Until my mid-20’s, I had no idea what a lentil was. My legume repertoire had been limited to kidney beans, Lima beans and butter beans.
But when I ventured off to college, it opened up a whole new world of food. For one thing, I was a nutrition major, which meant that food was almost always on my mind. I learned about various food cultures across the globe, many of which seemed exotic compared to my Midwest roots.
Why is fish sauce a staple in so many cultures? And why do we eat so much corn and wheat in the U.S.? But even when I wasn’t examining the scientific and cultural aspects of food, I was hanging out with friends, which almost always included sharing a meal. And that offered opportunities to try new things.
Since then, lentils have become one of my favorite ingredients. They cook relatively quickly compared to their other legume counterparts, offer a source of plant-based protein, and provide a wealth of other important nutrients like fiber, magnesium and iron.
So, it seemed fitting that preparing a meal that included lentils was my self-care activity for the day.
Are you a fellow lover-of-lentils? What’s your favorite lentil recipe?