Friday, March 23, 2012

Loving Lentils

For reasons of both health and finance, we’ve been trying to cut back on meat a bit and replace it with other proteins. This week I tried two new recipes featuring lentils.

 

Brown Lentils with Kale and Rice

Mar 21 2012 013

I had some kale from Bountiful Baskets last weekend and thought that seemed like it would go well with lentils. After perusing some recipes that contained both lentils and kale, I cobbled this together.

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 Tb olive oil
  • 4 scallions, sliced thin
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 orange sweet chile, finely diced
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp ground oregano
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1 bunch of kale, shredded or torn into bite size pieces
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • juice of 1 lemon

Boil the lentils until tender, about 20 minutes. Heat olive oil in a large skilet over medium, add scallions and garlic and cook for a minute or two. Add chile and tomato, stir and cook for several more minutes. Add spices, then kale, and cook until wilted. When the lentils are tender, drain and add them to the skillet and squeeze the lemon juice on top. Serve over rice.

 

Mar 21 2012 020

The verdict

Me: Scrumptious! I thought it was very tasty, with an almost Indian flair. I ate leftovers for lunch twice this week.

Kids: They both ate second helpings!

Paul: It was just okay. He thinks this is because he’s not a big fan of rice.

Despite that…I will be making this again. Tasty, frugal and filled with nutrients makes this mama happy. I think it goes great with the rice, but I may try pairing it with potatoes and see if Paul likes it any better.

 

Brown Lentil Tacos

While it may sound less than appetizing, this worked out surprisingly well. I don’t have a precise recipe (or a picture), I just replaced the ground beef with cooked lentils and made it all up like I usually do.

  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 Tb taco spice
  • 1 can refried beans
  • taco shells
  • shredded cheese
  • diced tomato
  • sliced black olives
  • sliced scallion
  • shredded cabbage (or lettuce)
  • Sour cream
  • Tapatio

Boil the lentils until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain, then place in a medium saucepan with the tomato sauce. Heat over medium low and add taco spice. Meanwhile, heat refried beans and prepare other fillings. When everything is heated, toss it all into some taco shells and enjoy!

The verdict

Me: Scrumptious again! I could barely tell they were made with lentils and not ground beef. They tasted great and were extremely satisfying.

Kids: They again had second helpings. I think that is mandatory with tacos.

Paul: Good! He said while it wasn’t exactly the same, he didn’t feel like he was missing out by not having beef.

Success! We’ll be doing that again as well. You could even go half and half with the lentils and beef if the thought of meatless tacos sounds wrong to you. Either way, I think the key is having a really great taco spice that packs a lot of flavor.

Our lentil experiments went very well this week. I wish I could say that for all of my kitchen experiments. But at least this encourages me to keep trying new things!

Any tasty lentil recipes out there?

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