Lentils are a wonderful staple of vegan and vegetarian diets. It’s an irony that something so inexpensive is eaten at New Year’s to bring wealth. It’s true they bring riches – in protein – but in reality they are one of the cheapest, fastest cooking most nutritious veggies foods you can buy and the base of many a quick, and cheap, vegetarian meal. Lentils don’t need soaking like many of their cousins in the dried bean family. Lentils can cook in as little as 20 minutes so there’s absolutely no need to buy them canned, which is more expensive, and not so good from the cook’s point of view. Lentils are are sponges for flavor, and when you add them uncooked to the soups, sides and curries they are so good in, it enhances the overall tastiness. There are several different types of lentils you can buy, red, brown and green, which you can read about here, but in the meantime here are some of our favorite lentil dishes for your eating pleasure.