Your favorite lentils recipe? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 13 Old 01-17-2011, 05:11 PM - Thread Starter
 
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All I know about lentils is that when I was a kid, my mom used to make a Pritikin-style vegetarian lentil soup without any salt. It was awful and I've hated lentils ever since orngtongue.gif  But lentils are cheap and reasonably nutritious, so I'd like to start cooking with them.

 

Please share your delicious recipes!

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#2 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 08:38 AM
 
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Honey Baked Lentils are an MDC classic, I think. I forget who originally posted the recipe-- I'm sure she's still here-- but I've been making them for five years, and we LOVE them. This is my personal variation on the recipe that was originally posted.

Put in an oven-safe casserole:
two cups of water or stock
one cup of lentils
a tablespoon of fat (sesame oil is my choice, but anything you have will work)
a tablespoon of soy sauce (or vinegar, if you can't have soy, like us)
a tablespoon (or two, or three-- toddlers LOVE them very sweet) of honey
a pinch of ginger (about 1/4 teaspoon, or more if you like it a lot)
a small onion, diced
a clove of garlic, minced
salt and pepper to your taste

Bake at 350, covered, for 90 minutes.

I also add vegetables: a handful of greens, a carrot cut small, and a stalk of celery cut small. Those weren't in the original recipe. Our preference, with this, is for chard, spinach, or curly kale, but anything really works. We've added sweet peppers and zucchinis, even, sometimes.

I serve this with rice. I cook the rice in more of the same stock, and add a bit of the ginger and sesame oil to the rice, to make the flavors harmonize well.

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#3 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 11:01 AM
 
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I add them to soups and stir fries. I made an AMAZING stuffed green pepper casserole with lentils last night (it had some leftover sausage, rice, celery, onions and lentils mixed with mozzarella and layered over thinly sliced green peppers. Topped with a cracker and parmesan crust. I added lots of cumin, garlic and pepper to the filling.)
I like the honey baked lentils recipe but I changed it to a simpler recipe. I just boil the lentils until they are the tenderness I like, add honey, soy sauce, garlic powder and other seasonings to taste. I love to serve that with roasted root veggies and grilled chicken.

ETA: I also add them to spaghetti sauce- DH likes his super chunky and thick but I hate to use that much sausage so it helps bulk it up without using a pound of meat for the two of us.

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#4 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 01:17 PM
 
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We like soup made with red lentils, chicken stock, coconut milk, and...some/one of the following: curry powder, grated carrots, ginger, garlic, etc.

 

I really love brown lentil soup with a bit of cinnamon.

 

I know those aren't exactly recipes...just quick ideas!

 

Also, you can soak red lentils, then blend with carrots, garam masala, egg, etc to fry into pancakes.  Yum!


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#5 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, ladies! Bring on more recipes if you have others that you enjoy. :)

 

Do lentils need to be sprouted or soaked overnight? Oh and what is the best-tasting kind of lentils - I have the brown ones and some bright orange ones (that turn brown when cooked, bah!)

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#6 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 01:26 PM
 
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The orange ones are the red ones I mentioned.  I think according to Traditional Foods wisdom, they should be soaked or sprouted first, though conventional recipes don't always call for it.


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#7 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 01:33 PM
 
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The bright orange ones are red lentils, theyre hulled and will turn to mush when cooked. And brown.

Theres yellow, which are hard to find and nothing special IMO. Theres brown ang French/green. Browns tend to be bigger than green.

Mostly i just use green, theyre a bit more delucate in texture.

A great use for them is straight protein stretcher. Use half ground beef and half lentils to stretch your meat twice as far. When mixed and cooked w the meat, they're fairly indetectable.

I like to make lentil salad for a quick and easy lunch during the summer. Chopped fresh veg and herbs, a tart vinaigrette and plenty of salt. Makes a nice contribution to potlucks, too.

Indian dal is yummy. Lots of lentil soups to try. Honey baked is excellent. You can do just about any bean dish w lentils (not red). You just have to be careful not to overcook them, lentils cook much fasyer than beans.

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#8 of 13 Old 01-18-2011, 05:59 PM
 
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I love lentils! I do sprout them, they sprout pretty quick compared to other legumes. Here's my standard lentil soup - lots of flavor! Adjust the amounts of veggies and seasonings to suit your family.

 

 

Savory Cheesy Lentil Soup

 

2 ham hocks or ham bone (pastured if you can get them; could also sub in  just ham here but having the bone really helps)

about 4qts water

 

In the morning, put the hocks and water in a stock pot and bring to a simmer. Cook six hours and remove the hocks to cool.

Add:

 

6c. lentils

2c. chopped carrots

1c. chopped celery

1c. chopped onion or 1 heaping tbs. onion powder

season to taste with dry herbs: thyme and rosemary are my faves.

3 tbs organic chicken bouillon paste (Better Than Bouillon makes a very good organic version)

 

While the veggies simmer in the broth, remove the meat from the hocks and put it back into the pot. Simmer gently til the veggies & lentils are completely tender.

Don't add extra salt at this point.

 

Then, the secret ingredients -

Just before serving, add:

 

3c. grated extra sharp cheddar cheese

3tbs pasture butter

 

Stir til the cheese is melted and serve.

 

This is heavenly served with a nice crunchy loaf of fresh bread.

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#9 of 13 Old 01-19-2011, 07:06 AM
 
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I absolutely LOVE Cynthia Lair's Red Lentil Soup with East Indian Spices (Masoor Dal) from Feeding the Whole Family, it is easy and delicious once you have the ingredients and stays a pretty yellowy orange color as you use turmeric. I could live on this with homemade Hot Mango Chutney. Maybe it is online? Can I post the recipe here if I credit the book?

 

I also love a simple green lentil salad with whatever herbs and fruits and veggies are around.

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#10 of 13 Old 01-19-2011, 07:50 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taedareth View Post

Thanks, ladies! Bring on more recipes if you have others that you enjoy. :)

 

Do lentils need to be sprouted or soaked overnight? Oh and what is the best-tasting kind of lentils - I have the brown ones and some bright orange ones (that turn brown when cooked, bah!)


 

I'm using this fermentation method for my legumes now (the original is for brown rice), as far as I can tell, it works just like it does for rice and so far I haven't noticed a change in flavor.

 

http://wholehealthsource.blogspot.com/2009/04/new-way-to-soak-brown-rice.html

 

I like french green lentils, they hold their shape better (not always a plus, but sometimes) but I REALLY like the flavor better.  I tried other lentils many times and just couldn't love the flavor, but these lentils have become a staple. 

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#11 of 13 Old 01-20-2011, 06:23 AM
 
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Lentil Hummus

 

  • 2 tablespoons coarse salt
  • 1/2 pound lentils, picked over (about 1 1/4 cups)
  • 1/2 cup tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced and mashed to a paste with 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • toasted pita wedges

 

In a large saucepan bring 2 quarts water with salt to a boil and simmer lentils about 15 minutes, or until al dente. In a colander drain lentils and rinse under cold water, draining well. Transfer lentils to a bowl and chill 20 minutes.

In a food processor pureé lentils, tahini, garlic paste, lemon juice, and 1/2 cup water until smooth. With motor running add oil in a stream, adding up to 1/4 cup remaining water if mixture is too thick. Season hummus with salt and pepper.

Hummus may be made one day ahead and chilled, its surface covered with plastic wrap. Bring hummus to room temperature before serving. Serve with pita toasts.


Or if wheat allergy I love these baked lentil chips that are gluten free. 

http://www.mediterraneansnackfoods.com/products/lentil-cucumber-dill/

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#12 of 13 Old 01-20-2011, 08:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velcromom View Post

Savory Cheesy Lentil Soup

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#13 of 13 Old 01-20-2011, 09:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoyAnne View Post

I absolutely LOVE Cynthia Lair's Red Lentil Soup with East Indian Spices (Masoor Dal) from Feeding the Whole Family, it is easy and delicious once you have the ingredients and stays a pretty yellowy orange color as you use turmeric. I could live on this with homemade Hot Mango Chutney. Maybe it is online? Can I post the recipe here if I credit the book?

 

I also love a simple green lentil salad with whatever herbs and fruits and veggies are around.


I don't have that book, and have been looking for a good mango chutney recipe. If you feel comfortable with it, could you post the recipes? Or PM me? I *promise* I won't haul you up on copyright violation! And, honestly, given my cookbook addiction, if it's a good recipe I will likely zip on over to amazon and order myself a copy. Here is my own curry lentil soup recipe (well, not my own exactly, I don't remember where I got it though).

1 c. red lentils, rinsed & drained

1 tbsp oil (I use olive)

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tbsp ginger root, grated (I don't grate, I chop, it works fine)

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/2 tsp curry powder (use your favourite or mix your own)

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1/8 tsp cayenne

4 c. chicken broth (or veg or whatever)

3/4 c diced tomatoes (fresh or canned)

2/3 c unsweetened coconut milk or cream (opt)

1/2 tbsp lime juice

salt and pepper to taste

cilantro to garnish

1. Rinse lentils & drain

2. Heat oil over med heat. Add chopped onions, saute 4-5 mins until translucent. Add garlic, ginger & spices. Cook 1 min stirring constantly. Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, salt and pepper.

3. Bring to boil, reduce heat & simmer, uncovered 15-20 mins, until lentils are very soft. Add coconut milk & lime juice. Adjust seasoning.

4. Garnish with cilantro.

 

I'm not a big coconut fan, so I skip the coconut, but I do add a dollop of greek yogourt into my bowl. Also avocadoes, but that's just me :)

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