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15 Ways to Eat More Lentils

The following article was written by Heinen’s Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek RD, LD.

If you’re looking for a whole food that’s easy on the wallet, quick to prepare, can be used in a variety of meals and is loaded with dietary fiber and protein, seek no further than the humble lentil.

Lentils are an ancient edible legume dating back to 7000 BC. Known for their lens-shape, when compared to dried beans they are a more attractive option because they require no soaking and are ready in 15-20 minutes.

You can find them in brown, green (French lentils), yellow, black and red varieties; however, the texture is not the same across the board. When cooked, brown, green and black lentils are firm, while red and yellow are soft and work well in blended recipes like soups, chili, veggie burgers, dips and spreads.

Dry Lentils

Because they are so rich in fiber, lentils help fill you up and stabilize your blood sugar too. Not bad for a mere 32 cents per serving!

I’m not ashamed to admit my love of lentils, after all, they’ve been a lifesaver in my quest to eat less meat. This journey has led me to discover 15 simple ways to incorporate cooked lentils in my meals.

  1. Substitute for beef in these Better-for-You Sloppy Joe’s.
  2. Enjoy in premade plant-based burgers like NoBull. (Frozen Department)
  3. Add a scoop or two to dinner salads.
  4. Stir into pasta sauce as a thickener.
  5. Fold into omelets.
  6. Mix into tuna, egg or potato salads.
  7. Add to roasted vegetables hot out of the oven.
  8. Make this nutrition-packed Turmeric Lentil Chia Soup.
  9. Add to canned soups to balance out the salt.
  10. Mix with quinoa or brown rice to serve as a side dish.
  11. Make homemade lentil salad by combining chopped veggies, nuts and sliced kalamata olives. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar, then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  12. Bake up a batch of falafel and add to Buddha Bowls.
  13. Prepare a Vegetarian Chili with lentils, Heinen’s 3 Bean Blend and garbanzo beans.
  14. Add to your favorite casserole recipe.
  15. Make plant-based tacos using seasoned lentils in place of beef.

Turmeric Lentil Chia Soup

Key Takeaway

Don’t let that bag of lentils collect dust in your pantry! A little preparation is key to making them a regular part of your meals. Simply boil a bag of Heinen’s lentils on Sunday and refrigerate them in a sealed container to easily add to meals throughout the week. It won’t be long before you fall in love with lentils too!

Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD
By Melanie Jatsek RD, LD
Heinen's Chief Dietitian, Melanie Jatsek, RD, LD believes that the answer to a strong, healthy and vibrant body lies within. She graduated cum laude from the University of Akron, earning a degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and has over 20 years of experience in wellness program development, health coaching and professional speaking. As a published author of three books and registered dietitian for Heinen’s, Melanie offers programs, services and tools to help Heinen’s customers take inspired action to build the healthy body they were meant to live in without giving up their favorite foods.

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