Lentils are an excellent source of protein for a meat-free diet; they’re full of protein, high in fiber (16g per 1 cup cooked) which can lower cholesterol and are a good source of iron. They also don’t need to be soaked and cook much quicker than beans. Purchasing dry lentils can also be a frugal option. You can purchase dry lentils at the bulk food store and your grocery store. Canned lentils are good too, but may have extra unwanted salt or preservatives.
There are about 18g of protein per 1 cup of cooked lentils.
There are different types of lentils, whole lentils and split lentils. They also have different cook times and whole lentils usually yield 1/4 to 1/2 cup more than split lentils.
Cook 20-30 minutes
Cook 5-15 minutes (I’ve made the mistake of cooking split lentils for about 25 minutes and they came out mushy and out of their shells. Make sure you don’t cook too long!)
Cooking with Lentils: 1 cup of lentils makes about 2 cups cooked.
Rinse the lentils and separate the shells or debris. Fill sauce pan with lentils and water. You should use about 2 cups of water for every 1 cup of lentils (whole lentils may need more). Add water if needed: water should be just covering the lentils the entire cook time. Bring to a boil and simmer 5-35 minutes.
If you store in a dry cool place, dried lentils will last about a year. You can also cook and store in the freezer.