Category Archives: lentils

Spicy Veggie Lentil Curry

Being a food blogger does have some perks, one of them is trying out new products I might not otherwise get my hands on.  After noticing that we had bought some habañeros and other spicy peppers at the Penn Quarter Farmer’s Market, Plato’s Olive Oil contacted us to see if we would be interested in trying out one of their infused olive oils.

Of course Sam, the spice lover of this household, wanted to give this a try.  He’s even been thinking about making some of his own!  So we waited patiently for our olive oil to arrive.

Plato’s Olive Oil is a family owed company based in California.  The owner was looking for an olive oil infused with spicy flavors, and wasn’t able to find any- so he began experimenting!  The original, and the product which was sent us, is their habañero-infused olive oil, which comes from the Napa region in California.

To give it a try, I decided to make some lentil curry- and thought that the extra spice from Plato’s olive oil would be a perfect kick.  And I was not disappointed, the olive oil gave this dish the extra spice it needed!

But there is no way around it, and many food bloggers and photographers can agree, brown food is so difficult to photograph!  But sometimes- in this case a spicy veggie curry- it’s so delicious, I wish it’d look a bit nicer to show off it’s tastiness.

Veggie Lentil Curry
Adapted from: SweetSugarBean

2 tbsp Plato’s Habanero-Infused olive oil (or regular olive oil)
1 onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 small carrots, chopped
1 inch ginger, shredded
2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
3 tbsp spicy curry paste
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
2 14.5 oz light coconut milk
2 cups uncooked lentils
2 cups cooked chickpeas
1 head of cauliflower
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot.  Once heated, add the onions and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes, or until they become translucent.  Then add in the garlic, carrots, ginger and jalapeños.  Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Next add in the curry paste, cayenne pepper, cumin and coriander.  Allow to cook for about a minute, then add in the tomatoes, coconut milk and lentils.  Stir well and bring to a boil.  Then lower to a simmer, and cook until the beans are done (about 40 minutes).

Once the lentils are cooked, add in the chickpeas, cauliflower and peas.  Cook on low heat for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Finally, stir in the cilantro and serve.

Disclosure: I received a bottle of Plato’s Habanero-Infused Olive Oil to try, but did not receive additional compensation for this post, or was under any obligation to blog about it.

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Lentil & Summer Vegetable Salad

I cannot believe that it’s August, I feel like summer is flying by!  We’re trying to enjoy the the summer fruits and vegetables every single day.  There are many fresh tomatoes, zucchini’s and cucumbers in our fridge.

I’ve been trying to make easy salads that incorporate summer vegetables.  This is a salad which was not only nutritious, but also delicious (sorry, that’s so cheesy!).  But it’s true!  Definitely a keeper for a lunch salad.  It’s great with a slice of fresh bread or a pita.

Lentil & Summer Vegetable Salad
Adapted from: Fresh 365

1 cup of uncooked lentils
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
10 radishes, sliced
1-2 bell peppers, chopped (use colorful one’s)
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
1 cup kalamata olives, sliced in half
1/4 cup capers, drained
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
1 1/2 cups feta cheese, crumbled

Cook lentils in boiling water for about 20 minutes.  Drain, and add to a large bowl.  Add the tomatoes, red onion, radishes, bell peppers, cilantro, kalamata olives, capers, olive oil, lemon juice and feta cheese.  Toss all of the ingredients together before serving.

Squash Lentil Salad

This is a great salad for a quick and easy dinner.  Since it’s more savory when the squash is warm, and the greens don’t get soggy- this one is a make right before you eat.  It’s a good mix of a light salad, but filling with the squash and lentils.  Since there are plenty of squash to choose from, it should not be limited to butternut squash, feel free to try others. 

Squash-Lentil Salad
Adapted from: Smitten Kitchen Blog

3/4 cup lentils
2 medium size butternut squash; peeled, seeded, cubed (1 inch)
6 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
4 cups spinach (or arugula)
1/2 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup thinly sliced mint leaves
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, thinly shredded

Preheat over to 400 degrees.  Toss the squash with 4 tbsp of oil, cumin, paprika, salt and red pepper flakes.  Arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes; flip squash and roast for another 15 minutes.  When squash is tender, take it out of the oven and let it cool.

While the squash roasts, cook lentils in boiling salted water until tender (20-30 minutes).  After they are cooked, drain and rinse with cold water. 

Combine the lentils, squash, goat cheese and greens in a large bowl.  In a separate bowl mix mint, vinegar and 2 tbsp oil.  Add the dressing to the salad, season with extra salt if desired. Divide between 3-4 bowls, and lightly sprinkle each of them with Parmesan.

Lentil Sloppy Joe’s

We don’t make too much meat at home, mostly when we go out to eat.  Although we only make meat at home once a week, it doesn’t mean that certain foods are off limits.  Therefore, when I was flipping through a vegan book which we own, I thought the lentil sloppy joe’s were a great idea!  Plus it was really easy to make- which is definitely an addition to weeknight meals.

Lentil Sloppy Joe’s
Adapted from: Veganomicon

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups of water
1 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 tbsp Mexican-style chili powder
2 tbsp Ground Cayenne Red Pepper
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tsp salt
6 oz Chili Sauce
6 burger buns

Heat water in a small saucepan, once it comes to a boil, add the lentils.  Lower the heat and simmer the lentils for about 20-30 minutes, until they are soft.  Drain, and set aside (you can make them the day before).

Preheat a saucepan over medium heat.  Saute the onion, green pepper and garlic  in the oil until onions are softened.  Stir in: cooked lentils, chili powder, cayenne, oregano and salt.  Then add the Chili Sauce, and heat through.  Turn off the heat, and let the ingredients sit for about 10 minutes.  Place on top of the buns and enjoy!