I have been trying for awhile to get on a more plant based diet (way before it was a thing) so during this time of social distancing and lots of forced family time…Love you fam:) I decided to cook a few bean recipes. We all know good beans are for us..good source of protein, plant based, etc…thought it would be fun to give one bean some extra attention in the kitchen….lentil..say it with me…go lentils, go lentils…a little background of the lentil bean…Lentils are high in protein and fiber and low in fat, which makes them an obvious healthy substitute for meat. They’re also packed with folate, iron, phosphorus, potassium and fiber. In my research I found out there are 4 categories of lentils: red and yellow, green, brown, black beluga and puy lentils aka french..In order to try lentils in a few ways I decided to do a “burger”, fancy soup, and vegan lentil soup.
Lentil Sloppy Joes from Taste of Home.com
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large sweet onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, chopped
- 1/2 medium sweet red pepper, chopped
- 1 medium carrot, shredded
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 2-1/2 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed
- 5 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can (8 ounces) tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 4-1/2 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 teaspoons honey
- 1-1/2 teaspoons tomato paste
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 14 whole wheat hamburger buns, split and toasted
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, peppers and carrot; cook and stir until crisp-tender, 6-8 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer.
- Add broth and lentils; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered until lentils are tender, about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in chopped tomatoes, tomato sauce, chili powder, mustard, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve on buns.
1 sandwich: 215 calories, 5g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 438mg sodium, 38g carbohydrate (8g sugars, 7g fiber), 8g protein. Diabetic Exchanges: 2-1/2 starch, 1 fat.
Curried Lentil, Tomato, and Coconut Soup from Bon Appetit.com
- 2 tablespoons virgin coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 2½-inch piece ginger, peeled, finely grated
- 1 tablespoon medium curry powder (such as S&B)
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ¾ cup red lentils
- 1 14.5-ounce can crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup finely chopped cilantro, plus leaves with tender stems for serving
- Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
- 1 13.5-ounce can unsweetened coconut milk, shaken well
- Lime wedges (for serving)
- Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium. Cook onion, stirring often, until softened and golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, curry powder, and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add lentils and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add tomatoes, ½ cup cilantro, a generous pinch of salt, and 2½ cups water; season with pepper. Set aside ¼ cup coconut milk for serving and add remaining coconut milk to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil; reduce heat and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until lentils are soft but not mushy, 20–25 minutes. Season soup with more salt and pepper if needed.
- To serve, divide soup among bowls. Drizzle with reserved coconut milk and top with more cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
- Do Ahead: Soup (without toppings) can be made 3 days ahead. Let cool; cover and chill.
1-POT EVERYDAY LENTIL SOUP from Minimalist Baker.com
- 2 Tbsp water (or sub oil of choice // such as avocado or coconut)
- 2 cloves garlic minced (or sub 2 Tbsp garlic-infused oil*)
- 2 small shallots (optional // or 1/2 white onion as recipe is written // diced)
- 4 large carrots (thinly sliced)
- 4 stalks celery (thinly sliced)
- 1/4 tsp each sea salt and black pepper (divided // plus more to taste)
- 3 cups yellow or red baby potatoes (roughly chopped into bite-size pieces*)
- 4 cups vegetable broth (plus more as needed)
- 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary or thyme (I used a bit of both)
- 1 cup uncooked green or brown lentils (thoroughly rinsed and drained)
- 2 cups chopped sturdy greens (such as kale or collard greens)
FOR SERVING optional
- Heat a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add water (or oil), garlic, shallots/onion (optional), carrots, and celery. Season with a bit of salt and pepper and stir.
- Sauté for 4-5 minutes or until slightly tender and golden brown. Be careful not to burn the garlic (turn heat down if it’s cooking too quickly.)
- Add potatoes and season with a bit more salt and pepper. Stir and cook for 2 minutes more.
- Add vegetable broth and rosemary or thyme and increase heat to medium high. Bring to a rolling simmer. Then add lentils and stir. Once simmering again, reduce heat to low and simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes or until lentils and potatoes are tender.
- Add your greens, stir, and cover. Cook for 3-4 minutes more to wilt. Then taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding more salt and pepper for overall flavor, vegetable broth if it’s become too thick, or herbs for earthy flavor.
- Enjoy as is or serve with rice, cauliflower rice, or a side of flatbread or rolls (links above). I love garnishing mine with a little fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness (optional).
- Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator up to 5 days or in the freezer up to 1 month. Reheat on the stovetop and add more vegetable broth to rehydrate as needed.