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Lentils: Not Just for Soup Anymore
Lentils are a low-cost and versatile protein source with a lengthy list of uses.
Lentils cost about $1/pound in the bulk bins at your local supermarket and are frequently included on lists of the world’s healthiest foods. They cook in 15 minutes on the stovetop, using a 2:1 ratio of liquid to lentils (2 cups broth or water to 1 cup of lentils).
Nutritionally speaking, ½ cup of lentils is packed with plusses:
• Low cal: Just 115 calories
• Low fat: Less than half a gram of fat
• High protein: 9 grams of protein
• High fiber: 9 grams of fiber, about 1/3 of the RDA of fiber
• Rich in essentials: 366 mg potassium; 45% of the recommended
daily intake of folic acid
Lentils are great in soup or simply mixed with rice and spices.
And they’re an economical meal-stretcher:
• Mix cooked and cooled lentils into raw meat when forming meatballs,
meatloaf or burgers
• Add a cup of lentils and a cup of water when browning ground beef
or turkey for recipes
• Thicken soups, chili and stews with pureed cooked lentils
• Toss cooled lentils with chopped peppers, onions and a vinaigrette for a quick salad
• Add lentils to your favorite pasta salad
• Substitute lentils for half, or all, of the ground beef in your favorite pasta dish
• You’ll never miss the beef in tomato sauces, and the lentil’s texture is as
satisfying as ground meat
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