Friday, April 17, 2009

Calling All Lentils

Does anybody know a good lentils recipe?

This leads me to another question. Grammatically, when speaking of a dish, do you say: "This is a marvelous lentils dish" or "This is a marvelous lentil dish"? If you know, then please educate me. I'm going to be thinking about this for a long time.

I'm trying to eat a balanced diet. As a quasi-vegetarian, most of my iron and protein comes from beans and lentils are my favorite bean. I'm trying to incorporate more creative ways of eating lentils besides lentil soup. (Oh, did you just see what I did there? "Ways of eating lentils besides lentil soup." I may have just answered my own question.)

I've got a fool-proof, dummy-proof, adjust-to-taste recipe that I make whenever I what extra food around for a few days without a lot of effort. Since I cook for one, I always have a little extra for about 4-5 days for approximately 1-2 meals each day. I should probably note that there is no science to this serving count and it really depends on portion size. I have no shame about eating the same thing twice. I just mix it up with extra vegetables on the side, added tofu, rice, bread, salad, or whatever else I have in the cupboard.

2 c. dried lentils
4 c. water
1 c. brown rice + 2 c. water (optional)
2 medium carrots chopped
1/2 medium onion chopped
1 stalk celery chopped (optional)
1 medium tomato chopped or 1/2 can tomato (optional)

vegetable broth seasoning or imitation chicken seasoning
chopped garlic
salt (or spicy seasoning salt)
cayenne flakes
black pepper

I dump everything (except seasonings) into a 5.5 qt/5 L pot all at once and cover. There is no special way to do this. I set the stove on high or medium high until there is a slow boil and then I turn it down to medium low. This is when I usually add some of the seasoning but it doesn't make a difference as far as I know. I season to taste. The list shows what I usually choose from but I never put it all in. I try to be light on the salt. My friend Candice is of the dump-in-everything-you-like-in-any-other-dish school. When we were roommates, she would add cumin, curry powder, cilantro, basil, or whatever else she found. I'm not as adventurous but I never had bad lentils. I let the soup cook until the lentils are tender--usually 40-45 minutes. Add water if you want it a little soupier or allow some of the water to boil out if you'd prefer stew.


  1. That lentils recipe looks good! I'll have to try it someday. Thanks for sharing.

    Here's one of my favorites! VERY garlicky, but I LOVE garlic!

    Spicy Red Lentils with Spinach

    8 cloves of garlic, minced
    1 tsp red chili flakes
    4 T olive oil
    2 cups red lentils
    1 cup orange juice
    3 cups water
    10 oz bag baby spinach
    ½ tsp salt and pepper to taste

    Saute garlic and chili powder for 2 min in 2 T olive oil. Add lentils and stir to coat with oil. Increase heat to med. High and stir in water and OJ. Simmer until lentils are tender (about 15 minutes). Stir in spinach and cook 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and serve.

    Have a wonderful Sabbath!

  2. Great! I'm going to try it. I'll let you know how it turns out.