Healthy Meal Prep Reset: Lentils

Use the legume for Greek-, French-, and Vietnamese-inspired dishes.

With the holidays approaching, now is the time to make a pre-resolution and stick to positive eating habits. That’s why we’ve created a three-week plan specifically designed to give your body a healthy reset. And that doesn’t mean you have to go on a liquid-only diet. Focus on clean, whole foods with the following guides for lunches that feature lean proteins, energy-boosting carbs, heart-healthy fats, and plenty of veggies. Last week, we showed you how to make crispy tofu. Next, here’s how to prepare flavorful lentils.

“This week’s menu provides a global culinary tour,” says Denver-based recipe developer Julia Heffelfinger. “These recipes, including an Asian-inspired salmon banh mi and an updated take on the classic Greek salad, will satisfy cravings for all of your favorite cuisines.”

Click here to see more from our meal prep series.

SUNDAY PREPARATIONS:

1.
Shop for all of the ingredients and allow two hours to prep the meals. View the shopping list here.
2.
Roast the salmon.
3.

Make the lentils.

tofu

FIT CHEF HOW-TO: FLAVORFUL LENTILS VIEW THE RECIPE

Here, Heffelfinger shares her check-list for perfecting the hearty legume.

  1. Pick the right variety.
    • “I like green French lentils and Belugas for this meal prep since they hold their shape well while cooking. Red or yellow lentils are delicious, but they are split (the hull has been removed) and are best for dahl or pureed soups.”
  2. Rinse your lentils before cooking.
    • “Doing so ensures you remove any remaining dust or debris.”
  3. Don’t just cook them in water.
    • “I like to throw in whole garlic cloves (peel and all), which flavors the lentils and gets very tender. In the recipe to follow, it’s important to save the cloves since you can mash them up and mix them right back into the lentils. You can also try this with a small vine-ripened tomato.”
  4. Do strain them.
    • “Lentils cook more like pasta than rice so occasionally there might be a little excess water in the pot. If you taste them and they’re tender all the way through, but there is still water in the pot, strain them.”
  5. Dress your lentils like a salad.
    • “Instead of adding butter, I like to toss them with some olive oil and vinegar. This adds dimension, a little richness, and makes them especially good at room temperature.”
4.

Make your sauces and prepare your condiments.

5.

Assemble all of the lunches and store in the fridge. START PACKING

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photos by: Christine Han

food styling by: Olivia Anderson