Garlic and Herb Lentils

Personally, I had never cooked with lentils before trying this recipe. Lentils always had a way about them that was kind of scary. Not quite a bean, but not a pea either. What are these things? Well, I am here to tell you that what was once scary is now a household favorite.

After doing some research, I realized that lentils were full of great nutrients like protein, fiber, and iron, while very low in sodium and fat. They were also only 98 cents for a pound, which is a low price for nutrient-dense food.  I figured, why not give it a try? I used this recipe as a side to baked salmon and sauteed sweet peas, and my husband said it was one of his favorite meals.

It required very little prep time (only cutting the onion and rinsing the lentils), and it turned out very flavorful with the seasonings and chicken broth included. I served the meal with fresh lemons, and my husband used the juice to enhance the flavor even more.

So next time you look at a lentil, don’t be afraid. They are packed with nutritious qualities, fit in your budget, and taste great.

Find the full recipe here: https://spendsmart.extension.iastate.edu/recipe/garlic-and-herb-lentils/

Hello! I am Brianna Montross, currently a graduate student and dietetic intern at Iowa State University. Some of my favorite things to do are write poetry, run, and find new ways to incorporate veggies in my cooking.

Jody Gatewood

Jody Gatewood is a Registered Dietitian who enjoys spending time in the kitchen baking and preparing meals for her family. She does lots of meal planning to stay organized and feed her family nutritious meals.

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What’s Good about Hash Browns?

Are they inexpensive?  For sure.
Are they healthy?  That depends.

  • If your hash browns swim in oil as they are prepared and then get smothered in cheese … NO.
  • If they are low in fat and sodium … YES.
  • If they have added vegetables … EVEN BETTER!  We’ve explained exactly how to make them that way on the SpendSmart. Eat Smart recipe page.

The Healthy Hash Browns recipe  calls for Best Baked Potatoes, because one secret to great hash browns is starting with great baked potatoes. We do this by baking the potatoes, unwrapped, at a high temperature. (Save the foil for another recipe!)

You can keep baked potatoes for up to three days.  Make sure you let them cool, then place them in a plastic bag and refrigerate.  (If you put them in hot, they will sweat in the bag. Soggy is not good. Dry is not either, so do use the bag.)

TIP – Keep baked potatoes in mind when you already have your oven heated to 425°F. You’ll save energy  if you do not heat your oven just for the potatoes.

In fact, you can do even more than make hash browns with your extra baked potatoes…

  • Add to scrambled eggs with some diced ham and fresh spinach for a yummy egg dish
  • Warm and top with leftover chili, cooked vegetables and cheese, or spaghetti sauce
  • Create a soup with vegetables, legumes, and a low fat vegetable broth.

 

Healthy Hash Browns

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
  • 4 cups diced Best Baked Potatoes, skins on
  • 1 onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a deep 12-inch skillet over medium heat.
  2. When the oil is hot, add the potatoes, onion, carrot, and minced garlic (if using). Cook about 5 minutes or until boom is golden brown. Flip or stir and continue cooking a few minutes.
  3. Season with salt, pepper, and garlic powder (if used).

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