Lentils may be the oldest cultivated legume in history. Archeological digs have produced artifacts dating lentils clear back to 8,000 to 7,000 BC. Today, lentils continue to be a staple in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine and have been popular in Europe for decades. These cute little legumes have a pleasant, earthy flavor. They're very easy to prepare, needing no presoaking, and cooking up in just 30 minutes! Though small in size, lentils are a nutritional all-star. They are rich in soluble and insoluble fiber, and provide a good amount of protein, making them a healthy meat substitute for vegetarians. Lentils are also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus and potassium. Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are the perfect legume to eat all year round. Lentils work wonderfully in just about any kind of savory dish you want to be creative with. They can be tossed into both green salads and grain salads or used in sandwich wraps. Lentils are delicious added to soups, stews, dals, curries and chili, and they are fantastic as a meat substitute for veggie burgers and vegan sloppy joes. They are also quite tasty cooked by themselves and served over rice or mixed with vegetables.