Meal Prep, side dish, Side Dishes, Uncategorized, Where to Start

$0.15 And 60 Minute Lentils

Not many people are indifferent about lentils (just like Brussels Sprouts!) – either you love them or you avoid them. This straightforward recipe aims to create more lentil lovers by showing how to make delicious, $0.15 per serving lentils in less than an hour with minimal touch time! All these factors make lentils the perfect dish to have cooking away in the background while you meal prep!

Ingredients (~8 Servings):

  • 2 cups of dry lentils
  • 6 cups of water
  • 2 tsp of salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne (optional)

Tools:

  • 2.5-3 quart sauce-pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Electric Kettle (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Sort the lentils on a plate and discard anything that doesn’t look like a lentil. See pictures in Tips section below.
  2. Add lentils, water and half of black pepper and cayenne to sauce-pan and bring to boil.
  3. Reduce heat to simmer (2-3 out of 10 on a stovetop burner) and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes. Stir every 10-15 minutes and check that the water is still simmering. Adjust the heat as needed. Add more water as needed to keep the lentils covered.
  4. Mix in salt, remaining black pepper, and cayenne then turn off the burner.
  5. Allow 10 minutes for lentils to cool and enjoy!

Tips:

Step 1 – To sort lentils, first spread them out on a plate, like so:

Lentils - Pre Sort

Next, move them around with your hands and discard any that don’t look quite right. Here’s a sample discard pile:

sorted-lentils.jpg

Step 2 – You can speed up the boiling process by heating the water in an electric kettle. This shaves about 5 minutes off your cook time.

Step 3 – An ideal simmer for lentils is a couple bubbles floating to the surface constantly. When you stir, increase or decrease the heat as necessary to achieve this. Don’t worry if you over or under shoot this target, they will still turn out great. Aim for the gentle simmer to be your average.

Step 4 – In my experience, adding the salt at the end leads to a less mushy, more flavorful product.

Cost:

  • 2 cups of dry lentils ~ $1.50
  • Spices – negligible

Total Cost per sauce pan ~ $1.50

Cost per serving (~10 servings) ~ $0.15

Conclusion:

Lentils can be used for just about anything. I often have them with a couple eggs in the morning or with an afternoon snack of chicken, peas, and/or spinach. They can just as easily be turned into dinner – especially if you mix them with sausage and/or Stir-fried Vegetables. Since lentils are high in protein and fiber and you now are a pro at making them, seek out creative ways to mix them into your diet as a delicious way to help achieve your health goals.

As always, make informed food decisions. Know your ingredients, know your costs!

Lentils

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