On this 10th day of cookies, Nadia G kicks things up with her pecan jewel thumbprints. These crumbly winning cookies are filled with a cayenne-spiced raspberry jam filling. Nip any fiery flavors in the bud with a glass of sparkling wine.
A pantry staple, dried lentils are often overlooked for convenient canned beans. These little legumes are packed with nutrition and are an easy way to add extra protein without meat to every meal.
Lentils were one of the first plants to be domesticated, and these nutritional powerhouses are used in cuisines all around the globe. Red, orange, yellow, brown or green, lentils are a good non-meat source of potassium, iron and protein. Unlike other beans and legumes, lentils don’t need to be soaked before cooking; use a 2-to-1 ratio of water to lentils and you’ll be good to go in about 25 minutes (or more if you want to mash them).
Not only do you get a great bang for your buck, but lentils are a “meaty” legume, meaning they have the ability to turn sometimes-wimpy vegetarian dishes into hearty meals.
If you’re looking to decrease the amount of meat in your diet, use mashed lentils to replace part (or all) of the ground meat in dishes like meatballs, meatloaf and stuffed dumplings. But if meat is still on the table for you, pair lentils with fats like duck and pork (think bacon) to add a bit of richness to this mild-flavored legume.
Whether you’re trying a meatless meal or making a hearty stew, lentils are a go-to pantry staple that deserve to come out of the pantry to shine this winter.