Vegetarian or not, eat legumes (beans, peas and lentils from dried or canned) at least twice every week. Lentils are a sustainable, very affordable food supplying both protein and carbohydrate energy. At lentils.ca you can find ideas for everything from appys to desserts. I even entered my Ladies and Lentilmen gingerbread cookies in a recipe contest there once.
Even faster, without recipes:
(Note: Lentils cook like rice: One part lentils to 2 parts water, in about 15 minutes.)
- While starting a tomato sauce for pasta, on another burner, boil a cup of lentils. Stir the cooked lentils into the sauce.
- Make a Greek-style salad. Tomatoes, cucumber, olives, feta and…lentils! They marinate well absorbing the flavour of the vinaigrette dressing.
- Make instant hummus: Puree a can of rinsed, drained lentils with 2 cloves garlic, juice of 1 lemon and ¼ cup tahini or nut butter. (For classic hummus, use chickpeas in place of lentils.) Stir in a little plain Greek yogurt if you like for a smoother texture. A perfect dip for crudités.
- Add to quesadilla. If you make the kind for kids that is simply melted cheese between 2 tortillas, ramp this up substantially by pureeing lentils and spreading on tortillas before sprinkling in the cheese. Veggies in there would be terrific too!
- Keep a bag of cooked lentils in the freezer. Sprinkle a few in the blender when making smoothies for an affordable protein boost.
- Introduce them to babies and toddlers. Cooked lentils are the perfect size for tiny fingers to pick up off their plate.
- Throw them into just about any homemade soup while it simmers.