We can’t get enough of these easy black lentil dishes

Think all lentils are brown? Wait until you meet these dazzlers.

All recipes in this post developed by Kate Sherwood, The Healthy Cook.

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Unlike their perfect-for-soup brown kin, black lentils hold their shape when cooked. That makes them great for salads, or a standalone bed for fish, chicken, or tofu.

Just one serving of black lentils¼ cup dry, which makes about  cup cookedhas 13 grams of protein and a remarkable 15 grams of fiber, all for only 180 calories. And don’t forget lentils’ potassium, magnesium, iron, folate, and zinc.

Bonus: like all legumes, lentils may help lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Is that a bargain, or what?

For two cups, simmer ¾ cup of lentils in 1½ cups of water until just tender, 15-20 minutes.

No black lentils? Try these recipes with cooked white beans or French lentils.

Warm Black Lentils & Tomato

Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced
¼ tsp. crushed red pepper (optional)
3 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
2 cups cooked black lentils
1 Tbs. capers
½ tsp. kosher salt

  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat until shimmering hot. Sauté the garlic and red pepper until fragrant, 30 seconds to 1 minute.
  2. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer until softened, 2-3 minutes. 3. Stir in the lentils, capers, and salt.

Per serving (1 cup):

  • Calories: 250
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Sat fat: 1.5 g
  • Carbs: 28 g
  • Fiber: 13 g
  • Total sugar: 4 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 11 g
  • Sodium: 300 mg

Crunchy Black Lentil Salad

Time: 15 minutes

Serves 4

1 tsp. lemon zest
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. dijon mustard
2 Tbs. minced shallot
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ tsp. kosher salt
2 cups cooked black lentils
1 cup sliced celery heart
¼ cup chopped walnuts
¼ cup shaved Manchego or parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the lemon zest, lemon juice, mustard, shallot, oil, and salt.

  2. Toss with the lentils, celery, walnuts, and cheese. Season to taste with the pepper.

Per serving (¾ cup):

  • Calories: 280
  • Total fat: 14 g
  • Sat fat: 3 g
  • Carbs: 26 g
  • Fiber: 12 g
  • Total sugar: 2 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 13 g
  • Sodium: 340 mg
Photos: Kate Sherwood & Jennifer Urban/CSPI.

The information in this post first appeared in the September 2018 issue of Nutrition Action Healthletter.

Enjoy these recipes? 
Salad Days!
the latest cookbook from Nutrition Action’s Healthy Cook, Kate Sherwood—will help you expand your repertoire with imaginative combinations of greens, vegetables, herbs, whole grains, and proteins. You’ll find healthy variations on classics like Chicken Caesar and Cobb, as well as more adventurous combos like Black Beans & Red Rice with Smoked Paprika Dressing and Sesame Shrimp with Caramelized Shallot Citrus Dressing.

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