family pantry. I remember being scared the first time I decided to cook with
them, because even saying the word “lentil” seemed to send some of my family members running in the opposite direction…
Rule #1 when preparing lentils for the family: Don’t say the word “vegetarian dish” or “lentil” before letting them try the dish first.
Okay, moving on…
Lentils are super nutritious and easy to prepare because they cook much faster then other beans and legumes. One cup of cooked lentils provides you with 18 g of protein, 16 g of fiber, almost 40% of your daily intake for iron, and also is a good source of folate, manganese, phosphorous and copper. Whew…how’s that for what is commonly called the “peasant bean?”
Lentils tend to soak up the flavor of whatever you put them in, and in my opinion, they taste great with spicy, tomato style dishes. So without further ado, I will introduce some of my family’s favorite lentil dishes:
1. Lentil Tacos
This recipe was taken from Runner’s World, and has been a family favorite in my house for a long time now.
Perhaps the best part about this dish is that you can give people options of what to top the taco with. More choices=a good thing when introducing new dishes. I like to top mine with chopped tomatoes, lettuce, a bit of cheese, and globs of guacamole.
2. Snobby Joes
This recipe was taken from Veganomicon, and may very well be my family’s favorite lentil recipe. The sauce is addicting and tastes exactly like those sloppy joes you grew up with as kid. Seriously…tried and true, even the meat
lovers in the family loved it. Don’t be afraid to double the batch though…it only served about 3 hungry people.
I served the snobby joes on top of toasted whole wheat sub rolls for a very tasty, filling, and highly nutritious meal…yum!!
3. Tomato and Lentil Soup
This soup recipe is from Cooking Light and is a must try if you enjoy rustic, earthy flavors with a hint of dill. And best of all, it’s super simple to put together. I served the soup with grilled cheeses on the side for ultimate comfort food power.
And there you have it…the 3 top lentil recipes in my versatile family. Simple, easy, nutritious, and approved by both the vegetarians and meat eaters. I never thought I’d live to see the day where I was feeding my family
lentils and getting approval nods and “mmmms..” but I have…and I hope you enjoy them too!