When I want to make a plant based dinner quickly, I make sure I have frozen cooked pulses on hand, like chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, and of course lentils. I portion them out in 1/2 cup servings and freeze for up to a year in a large freezer or up to 3 to 6 months in a small freezer.
An extra step is to soak the lentils first before cooking. This may help omit flatulence. They also will cook in half the amount of time. You don't need to soak them, just cook them up to 20 minutes or a little more.
To cook brown, green, or French lentils follow the recipe below. If you have red or yellow lentils, they disintegrate easily into soups and stews, so just add them to the mixture as a healthy thickening agent.
Cooked French, Green, or Brown Lentils
2 cups water
1 cup lentils
1 large bay leaf
Soak lentils covered in water in a bowl for about 2 to 4 hours.
In a medium pot, add lentils and water with the bay leaf.
Boil and then lower heat to simmer for about 10 to 20 minutes. After 10 minutes, taste a lentil to see if they are soft but a bit chewy, not crunchy.
If they require further cooking, check every 2 minutes as they can get mushy quickly.
Portion and freeze for later use plain or an ingredient for a recipe.