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Each day we hear of how the price of meat is going up even higher. What is a family to do? Do you find yourself looking for meat alternatives? Well, look no further, as we have the perfect solution for you—lentils. Packed with protein this healthy alternative is just what you have been looking for—and will satisfy any of the picky meat-eaters in your family. With their incredible flavor, they will sure to become a fast favorite with your family.
So, you are probably asking yourself right now—what are lentils? Lentils have been around for centuries and believed to have originated in the Near East. Lentils are classified as legumes and are the close cousins to such vegetables as beans, chickpeas, peanuts, and soybeans. The name itself, lentil, is from the Latin meaning "lens," which makes perfect sense as the bean when dried looks somewhat like a little lens. Lentils are available in a variety of colors, including green, red, yellow, and black.
The next question on your mind is how to cook lentils. That is not a challenging or complicated process. Much like cooking rice, you bring your liquid (water, broth, etc.) to a boil and then add your lentils. You will now turn the heat back down to a simmer and let them cook for at least 25-30 minutes. You will want to keep test tasting the lentils, to make sure they are the consistency that you want—firm if you intend to eat them alone or in a salad, and softer if they are going be added to a soup or stew.
So, without further adieu, let's look at some delicious dishes that incorporate this flavorful and hearty little legume as the main ingredient.
This delicious soup incorporates a creamy light coconut milk, with the spices of turmeric, ginger, garlic, and cumin. The flavors melt together in such a manner that this soup will quickly become a favorite for your family.
This stew provides the benefits of being both healthy and filling. With its totally awesome creamy texture, this stew also offers a sweet flavor that it acquires from the coconut milk and just a touch of cinnamon. You are sure to find nutrition and comfort in each and every bowl.
When Taco Tuesday rolls around, these vegetarian style tacos are a perfect choice. Made to include a homemade salsa verde sauce, they are flavorful and won't backtrack your desire to eat healthily. You could try a tasty addition of mango-pomegranate pico to take this dish up a notch.
This chili offers to be both vegans, as well as gluten-free. It is packed with quinoa, as well as plenty of lentils, veggies, and flavorful spices. Your family will not only love how tasty this chili is but also how hearty as well. You are assured your crew will be coming back for seconds on this one.
This stew will leave you all warm and cozy inside—great for those cold, blustery days of winter. Packed with protein-filled lentils, and tasty butternut squash, and chickpeas with the addition of a variety of flavorful spices, you will have one fantastic dish that will soon become a favorite with even the pickiest of your eaters.
These are only a few of the recipes and dishes that you can incorporate lentils into for a healthy, delicious alternative. Lentils are easy to cook, and when added to other dishes will take on the flavors and intensify them, making them even more tasty and hearty.