I was too lazy to go food shopping last week and thus found myself starting at a relatively empty fridge and pantry. I say relative because anyone who knows me understands that I shop like there’s no tomorrow. Literally. My cupboards are usually bursting with all sorts of stuff that I think I might possibly need in the near future, or in case of nuclear holocaust. I threw together the following recipe after realizing that I’d better use the tomato paste that was leftover from the paella I made not too long ago; things just grew from there. These lentils can be served as a main dish (as shown in the photo below), or, if thinned out with veggie broth or water, as a pasta sauce (similar to the Nutritionally Sneaky Tomato Sauce I posted way back when) or a warm dip. Any way you slice it, it’s tasty and super good for you. I think a little Arcade Fire suits this peppy dish to a tee, so let’s put some on and bop through the rest of this recipe.
Gather up the following:
- 1 tsp cold-pressed olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 green onions, finely chopped
- 1 cup dried red lentils
- about half a can of tomato paste
- about 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (the ones packed in delectable oil), finely chopped
- 1 cup veggie broth
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- pinch of sugar
- 1/4 cup pan-roasted pine nuts (optional)
Heat a large frying pan over medium-high heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and green onions. Sauté until fragrant and slightly browned. Add lentils and stir for about a minute. Add the tomato paste and sundried tomatoes. Stir to incorporate, then add the veggie broth and water. Stir and let it cook, covered, for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the pepper, chili powder and sugar, stir and remove the cover. Cook, without stirring, for about 5 minutes to get a nice crispy crust on the bottom of the pan (if you like that sort of thing), otherwise spoon the mixture over some rice, barley, quinoa, spelt… You get the idea. Toss some pan-roasted pan nuts on top and voilà! Just make sure that if you’re roasting pan nuts to watch them like a hawk, because a burnt pine nut does NOT taste good, and they’re too expensive to throw out.
In one version of the recipe I used Cajun salt instead of chili powder and it came out a little salty because of the sundried tomatoes – that’s why there’s no added salt to the recipe above. Anyway, I hope you enjoy this lil’ dish as much as I did!