Mains

June 20, 2018

Easy Lentils + Spice Combinations

Today we're talking beans, lentils to be specific. And these are easy lentils. Healthy, delicious, versatile, easy lentils. Get excited, because one of the healthiest foods on the planet is coming your way.

I buy lentils dry in a bag from the grocery store. They come in a 1lb. bag and they are so cheap: $1-$2 per bag for 13 servings. That's 15 cents a serving. These lentils are not only easy to cook but also easy on your wallet. You're welcome.

Health Benefits of Lentils

Before I get to the recipe, I want to talk about nutrition (of course). Legumes, the classification in which lentils fall, are so healthy. The United States Federal Government recommends we each eat 1/2 cup per day. Other health organizations recognize the extreme health benefits of legumes and suggest we eat beans at every meal. These legumes are so vital to health and longevity that we shouldn't go one meal without eating them.

Regular bean consumption reduces your risk of cancer, diabetes, coronary heart disease, and obesity (Leterme). Legumes can also increase your life expectancy and are a fantastic source of both plant-protein and fiber. If that doesn't inspire you to eat beans on a regular (hopefully daily) basis, I don't know what will. But I'll keep trying.

On a micro level, beans are high in iron, an essential nutrient. Iron helps your body create oxygen in your blood cells. Without this essential function, you will begin to feel fatigued. Beans are also a good source Vitamin B1, which among other benefits, helps you metabolize your food. Other vitamins and minerals found in beans include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and copper.

Finally, legumes are satiating. You can literally feel full for hours after eating a hearty serving of beans.

Other benefits of Beans

After all of that, we haven't even gotten to my favorite part: easy lentils are so versatile. You use whatever spice combinations you can find in your pantry, you can make a sauce or dressing, or you can season with herbs. Personally, I love to eat lentils with turmeric as a way to get in my daily serving of the anti-cancer spice. I can't get enough of these beans!

How to make Easy Lentils

I've kept you waiting long enough, let's get started. Today I'm cooking brown lentils. I like brown lentils because they are higher in protein and most readily available at my grocery store. You could easily sub green lentils if that's what you have on hand. If you want to use red or yellow lentils, I suggest drastically reducing the cooking time to keep the beans intact. For softer, mushy red/yellow lentils, feel free to cook them as long as I do here.

Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the lentils. For firmer lentils, cook for 15 minutes or for softer lentils, cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain.

And now it's time for the fun part. Spices. Use whatever you have in your kitchen and experiment with flavor combinations. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Turmeric + Pepper: A simple combination that tastes earthy and pungent.
  • Smoked Paprika + Garlic Powder + Onion Powder + Cumin + Turmeric: A robust flavor palate tasting spicy, earthy, and sharp.
  • Everything But the Bagel Spice: My favorite find from Trader Joe's. Literally what it sounds like -- the spices normally found on an everything bagel.

Recipe Prayer

Lord, thank you for the food you give us. Thank you for providing nutrient-filled, life-saving legumes that are easy to prepare. Use these lentils as a way to keep our bodies healthy and alive so we may focus on fulfilling your will. Amen.

For more information on the health benefits of beans visit UC Davis Integrative Medicine.

Leterme, Pascal. “Recommendations by Health Organizations for Pulse Consumption.” British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 88, no. S3, 2002, p. 239., doi:10.1079/bjn2002712.

Easy Lentils + Spice Combinations

Today we're talking beans, lentils to be specific. And these are easy lentils. Healthy, delicious, versatile, easy lentils. Get excited, because one of the healthiest foods on the planet is coming your way.

Author:

Elizabeth

Serves:

13

Prep:

5

min

cook:

20

min

total:

25

min

Ingredients

  • 1 16-ounce bag Brown Lentils
  • 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika
  • 1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Onion Powder
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon Turmeric

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. (At least 8 cups, but more won't hurt.)
  2. Add the lentils to the boiling water. Let cook with the lid tilted for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. When the lentils reach your desired consistency, drain.
  4. Add the spices and mix to combine. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

You can sub 5-8 teaspoons of Turmeric or Everything Bagel Spice for the spices in the above recipe. For a fresher taste, wait until serving to mix in the spices.

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August 28, 2021
Henry (Hank) Mader
thank you for the oil free recipe. I'm getting introduced to wild Bolete mushrooms here in Colorado, and everyone sautes Bolete's in butter or olive oil. I'm on a veggie, oil free regimen for heart health reasons. and your recipe suggestion may fill the bill. I can't wait to give it a try.
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This is so fun! Loving your creamy photography :)
August 13, 2021
Lindsey Kuhn
This looks incredible! So yummy and pretty photography