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A few years ago, my husband adhered to the very famous Keto diet. By eating high protein and fat while avoiding carbs and sugars he lost 20 pounds in five weeks. I tried the diet and gained weight! I couldn’t believe how much meat and cheese I was eating! (obviously I wasn’t incorporating the right amount of vegetables!!!) However, in the summer of 2020, I followed the Keto diet more closely and was busting my rear end off working 14+ hours a day at our house trying to make it livable after it was “gifted” back to us after our house fire and I lost 15 pounds in about two months – and then gained it back over the course of the next year due to lack of activity and stress.
While I’m personally not a fan of the Keto diet – in real life I don’t eat a lot of meat in the first place (I’m more of a carbs lover…ugh!) so this was really difficult for me.
In an effort to figure out more ways to incorporate protein into my daily diet, my husband introduced me to lentils. A legume I knew nothing about.
I know, I know, some of you may be asking how the heck do you not know what lentils are? You have a food blog, by golly! But the truth is, I really didn’t.
Following my husband’s time on the Keto diet, one of the meals that my he made frequently during his health-kick was this lentil loaded breakfast bowl that boasted lentils, spinach, onions, and fried eggs topped with fresh tomatoes. Surprisingly, I really loved it! So, over the years, I’ve made this lentil bowl every time I’m ready to start eating better!
Here are a few fun facts about lentils for you…
Are Lentils Healthy For You?
There is a great debate out there wether or not lentils are healthy for you. In my opinion, yes, they are healthy for you. They are loaded with protein (yay if you aren’t a fan of meat – and a healthier choice for your heart!)
Lentils have 7 grams of plant-based protein per serving and make up 10% of your daily iron intake. They are also rich with vitamin BV, calcium and potassium. And, they are fat free!
Sure, they have a high amount of carbohydrates (21 grams which makes up 8% of your daily value on a 2,000 calorie/day diet), but they are healthy alternative to rice and wheat, having 2-3 times more protein. Also, you need carbs in your diet! The Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that carbohydrates make up 45 to 65 percent of your total daily calories (that translates to about 225 to 325 grams of carbs per day, according to the MayoClinic).
According to The Dietary Guidelines, lentils are listed as both vegetables and proteins that help make up a healthy diet. So finding ways to incorporate lentils into your daily diet is a great, healthy choice!
Are Lentils Keto Friendly?
No, legumes (lentils) are not Keto friendly based off of the number of net carbs in them. However, many debate if lentils can be had on a Keto diet. So, if you’re not following the Keto diet super strictly and are looking for more ways to incorporate protein, lentils are a great alternative!
Let’s Make The Lentil and Spinach Breakfast Bowls Together!
Sautee onions in butter
Add drained and rinsed can of lentils
Top with tomatoes and enjoy!
Lentil and Spinach Breakfast Bowl
- 1 tbs butter
- 1/4 c onion, diced
- 1/2 red pepper, diced
- 1 can lentils, drained and rinsed
- 2 c spinach
- 1/4 c diced tomatoes
- In a large skillet, heat butter until melted
- Sautee onions until translucent
- Add peppers and cook 2 minutes until softened
- Add drained and rinsed can of lentil to the skillet. Cook until the exterior of the lentil shell is a little crispy, about 5-6 minutes
- Add spinach and stir into lentils. Toss until spinach is wilted
- Turn off heat
- Add diced tomatoes and toss
- Season with salt and pepper, if desired
- Serve with a fried egg, optional