Lentils – Make ahead and freeze.
Lentils are cheap and easy. For a little more than a dollar, I can get a whole pound of dried brown lentils.
They are also good for you. They are low in fat and high in fiber, protein and folate. They are a good source of iron and potassium. One cup of cooked lentils has 230 calories, almost no fat, 7mg of iron and 16 grams of protein. Plus they are delicious!
I cook the entire bag of lentils, either in water or broth, then freeze the cooked lentils in 1-2 cup portions. A vacuum sealer works wonders for this. Try to freeze the packages as flat as possible so that you can stack them in your freezer like library books. Don’t forget to label and date the bags. This same method also works for barley and rice. It is nice to be able to make soups, salads and pilafs almost instantly because you have done much of the work ahead of time.
When you are ready to make a lentil dish, just thaw and add the lentils.
Some lentil recipes I’ve tried recently: (recipe titles are links to the recipes)
Lentil Pear and Goat Cheese Salad – from Eat Well Stay Well
Lentil and Fennel Salad – from Cooking Light (holey smokes batman! This is fantastic!)
Lentil Salad with Spinach, Cheddar and Pecans – from Food & Wine
And some old favorites:
Lentil Soup with Cauliflower and Bacon – from Food & Wine (this freezes well)
Tomato Lentil Salad
Mushroom and Lentil Soup – from Super Foods (this soup also freezes well)
Still need more ideas? These are on my to-be-tried list:
Lentil Soup with Chard – from Cooking Light
Bay Scented Lentil Salad with Pancetta – from Cooking Light
Barley-Lentil Salad – from Beyond the Moon
Lentil Vegetable Soup – from Horn of the Moon
Lentil and Pancetta Soup – from Cooking Light
Bulgur and Lentil Pilaf – from 1000 Great Recipes
Sweet and Sour Lentils – from Moosewood Low Fat Favorites