Lentils and Onions

Lentils and onions are fabulous additions to your next meal! Read on to learn what they are, where to find them and how to use them.


LENTILS are part of the legume family along with beans and chickpeas. They are small and lens-shaped, coming in a variety of different colours including green, red and brown. They are a great source of protein, fibre, and iron – making them an excellent meat alternative. They can be dried or canned and both keep easily in the pantry for up to a year and cooked lentils can be frozen and used within three months.

Find it in… your local supermarket or Middle Eastern grocery story. Canned lentils can be found in the canned goods aisle and dried lentils can commonly be found in the international foods section or same aisle as rice.

Use it … green lentils have a nutty, slightly peppery flavour and are perfect in your salads and side dishes, red lentils have a sweeter flavour that works well in soups or curries. 1 cup of cooked lentils counts as a serve of protein. Pre-soaking is not required with lentils!


ONIONS are members of the Allium genus of flowering plants that also includes garlic, shallots, leeks and chives. A whole raw onion already has a long shelf life (up to 6 weeks in a cool, dark area and up to 2 months in the fridge) and when frozen they can last for 8 months! Just chop up some onion, put them in a freezer bag and label the date. Frozen onions work best in cooked dishes and they’re great to have on hand when you need to whip up dinner in a hurry.

Find it in… the fresh produce section of your local supermarket or at farmers’ market.

Use it … in meat and vegetable dishes (see Ratatouille ‘Free Food’ Recipe in your HWFL Guide for an idea of how to use brown onion), soups, marinades, sauces and dips (see Quick n Easy Salsa ‘Free Food’ Recipe in your HWFL Guide for an idea of how to use red/Spanish onion).

Looking for more new and healthy ingredients? Click here!