I didn't jump on board the Lentil Wagon until a few years ago. Lentils weren't a part of my diet growing up so I wasn't sure about them. Wow, was I missing out on these little droplets of pure goodness! Lentils are super low in fat, high in protein, fiber, vitamin B9 (folate), and are CHEAP! They're great on their own, or mixed in to a recipe for added health benefits.
Lentils come in a variety of colors: red, green, brown, and black. I mainly use green and red when I cook (just because they're more readily available at my grocer). Red lentils tend to cook faster and get a little mushy, so if you're cooking something like Lentil Sloppy Joes, use green, which can stand up to several hours in a slow cooker. Red lentils are also good to use as a thickening agent in soups since they breakdown over longer cooking times.
Lentils are high in protein - 30% of their calories come from protein. They're high in fiber: a 1/2 cup gets you close to about 30% of your daily required intake. And being high in fiber they help with IBS issues, promote digestive health, stabilize blood sugars, and can reduce cholesterol levels.
Here's their overall nutritional breakdown for a 1/2 cup:
- 115 calories
- 0.4 grams of fat
- 0 mg of cholesterol
- 2 mg of sodium
- 365.5 mg of potassium
- 20 grams of carbs
- 8 grams of fiber
- 9 grams of protein
- 179 mg of Vitamin B9 (folate) - supports nervous system health.
They're super versatile and can be used in lots of different recipes. Feel free to give some of these a go!
Let’s embrace those winter root vegetables and take a new twist on traditional spaghetti and sauce. The lentils, mushrooms, and quinoa make a meaty sauce and the cooked spaghetti squash is a delicious alternative to pasta noodles. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed!
This is a super easy recipe that will fill you up all night long! Just a few ingredients and the power of lentils - high in protein and fiber! Pair with my Rosemary & Garlic Mashed Potatoes for a delicious and filling dinner!
Love cabbage rolls, but don't have the time to make them? Make this casserole instead and get all the amazing flavors in a super simple one pot recipe!
March is all about Meatless Mondays! Ok, ok, everything I post is meatless, but what about those great meaty meals you think you have to give up when going vegan? March Meatless Mondays will take typically meat heavy meals and transform them before your very eyes!
This recipe is inspired by Mt Rainier National Park's Bourbon Buffalo Meatloaf found in Kathleen Bryant's Western National Parks' Lodges Cookbook. I've been wanting to make a lentil loaf for a while, but I never really found the inspiration. Until now. This Lentil Loaf is A-MAZING. I'm not just tooting my own horn. I love it. And I hope you do too!
This may seem like a lot of ingredients, but the end result is DELICIOUS! Sometimes it can be more like a stew than a soup, especially as the rice starts to absorb all the liquid, but either way its a hearty and filling meal!
Want to convince your non-vegan friends that vegan food is just as good as non-vegan food? Make this recipe! Sweet and tangy barbecue lentils, mixed with onions, and quinoa, stuffed inside green bell peppers and baked with mashed potatoes. Always a crowd pleaser!
Ready for some roasted potato goodness? These Irish Nachos are a great take on traditional nachos using potatoes, lentils, quinoa, onions, salsa, cilantro, and a homemade cashew cheese! Don't fear the cashew cheese - its super easy and super delicious!
It felt like casserole time in our home over the weekend. I had some turnips and shelling peas from my weekly Farm Box from Riverdog Farms and already had carrots, celery and onions stocked in my fridge. What better way to use them all up, but to make a warm, hearty casserole. I have also wanted to experiment with making my own 'cream' of mushroom soup (which is a key ingredient in this recipe), and I think I came up with a pretty successful version. Click here for it.
I'm channeling my Polish Grandmother on this one and I think I've finally perfected the cabbage roll after multiple tries. Its filled with brown rice, lentils, mushrooms, onions, and garlic and eventually topped with yummy tomato sauce. A super satisfying meal, give this a whirl and I'm sure you'll love it!
This is a good make ahead recipe for a dinner during a busy week or a weekend get together. You can make the filling in your slow cooker and the next day finish by baking the peppers. I promise, you won’t even miss that its not meat!
Traditional moussaka is usually made with lamb and a béchamel sauce (cheese, butter, and flour). I changed this up by using lentils instead of lamb and mashed potatoes instead of the béchamel sauce. With the help of Penzeys Spices, an amazing spice shop based out of Milwaukee, this turned out super delicious and was easier to make than it looks. Give it a go and you won’t be disappointed!
There’s something about the tomato base in combination with the spices that makes this curry balanced and insanely delicious. I ate this three days in a row and couldn’t wait to have it again!
Mmmmm, barbecue sandwiches. I think every single family gathering I've ever gone to has had a form of barbecued sandwiches. Smokey, sweet, spicy; barbecue has it all. It was hard when I first thought I'd never be able to enjoy a barbecue sandwich again after going plant based, but oh, I was so wrong! These are the easiest, tastiest sandwich you can make and they are perfect to whip up in your slow-cooker.