The lowly legume often gets poked fun of or forgotten altogether, but in my opinion, the humble bean is probably the world’s healthiest food. Lentils, in particular, are plant protein delivery vehicles and fiber rock stars. With a carb to protein ratio of 2:1 and just 250 calories per 20 grams of protein, whether your goal is to pack on muscle or lose fat, it’s hard to do better than a serving of lentils for your post-workout snack.
Not only are lentils the top protein provider of the legume family, but most varieties cook up in just 15 minutes with no soaking ahead of time required. A one-pound bag of organic dried lentils sells for around $2.50, making lentils about five times cheaper per gram of protein than typical protein powders.
I like to cook up a few servings at once and snack on them before or after my workout or whenever I’m hungry for something substantial between meals. Here’s my 15-minute recipe for this snack superfood:
3/4 cup dried lentils*
1 1/2 cups filtered water
1 tsp Better Than Bouillon vegetable concentrate (optional)
Lemon juice or zest (optional)
Fresh cracked black pepper (optional)
Rinse the lentils and place into a medium saucepan with the filtered water. Bring to a boil and reduce to simmer. Stir in the Better Than Bouillon, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. When the lentils are done, drain any excess water and rinse with cold water. Place them in a storage container and add lemon juice/zest and pepper to taste. Stir and enjoy. Makes 2 servings containing 20 grams of protein, 250 calories and a whopping 16 grams of fiber.
* Different varieties of lentils cook at different rates. Red lentils cook much faster, while French lentils cook more slowly. This recipe is for the garden variety green or brown lentils you can buy in a 16 oz. bag at virtually any grocery store.