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what do I do with lentils?


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I tried googling but got all these fancy-ass recipes and I'm a basic girl. What do I do with lentils apart from obviously "eat them"? Can they just be eaten on their own? Someone at work tossed me a packet of red lentils and said, go nuts, and the packet gives me no clues. Do I boil them? Steam? Eat raw? I've honestly never had these things before. My dinner consists of a piece of chicken with a plate full of veggies, can I just dump some lentils (how much?!) onto the plate like I would rice (that is, when I used to have rice), and mix them in?
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The taste and texture are like beans.

Cook them in broth for an hour or so.  The little red ones practically dissolve and make a thick soup.  The ordinary brown ones cook up like beans, only quicker.  My favorite lentil recipe is with brown rice and vegetables

Saute onion, celery and green pepper, season well with salt, pepper and some cajun spices, combine with cooked lentils and brown rice. 
#2  
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Psst. What do you mean by broth? Do I boil them?

Mmm, now I feel hungry :) I'll definitely be trying them out on Tuesday!
I throw a handful in my soup, just simmer them.
I also will served them as a side dish cooked with my canned tomatoes, just add a little garlic and onions.
My favorite broth comes in a small glass jar called Better Than Bouillon.  It comes in a conventional and organic base.  It is concentrated and wonderful.  They make chicken and vegetarian styles, the latter is my favorite.  It is full of flavor, versus most bouillons which are just salty tasting. 

I add this vegetarian broth, about 1/2 - 1 teaspoon per 1 cup of water and heat this in a pot.  I add RED lentils, 1/2 cup for every 1 cup of water.  This is an estimate, as I usually use more water since it boils off.  I then add small pieces of carrots, ie the peeled organice baby carrots that come in a bag.  Cover and simmer for 1 to 3 hours, stirring and checking water content.  Add whatever seasoning you want.  I usually use some type of curry (I have many different ones at home and I have the individual spices used for curries.)  You can make this mild or spicy.  If you make it thinner, then it's soup.  You can make this very very thick and use it as a dip or hummous replacement.  When it is cool, spread it in a wrap and cover with thinnly sliced cucumber or carrot or shredded cabbage, etc and roll up.  
My favorite thing to do with lentils is to make burgers out of them. No they don't taste like hamburgers, but they're yummy and satisfying.
i've wondered this too.  so will the lentils expand and grow kinda like beans when you soak them?  (part of the reason I'm scared of lentils is my experience of beans taking over my kitchen).   So lets say I want to make only 1 serving of lentils.  Is 1/3 cup too much? 

And yeah...broth.  So my definition of broth would be the watery part of soup.  I have no idea where you'd get broth or how you'd make it.  What is bouillon?   Is bouillon just concentrated broth?   Just add water and you get broth?  So could I make some sort of soup with a little bit of lentils, some bouillion and just add water?  Could this be a crock pot kind of project cuz it sounds like the lentils have to cook for quite a while. 
yes, nymo, bouillon is dehydrated broth, just add water.  You can also buy broth in a can or a carton.

to make broth, boil all the bits of the chicken that you don't want to eat (exceopt, say, the guts and feathers) and then skim out all the meaty bits and bones.
#8  
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So I made lentil burgers :) Or rather, lentil-chicken-corn burgers, with some garlic and onions. A lot of garlic, the kitchen now stinks of the stuff! Mmm. I love garlic.

And now have a stockpile of recipes for other things to do, thanks! We sell chicken frames at work so they're going to be my next pick up.
Easy Lentil Soup

1 cup brown lentils
2 carrots, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green bell pepper
6 cups chicken or vegetable broth (low sodium canned is fine)
salt & pepper to taste.

Put everything into a soup pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 1 hour, or until the lentils are soft.
Here's another recipe that works well with cooked lentils

http://www.healthy.hillbillyhousewife.com/bea nsandricemix.htm
I made lentil soup this weekend and recorded my recipe so I could add it to my food log easily
http://www.calorie-count.com/recipe/8906.html

You could make a lower sodium version by obtaining low sodium stock at the grocery store or making your own stock.

I like lentil soup with my salad. Soup makes it more satisfying.
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