Lentils are an inexpensive, versatile legume that's very healthy too!  They're rich in fiber, antioxidants, selenium, B vitamins and other great nutrients that help boost the immune system and fight heart disease. Plus, unlike some other legumes, you don't need to soak lentils before you cook them, which make them among the fastest and easiest to prepare! Here's a great, simple guide to adding lentils to your diet.

Materials Needed: Lentils, water, salt (to taste), a pot with a lid, and a strainer.

Directions

  1. Measure out the desired amount of lentils. 1 cup of uncooked lentils will yield about 2 cups of cooked lentils.
  2. Pick through the lentils to free them of shells or debris. Rinse and drain.
  3. Cook lentils in a pot or sauce pan with a 2:1 water to lentil ratio.
  4. Cover the pot and boil the lentils for 2-3 minutes on medium heat. Then, reduce the heat to a low simmer until the lentils are tender. Drain lentils, if necessary. Cooking times vary considerably; the older the lentils are, the longer they need to cook. It can take anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour.
  5. Season lentils as desired. Do not add salt before the lentils are fully cooked, as these can make the lentils tough.

Some recipes to try:

Barley and Lentil Soup with Swiss ChardBarley and Lentil Soup with Swiss Chard

Pasta with Lentils and KalePasta with Lentils and Kale

Sicilian Lentil Pasta SauceSicilian Lentil Pasta Sauce

  Photo Credits: Whole Foods Market, Marin Mama Cooks

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