Lentils are wonderful. Part of the legume family, these guys are a good source for protein. About 25% of a lentil's calories are protein. And, I think they are lovely to look at.
Lentils have a shorter cooking time (than, let's say, beans) and these are a great ingredient to keep on hand. If you mix lentils with rice, you then are getting the full spectrum of protein (cystine and methionine are two proteins).
This past week, I made a dish in our dutch oven of lentils, rice and carrots seasoned with a sauteed shallot and garlic. Instead of using water, I used chicken broth.
Here are a couple good lentil-based recipes: