You know those awesomely long and totally overwhelming posts that have one million recipe links? This is not going to be one of them.
This is just a love letter to lentils. With a few links.
My sisters were here this week (hey, how about I tell you the same thing 100 times and you pretend I didn’t? sheesh.) and I uncovered a shocking secret about my younger sister: SHE HAS NEVER TRIED LENTILS. Or had never, until this week when she stayed with me and obviously, I fed her her very first lentils like any big sister would. After her first bite, she said, “Yummmm. They taste kind of like beans.” What?!?!?!?
I might have been in denial for the last few years. Not everyone buys lentils on every grocery trip. Or has any idea where to find them in the store or how to make them or why in the world they should make them. So in honor of my own personal love for all things lentil and the fact that these lentil recipes are some of my favorite recipes EVER done on Pinch of Yum, I thought this post was very necessary.
Lentil newbies, I love you and this is for you!
What are lentils? Basically, beans. Small, cute little protein-packed beans.
Where do I buy lentils? At the grocery store, usually in the canned or dried goods section. I’m guessing it will be by the other dried beans. Here in the Philippines, I can buy them canned, but I’ve never seen that in the states.
How much do they cost? At home, I could buy them for less than a dollar per pound.
Are they really that healthy? Fiber, protein, folate, iron… gang’s all there. For real!
How do I make them? Basically, you have to boil them until they’re soft. No presoaking or any other annoying steps required.
Will I like eating them? Yes.
Red Curry Lentils: amazing (like, honestly the best ever) flavors from the coconut milk, curry paste, and garam masala, plus a pretty red color. For surely the best lentil starter recipe for all you newbies. I’ve actually gone so far as to name this my personal #1 favorite Pinch of Yum recipe. Wait, do I have to choose just one? There are a lot that I love and most of them involve more stuff like sugar and butter and chocolate. But I reeeeeally love this one.
Easy Red Lentil Dhal: made in about 20 minutes, made in about 20 minutes, made in about… saucy and mildly spicy, perfect over rice, and made in about 20 minutes. All over it.
Creamy Thai Sweet Potatoes and Lentils: coconut milk FOR LIFE, can be stew-thick or soup-thin, with tomatoes and sweet potatoes and cabbage to round out the health-ometer.
Kabocha Squash Lentil Curry: extra healthy because of the squash and tomatoes, super creamy and smooth consistency, fills you up forrrrever, and hey! you can use any kind of squash.
Coconut Green Curry Lentils: very green – including spinach – yay, a light and bright flavor from the green curry paste, making it all cozy and saucy and perfect for pajama dinners.
Thai Basil Coconut Lentils: super unique, bright, fresh lemongrass and ginger flavors from the tom kha paste, plus extra veggies for lots of color and texture variety, loads of fresh basil.
Apparently lentil recipes are affected by that same shopping principle that makes you gravitate towards buying different varieties of what is really the same item, every.single.time. Does that happen to the rest of the world? I definitely have at least 50 varieties of the exact same cheapo flip flops in my little shoe cabinet. Want to know what I brought way too much of to the Philippines? FLIP FLOPS. Good grief.
At least the good thing is that I wear one pair of them.
In the end, my sister gave red curry lentils two thumbs up even though we made it with broccoli and it sort of turned brown. You can’t lose here, friends. Lentils for life!