Friday, May 11, 2012

Steamed lentils from Trader Joe's

What to get: Trader Joe's steamed lentils (salad section)
Where to get it: Trader Joe's

Why we approve: lentils are filling, low in calories, high in protein and fiber and provide a cool plant source of iron. These are very easy to use, because they have already been steamed - that frees you from soaking, boiling, draining, etc. By all means feel free to do that when you are not in meal survivor mode, but when in a hurry these are a life savior.

Preparation: You can put these in a salad, in a dip, a soup, a stew, or make lentil burgers. Open the packet, stir and use as you like. I prepared two salads in a pinch. It's good to combine lentils with tomato or lemon juice, as that helps absorb the iron, so a meal with tomatoes is always great.

Tomato and feta cheese salad: mix lentils with crumbled feta, a chopped tomato, some fresh mint, a dash of ground cumin and olive oil. Stir well and enjoy cold. 

Sweet corn and tomato salad: mix lentils, cooked corn, chopped tomato, season with sea salt and black pepper, drizzle olive oil and enjoy!

Variations:You can use lentils in hummus instead of chickpeas or serve them alongside lamb, instead of beans in a burrito or in a soup. For the purpose of fat loss and maintenance, toss them in salads or eat when in a rush. Our friends Jo and Ashley make a really cool dip mixing the lentils, a container of fresh salsa and some feta cheese - you can get it all at Trader Joes and it makes a great dip for a party!

Pros: We love the taste and texture and they are very very convenient. Good source of protein and fiber! Great satiety!

Cons: It is still a mystery what natural flavor means. We will never find out. As with all prepackaged foods, stick to the best you can find and always make an effort to eat home meals cooked from scratch to compensate for those times when you have to be a meal survivor! 

Enjoy these! They rock!


  1. Very cool. Going to try them next time I hit TJs

  2. This I can do!!! Thanks so much!

  3. What about natural flavors in it?have you tried to find out what's behind it?its disappointing to know that the product that you enjoyed hanging has some very misleading ingredient in it....

  4. I saw a show on "natural flavor" once. For the most part, it was super-concentrated flavoring captured from the same food or similar. Unfortunately, we don't know exactly because labeling laws allow them to lump these things together.

    We limit our intake of foods that list that on the label, but there are trade offs for time sometimes. If we are "forced" to eat out, there are likely worse things that will be unlisted on the menu.