Without fail, every time I post a lentil recipe somewhere on social media, I’ll get a “yuck” or a “gross.” Holy wow, are there are a lot of lentil haters out there! I understand it. Poorly cooked lentils are mushy and bland—if that’s the way lentils had to be, I’d hate ’em, too! But trust me, when done right, lentils totally and completely rock.
They are über affordable, packed full of protein and fiber, cook super quickly (they require no soaking like dried beans), and since they are nearly flavorless, they work beautifully as a meat-substitute in your favorite flavor-packed dishes—like Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes and Lentil-Walnut Veggie Burgers.
Today, I’m partnering up with my friends from USA Pulses and Pulse Canada to open up your eyes to the glory of lentils. Don’t think you know what Pulses are? You totally do! Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, and beans.
They are so tasty, so versatile, incredibly healthy, and so affordable to cook with. The average cost of beef per serving is $1.49, whereas you can serve dry peas, chickpeas, lentils, or beans for about 10 cents per serving. TEN CENTS! If you’re looking for affordable ways to eat healthier, pulses need to be on your grocery list. Starting tomororw, make sure to sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add a ½ cup serving of pulses to your diet 3x per week.
Canned pulses are a great deal, too, but to stretch your budget even further, drive your cart down the grocery store aisle a little more and pick up some bags of dried beans, lentils, chickpeas, or split peas. A pound of dried pulses runs between $1-$2, and trust me, you can streeeettttcchhh each of those bags into multiple meals. Today, I’m going to show you how to stretch a one pound bag of green lentils into three delicious, healthy, meatless meals! Let’s do this.
Mediterranean Lentil Salad
Let me introduce you to one of my absolute favorite meal prep dishes—Mediterranean Lentil Salad! This salad just gets better and better as it sits in the fridge. You can pre-portion it into lunch-size servings for easy grab-and-go. The feta in this salad is optional, so if you’re dairy-free or plant-based, this one is for you, too!
Each of these recipes uses about 2/3 cups of dried green lentils, meaning you can buy a single pound of dried green lentils (for a whopping $1.50) and make all three of these dishes. Now that’s how you stretch your grocery budget!