Lentils on virginiawillis.com

Easy as a Walk in the Park: Warm Lentils and Turkey Kielbasa

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Easy Lentils Recipe on VirginiaWillis.com
food styling by Lori Horne


Lentil recipes are often easy and quick, making them a great component of your culinary repertoire. These edible seeds boast powerful nutrients and an earthy, mild, nutty flavor that works well in many recipes. I’m sharing a wonderful hearty Alsatian-inspired recipe for Warm Lentils and Turkey Kielbasa with Shallot Vinaigrette. It’s great for early spring — not too heavy, but still filling and very satisfying.

My goal with this newsletter is to share tips that help us have a better life. Yes, I mean us. I’m part of this, too! I got myself in a bad place once upon a time. I wasn’t happy in my body, I was depressed, and I felt lost and without purpose. It was sad and awful. I remember telling a therapist, “I feel like I am drowning in a bucket of misery.”

Now that I am in a much better place, I strive to do what I need to do to improve or maintain my mental, physical, and spiritual health. It is not a ‘walk in the park!” It means constant learning, studying, exploring, and researching. (And, yes, sometimes “research’ is scrolling!)

You keep scrolling — I mean, researching — for a great healthful recipe for Warm Lentils and Turkey Kielbasa with Shallot Vinaigrette, and inspiration from a 90-year-old revolutionary, Jane Goodall. Make it good and good for you!


Best Life Living Tip 

There is no way I want to get anywhere near that nasty, sad, empty “bucket of misery” ever again. One of our deepest-rooted desires is to live a fulfilled life. In the social media age, idealizing perfect lifestyles is easy. Now? I block every filter-faced influencer who tells me she makes $80K/month while on vacation. Grrl, if that’s the case, you may want to take another look at that sad little etagere behind you…

Ok — back to being positive! 😉

One of the keys to success is being intentional about what you do. This can be on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. I try to set my intentions for the next day the night before. Then, when I wake up I write them down, again!

Want to eat healthy? Intend to eat more recipes like these lentils. Want to be more fit? Intend to incorporate fitness into your life. Want to get that promotion? Set your intentions!

If this all seems a little too hippy-dippy for you, check out this piece on the Power of Intent in the Harvard Business Review or this essay on GoDaddy.

Intention is defined as a directed thought to perform a determined action. Setting an intention for your personal or professional life helps align your actions and decisions with your values and purpose. By you intending to do something or become a certain way, you are that much closer to living the happy, fulfilled life that we all desire.

Make it your intention to live your best life. You are worth it!

yoga in the park

Self Care Technique

This is not a new one. Yoga’s origins can be traced to northern India over 5,000 years ago.

Wait, don’t scroll away if the word yoga scares you! Call it stretching.

If you have never “done yoga,” I want you to please give “yoga in the park” + the name of your city a quick Google.

According to Johns Hopkins Medicine,Yoga offers physical and mental health benefits for people of all ages. And, if you’re going through an illness, recovering from surgery, or living with a chronic condition, yoga can become an integral part of your treatment and potentially hasten healing.”

Look at that view! It was a great session — the birds were singing, the rushing river in the background, dogs playing and barking in the adjacent meadow. I smiled the entire time! It was amazing!

The great benefit of a more public event like “Yoga in the Park” is that you get all levels of experience — which works to your benefit if you are inexperienced. And, the teacher expects a wide variety of skill levels. Public yoga is oddly not as serious as a studio and less intimidating. And, heck, even if you aren’t all that into it, you are outside in nature!

Yoga in the Park with virginiawillis.com

Way Down Yonder on the Chattahoochee

Currently in Atlanta, there’s a “Yoga in the Park” series benefiting the Chattahoochee National Park Conservancy. The conservancy is the official non-profit friends group for the Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area.

Try something new and if you have only practiced yoga in a studio, I encourage you to give Yoga in the Park a try, too.

Ideas and Inspiration

Jane Goodall turned 90 this week! We’ve all seen her in the pages of National Geographic for decades. She is an absolute rock star and part of the reason I am an environmental and conservation advocate today.

The Jane Goodall Institute advances her vision and works for the common good—one that builds on our connections to each other, our fellow species, and the natural world we all share. Vital Impacts is a 501(c)(3) women-led, non-profit which uses art and storytelling to support people and organizations who are protecting our planet.

In honor of Dr. Goodall’s 90th birthday, Vital Impacts is collaborating with her and 90 influential women photographers from across the globe featuring breathtaking art that reimagines our relationships to the natural world. Sixty percent of the proceeds will be dedicated to the Jane Goodall Institute. The remaining forty percent will support the artists.

Check them out and do what you can to celebrate Dr. Goodall’s birthday AND save the planet. 


How Many Points Are in Lentils?

Before we start with the math, let’s end with a little fuzzy feelgood. Check out the video above on IG for a furry little friend I saw while on a walk at the Chattahoochee! My morning walks are my sanity! Seeing the beauty of the world, the majesty of wild animals, and the glory of nature is everything.

  • Make an intention to get outdoors!
  • Make an intention to move more.
  • Make an intention to do what you can do to help our planet.

For those who follow WW, this recipe for Warm Lentils and Turkey Kielbasa with Shallot Vinaigrette comes in at 6  smart points per serving, including the turkey and a full portion of vinaigrette!  (You can also make it vegan by leaving out the turkey for less points.) Lentils, beans, and other legumes are good and good for you! Thanks so much for reading.

Bon Appétit Y’all!

Virginia Willis

Lentil recipe on virginiawillis.com

Lentil recipe on virginiawillis.com
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Warm Lentils and Turkey Kielbasa with Shallot Vinaigrette

This recipe serves 8, but can easily be halved. Alternatively, you can cook a full batch of lentils and only dress half of them. The lentil salad portion can be used as an add-on for green salads or transformed into soup with a couple of cups of broth.
Prep Time15 minutes
Cook Time30 minutes
Course: Appetizer, Main Course, Salad
Cuisine: alsatian, American, French
Keyword: canned beans, lentils
Servings: 8
Calories: 404kcal


  • For the Lentils and Turkey
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 pound lentils 2 cups, rinsed and picked over
  • Nonstick spray
  • 1 16 ounce turkey kielbasa
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic very finely chopped
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • For the Vinaigette:
  • 2 large shallots finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons pure olive oil
  • parsley, for garnish
  • Dijon mustard, for serving


  • Combine the water, lentils, and bouquet garni in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat and simmer uncovered, skimming frequently, until the lentils are tender, 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the lentil. Remove from the heat and drain in a fine-mesh sieve. Remove and discard the bouquet garni. Keep warm.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the sausage and the dressing. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the turkey kielbasa and sear on both sides. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook over medium heat until warmed, about 15 minutes.
  • Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallots, mustard, and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Add the oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Add onion, carrot, celery, and cook until warmed and tender, but crisp, about 3 minutes. Add to the lentils. Pour the dressing over the lentils and toss to coat. Taste and adjust for seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Garnish with parsley. Serve lentils with reserved turkey sausage and mustard.


Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 40g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.04g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 763mg | Potassium: 731mg | Fiber: 19g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 1387IU | Vitamin C: 23mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 10mg

Let’s cook something up! If you are interested in hosting me for a speaking engagement, event, cooking class, or book signing, let me know! Send an email to jona@virginiawillis.com and we’ll be back in touch as soon as possible.

I am not a doctor, RD, or health professional. I am simply sharing what works for me. My blog is for informational or educational purposes only and does not substitute professional medical advice or consultations with healthcare professionals.

Note that this post may contain affiliate links and I may make a commission if you use my affiliate link to buy the product.

Please be nice. Unauthorized use and/or duplication is prohibited. All photos and content are copyright-protected. If you wish to republish this recipe, please link back to this recipe on virginiawillis.com. Thanks so much!

Good and Good for You with Virginia Willis is a lifestyle brand that shares health and wellness inspiration through digital channels and online community; events, seminars, and speeches; and print media. For more information visit virginiawillis.com 



Please note that this post may contain affiliate links.

Virginia Willis

Georgia-born French-trained chef Virginia Willis has foraged for berries in the Alaskan wilderness, harvested capers in the shadow of a smoldering volcano in Sicily, and executed the food styling for a Super Bowl commercial seen by over 160 million people. Virginia is a Beard award-winning cookbook author, chef, content creator, and motivational speaker. She has lost 65# and kept it off for more than 3 years. Because of her own health journey, she is a cheerleader for others seeking to make lifestyle changes to feel healthier and happier. Her experience inspired her to launch “Good and Good for You” a lifestyle brand rooted in culinary that shares health and wellness content through digital channels; public speaking; and print media. Fans love her approachable spirit and friendly down-to-earth style. For more information visit virginiawillis.com

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Anonymous

    and it’s easy to adapt to many of the dietary guidelines for others!

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