Misunderstood and sometimes underappreciated, lentils are nevertheless a food with many benefits. Not only are they nutritional, but they are also super versatile, which means they can be prepared a thousand and one different ways! Discover all the benefits of this versatile legume and tips to prepare them on a daily basis.
LOADS OF BENEFITS!
Rich in protein
Did you know that lentils are an excellent source of protein? No wonder they are an essential part of a vegan diet! Half a cup of cooked lentils represents nearly 10 grams of protein. Eating some at lunch can help limit cravings in the late afternoon, for example. We recommend combining them with cereals such as rice or quinoa to supplement your protein intake.
Source of vitamins, minerals, and fibre
In addition to being tasty, lentils boast loads of nutrients! Iron, potassium, magnesium, calcium, vitamin B: thanks to their many properties, lentils can prevent certain deficiencies, especially in the case of a vegan diet. They are also high in fibre: half a cup, on average, contains half the fibre intake recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Good for the heart
These legumes also have the advantage of containing nutrients essential for good heart health, such as magnesium and folic acid.
HOW TO INCORPORATE THEM INTO YOUR MENU
Red or green, blonde or coral, lentils are a chameleon food that can be used in multiple recipes. They are delicious in soups, as well as in salads, tourtière, or pâté. They offer endless possibilities!
In a salad: Want to try something new with your salads? Lentils are an ideal base! Simply rinse and drain a can of lentils, then add vegetables and the dressing of your choice. Use whatever ingredients you have in your fridge or simply revamp your favourite recipes, such as the traditional Greek salad, pairing the lentils with black olives, diced tomatoes, and feta cheese.
In a patty: Easy to prepare, patties are ideal on busy weeknights. They are often made with tuna or salmon, but are just as tasty with lentils.
In a soup: Lentil soup is a Quebec classic, but there are a ton of other recipes to add to your repertoire! Once cooked, you can puree lentils in a food processor for a creamy soup, or add them to your traditional vegetable and barley soup. Want to pull out all the stops? Try making a savoury dhal seasoned with curry and coconut milk.
EASY PREP TIPS
Contrary to popular belief, dry lentils do not require any soaking time. Just rinse them before cooking with them! We recommend rinsing them two or three times to remove any small grains of sand that may have lodged there.
When it comes to cooking them, simply boil them in four times their volume in water for 30 to 35 minutes. Then they’ll be ready to add to any dish!
If you want to explore the delicious possibilities lentils have to offer, try making these quesadillas. You’ll wow the whole family!
Prep time: 30 minutes
Portions: 4 quesadillas
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp. soy sauce
3 tbsp. ketchup
1/2 tbsp. maple syrup
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup corn kernels
1 540 ml can green lentils, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup broth
½ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
A bunch cilantro, chopped
Hot sauce, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a pan set over medium heat. Sauté the onion and garlic.
- Add the soy sauce, ketchup, maple syrup, and chili powder. Stir well.
- Add the lentils, corn, and broth. Let simmer over low heat for a dozen or so minutes, or until the liquid has completely evaporated.
- In a pan, place the tortilla and spread a quarter cup of the mixture on one side. On the other, garnish with cheese, cilantro, and hot sauce and close in half. Brown each surface over medium heat for two to three minutes.
Delicious and economical, there’s no reason to deprive yourself of lentils. Don’t hesitate to put them on your menu—they’ll quickly become a pantry staple!