For the Love of Lentils

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

(http://www.runnersworld.com/article/0,7120,s6-242-303-308-%2010860-0,00.html)

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. :-)

lentil taco

2. Snobby Joes

(http://www.theppk.com/recipes/dbrecipes/index.php?RecipeID=2059)

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!!

snobby joes

3. Tomato and Lentil Soup

(http://find.myrecipes.com/recipes/recipefinder.dyn?action=displayRecipe&recipe_id=592322)

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. ;)

[tomato and lentil soup photo]

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! :-)

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Comments

  1. Awesome post! I love lentils but have been in a run with them, this is just the thing I needed. I am super psyched to try the snobby joes!

  2. Oops I meant to say “in a rut” not “run” :)

  3. I only discovered lentils since making the lentil burgers I posted on a while back. They always sounded like such a boring food to me, but they really have a nice flavor, even better than other beans. The tacos will be the first I try.

  4. These all look so good I can’t decide which to try first!

  5. You’re getting approving nods from me too :) Seriously, YUMtastic. I can’t believe I never thought of lentil tacos before. I can’t wait to try it. Thank you for the awesome ideas!
    .-= Sagan´s last blog ..Recap of an indulgent weekend =-.

  6. I eat lentils most days, as I love them so much!
    .-= Hanlie´s last blog ..Have dreams, will travel… =-.

  7. I made the sloppy joes last night. Really great! My boyfriend even asked if it could become one of our “regular” meals! Served it with vegan mashed potatoes and pickles. Def a keeper, thanks!

    • I made it too, once I heard you were. It was great! As good as any regular sloppy joes I can remember, and not as sloppy. I backed off on the amount of maple syrup, because I was worried about it being too sweet, but once it sits for a while the sweetness goes to the background. So next time I’ll put the full amount.

  8. Hey Matt! I tried to follow the link to the lentil tacos and it is broken – I was not able to find the recipe. Just wanted to let you know so you can update as necessary. Thanks for your wonderful site!

  9. I would LOVE to try the lentil tacos, but every time I click on the link it says Page Not Found. Does anyone else have access to the working recipe site? Many thanks!

Trackbacks

  1. […] new here; beans are a staple of almost every vegetarian athlete’s diet.  My favorites are lentils, chickpeas and black beans, but almost every starchy bean contains 12 to 15 grams of protein per […]

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