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Is lunch a challenging meal for anyone else out there?

I can do a great, healthy breakfast before I’m fully conscious–for example, a green smoothie, egg or tofu scramble, or multigrain toast with PB&J or some smashed avocado.

But lunch? I’m a mess. Largely because I fail to plan. But also because I forget. Even if I’m testing and tweaking recipes in the kitchen, I’ll get caught up taking photos, writing notes, and cleaning up my many (MANY!) messes. And then I look at the clock and realize it’s 2:30. Either that, or I’m suddenly overcome by monstrous hunger.

That’s part of (the selfish reason) why I wrote 250 Best Meals in a Mug. All of the main meals are super easy, and I’ve given prep-ahead options for every recipe, for toting off to work or simply planning a meal at home (me!).

Here’s one of my favorites from the book: Spiced Lentils with Yogurt, Almonds and Mint. It takes about 30 seconds to stir up in the mug, then 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes to heat. Kapow! A high-protein (almost 28 grams!), low cost, low calorie, oh-so satisfying meal.


I use canned lentils (Eden Foods brand) in this recipe, but they are not always available. But you can often find vacuum-packed, fully-cooked lentils (e.g., Melissa’s brand; or Trader Joe’s carries their own brand). You can also use an equal amount of canned beans.

Last but not least: Don’t forget to enter my book giveaway! Enter here: Win 1 of 10 Copies of my book, 250 Best Microwave Meals in a Mug

3-Minute, Healthy Microwave Mug Meal: Spiced Lentils with Yogurt, Almonds and Mint

3-Minute, Healthy Microwave Mug Meal: Spiced Lentils with Yogurt, Almonds and Mint

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 1 minute
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Zesty tomatoes and chiles, warm spices and earthy lentils are the stars of this lively vegetarian mug. A trio of toppings — yogurt, almonds and fresh mint — heightens the wow factor.


  • 3/4 cup rinsed drained canned lentils
  • 1/2 can (10 oz) reduced sodium diced tomatoes w/ green chiles (e.g., Ro-Tel), undrained
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tbsp plain Greek yogurt (or non-dairy yogurt if vegan)
  • 1 tbsp chopped roasted salted almonds
  • 2 tsp chopped fresh mint
  • Suggested Accompaniment: Warm naan, pita or flour tortilla


  1. In a large (16 oz) mug, combine lentils, tomatoes, cumin, ginger and hot pepper sauce.
  2. Microwave on High for 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 minutes or until hot. Top with yogurt and sprinkle with almonds and mint. Serve with warm naan, if desired. Eat!!!


Prep Ahead Option

Combine the lentils, tomatoes, cumin, ginger and hot pepper sauce in the mug; cover and refrigerate. Measure the yogurt, almonds and mint into separate a small airtight containers; cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

Lentil Options: If available, you can use vacuum-packed lentils in place of canned ones. They are typically available in the produce section, near the tofu products.
If canned lentils are not available , look for vacuum-packed lentils, typically available in the produce section, near the tofu products.

Substitute Beans: Canned black beans or pinto beans can be used in place of the lentils.

Mint Substitution: An equal amount of chopped fresh parsley or cilantro, or minced fresh chives, can be used in place of the mint.

Freeze Leftover Tomatoes & Lentils: Freeze the remaining tomatoes and lentils in small seal-able freezer bags for future use. Be sure to label the bag with the contents. Store for up to 3 months. Defrost in the refrigerator or microwave before using.

Nutrition Information
Serving Size entire recipe
Amount Per Serving Calories 324Total Fat 1.8gSaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 372mgCarbohydrates 45.6gFiber 13.7gSugar 4.5gProtein 27.5g

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About Camilla

I'm Camilla, food writer, author, runner, and spin instructor. PowerHungry® is where I share my easy, minimalist, plant-based recipes, designed for living a healthy, delicious, empowered life.

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  1. Made this with white beans and used plain coconut yogurt. Awesome. Does your book have more vegan and vegetarian options like this?

    1. Hi Paul,

      Yes, tons of them! And any of the ones with a bit of chicken or beef–you could sub in tempeh or seitan, or simply omit 🙂

  2. Made this for lunch Saturday. I used fire- roasted canned tomatoes. Loved the additions of yogurt, mint and almonds. What a great recipe!