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(This particular title requires readers to casually rhyme “lentil” with “until” for full effect. Thank you for being so accommodating.)

Speaking of lentils, I had been dwelling on them for quite a while. I realize that many people already enjoy these grainy little protein pods, but the necessity of tightening my budget provided the extra nudge to try my hand..or fork. Upon closer examination, their nutritional benefits and price-point merge at a pretty ideal confluence of value and health (This week in news to no one…).

So, with a free afternoon, and a lentil bent on my appetite, I put together these two dishes:
IMG_2606This little sweet pepper trio is a perfect undertaking for anyone with an afternoon to kill and surplus patience to stuff these cuties one by one. They contain lentils, prepared and sauteed with shallots, garlic, and herbs, and I topped them with a sprinkle of goat cheese. After oven-roasting them, I garnished with some Thai basil from a friend’s garden, and of course, sriracha. The warmth and sweetness of the roasted peppers with simple and savory fillings made these feel like fancy grown-up poppers.
IMG_2565This dish was a simple savory stir-fry bowl, which I tossed together for lunch. I used some leftover lentils and mixed them in a skillet with olive oil, garlic, sliced cherry tomatoes, onions, a few yellow bell pepper slices, and some fresh spinach (which I slightly wilted). This light lunch was extremely fast and surprisingly satisfying. Despite the possible visual superiority of the first plate, I actually preferred this one. While a creative cooking undertaking is fun, a no-fuss healthy meal often wins with me. I have half a bag of lentils left, waiting for a tasty fate. Any suggestions? I’m eager to try some more!

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