Benefits of Lentils + Lentil Ragu Recipe

Have you ever had lentils before?

If you follow our blog regularly, you have most likely heard of lentils. And, hopefully, you made our Lentil Tacos at least once!

I can honestly say, I never tried lentils until I was introduced to Indian cuisine in my mid-twenties. Now, they are a staple in my diet.

Why?

Lentil Ragu, 1

First, you can’t beat the price of lentils.

At my local grocery store, you can get 16 ounces of organic red lentils for $2.69 that’s $0.17/ounce! When it comes to green lentils, they are even cheaper -- 16 ounces for $1.99 that’s $0.12/ounce.

Note: To give you a better idea of volume, there are 7.1 ounces in a cup of lentils so 16 ounces is more than two cups.

If you are looking for chicken, you may pay $5.49* for 16 ounces -- that’s $0.34 ounces. That’s twice the cost of red lentils—which can certainly add up over the course of a year.

Other than cost, lentils are one of the most nutrient-dense legumes. (1)  

Lentils are rich in a nutrient called polyphenols. Yes, I know…what are polyphenols?

 You can use any pasta you’d like for this recipe, but we prefer the spaghetti noodles over any other!

You can use any pasta you’d like for this recipe, but we prefer the spaghetti noodles over any other!

Polyphenols have antioxidant potential and play an important role in protecting us from:

Diabetes

Obesity

Heart Disease

Cancer

That’s what we call a nutrition win!

Remember when Alison discussed gut healthy foods? Lentils definitely make the list!

Lentils have high quantities of prebiotic carbohydrates that make our gut happy. As our gut bacteria feeds on these prebiotics, the byproducts created allow our stomach to relax and ultimately slow the rate of sugar absorption into our system. (2)

What does this mean for you? Long & sustained energy and natural blood sugar regulation. #diabetesprevention #weightmanagement #reducedhunger

Needless to say, we recommend adding some lentils to your diet and therefore our Lentil Ragu is a must try! You won’t be disappointed.

❤️ l a u r e n

*current price at our local discount grocery store

Lentil ragu

Recipe Adapted from: It Doesn't Taste Like Chicken

Serves: 6-8

directions

Start by boiling a large pot of water to cook the pasta. While you wait for the water to boil, start making the sauce.

In the large skillet, add the tomato sauce, vegetable broth, and red lentils. Once the mixture comes to a boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 10 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

While the lentils are cooking, add the pasta to your boiling water. Cook according to the package directions.

Once the lentils are tender, add the nutritional yeast, coconut aminos, brown sugar, chili powder, and liquid smoke. Cook for 1-2 minutes.

After draining the pasta, either mix the pasta and sauce mixture together or simply spoon the sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle with vegan parm, if desired.

Enjoy!


ingredients

3 cups marinara sauce (or, 3 cups tomato sauce)

1 ½ cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup red lentils

¼ cup nutritional yeast

2 teaspoons coconut aminos (or, low-sodium soy sauce)

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 teaspoon smoked chili powder

¼ - ½ teaspoon liquid smoke

16 ounces whole wheat spaghetti noodles, or

           other whole wheat pasta noodle of choice

Vegan Parm (optional)

Notes:

  • This recipe makes wonderful leftovers for lunches!

  • If you are looking to make this meal in advance, simple make the sauce ahead of time. Cook the pasta right before serving.

Summer vegetablepasta (1).png

References

  1. Greger, M. (n.d.). Beans. In How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease (p. 282). New York, NY, 2015: Flat Iron Books.

  2. Ropert A, Cherbut C, Roze C, et al. Colonic fermentation and proximal gastric tone in humans. Gastroenterology. 1996;111(2):289-96.