Finger on the pulse

Aim two for Easter is to have a proper cupboard clear out. Again.

I’ve been inspired by Jack Monroe recently (A girl called Jack), after seeing her ‘9p’ lentil burger recipe. In fact, I spent quite some time browsing her website and bookmarking some more things to try.But Jack’s recipe reminded me of how much I like lentils.

Cheap- they come in large bags of dried red, green and yellow. Get them in the whole foods or world food section. The world foods section is generally cheaper. Easy- unlike dried beans or peas they don’t require much cooking and they don’t need to be soaked. Though equally, it doesn’t seem to do them much harm.

Versatile- whilst not having much flavour themselves, they are good at taking on other flavours. A staple of Indian and Eastern cooking, they work especially well with curries.

Bulk- here’s the main reason I like these bad boys. They are AMAZING for bulking out other foods, and in particular, minced beef. On Monday, I made an awesome, if slightly saltier-than-intended spaghetti Bolognese (don’t you try and tell me there’s no such thing!). It would have done myself and my husband for one meal each with a little left over (it was intended for the kids too, until the salt misshap), but by adding in two large handles of lentils it has been stretched to four meals, with one left over for lunch tomorrow. Not bad for about 10p of lentils.

Because the lentils take a little while to cook, they go in before the meat with some water to allow them to soak. Bulking out a meaty meal means that the lentils take on much of the meaty flavour, and they reduce the amount of meat you need.

Can’t complain about that 🙂

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