Need an easy and quick meal after gym or a late shift at work? There’s nothing easier or faster than lentil and black bean Mexican. And as a great bonus, it’s nutritious.
What’s so nutritious about lentils and beans?
Lentils and dried beans are legumes. They are high in fibre (yes, you will fart but the gas promotes healthy cells in the bowel), contain plenty of low glycaemic index (GI) carbohydrate, are a great source of protein and are low in fat. They are also a good source of iron and folate among a long list of other minerals and vitamins.
As a bonus, they are quite inexpensive. You can pick them up dried or cooked and canned in the supermarket.
Keep a few cans in the pantry for those evenings when you don’t feel like cooking and don’t want take-away.
Alternately, cook up dried lentils and beans on the weekend and decant them into portions and store in the cooking fluid in the freezer. Defrost them in the microwave and drain off the liquid for a speedy meal.
How I cook with lentils
I use brown lentils instead of mince. When my kids were young, I would swap out half the mince in recipes like spaghetti bolognaise or Mexican and replace it with brown lentils. Now the kids are grown up and have chosen to eat a plant-based diet I only use lentils and beans in these simple family recipes.
Red lentils are great in soups or, as they mush up to almost nothing, they are great for thickening stews.
I like yellow or green lentils in curries as they hold their shape.
Brown and green lentils are great in patties and salads, too.
My cooking is very flexible – if I’m short of one type of lentil I use another.
Check out my Lentil and Black Bean Mexican below.
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