Written by: Caroline Rowe, MSU Dietetic Intern
A little known fact about lentils is that Montana is the number one producer in the county of both traditional and organic lentils. These little guys are an awesome tool to have in your kitchen and your diet, they’re cheap, and they have tons of potential! Not many people are familiar with lentils and their many benefits, and they tend to be intimidating to cook. However, it is actually pretty simple to include lentils in different recipes. You just boil some water on the stove, throw them in and let them simmer for about 25 minutes and they’re done! You can then throw them in a soup, puree them, or even use them in baked goods as a substitute for butter!
So dip your toes in the lentil stew and try one of these recipes!
Winter Lentil Soup
Hands-On Time 20 min
Total Time 1 hr
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 leeks (white and light green parts), cut into 1/4-inch-thick half-moons
1 28-ounce can whole tomatoes, drained
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 bunch kale, thick stems removed and leaves cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
½ cup brown lentils
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
¼ cup grated Parmesan (1 ounce; optional)
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook, breaking them up with a spoon, for 5 minutes.
- Add 6 cups water and bring to a boil. Stir in the sweet potatoes, kale, lentils, thyme, 1 ½ teaspoons salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Simmer until the lentils are tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan, if using.
Nutrition facts: Calories: 226 Protein: 12g Fat: 4g Saturated fat: 1g Cholesterol: 3mg Carbohydrates: 38g Fiber: 7g Sodium: 799 mg
By Sara Quessenberry
Serving Size: 1 muffins
Makes: 12 muffins
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup lentil puree*
1 cup shredded carrots
1 cup unbleached flour
¾ cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp each, cinnamon and nutmeg
- PREHEAT oven to 350F. Spray muffin tin lightly non-stick spray.
- Mix both sugars, vanilla, canola oil and eggs in medium bowl until well blended. Add lentil puree and shredded carrots. Spoon into bowls and top with the Parmesan, if using.
- In separate bowl, combine flours, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Blend dry ingredients with lentil carrot mixture until fully incorporated.
- Pour mix into prepared muffin pan and bake at 350ºF for about 20-25 minutes. Check to see if they are done with a toothpick inserted in center, if removed clean, they are done.
- Remove from oven and let cool in tray for a few minutes, remove and let cool on cooling rack.
*Lentil Puree: Rinse and drain a 19-ounce can of lentils. Place in food processor, add ¼ cup hot water, and puree until the mixture is very smooth, adding more water in small amounts to reach desired consistency, similar to baby food, about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of the bowl as needed. Refrigerate or freeze unused lentil puree for your next batch!
Nutrition Facts: Calories: 244 Protein: 5g Fat: 7g Saturated fat: 1g Cholesterol: 31mg Carbohydrates: 42g Fiber: 2g Sodium: 195mg Potassium: 186mg Vitamin C: 1mg Folate: 74mcg Calcium: 38mg Iron: 2mg
Source: Pulse Canada