Friday, May 3, 2013

On My Hearth: Slowcooker Lentils with Tomatoes

lentils
I reuse pasta sauce jars to store many pantry items, the best kind of recycling!

Ah, the lowly lentil; how do you all feel about them? Myself, I love 'em, as do the majority of my family (except for Chip who says the consistency reminds him of..you guessed it, peas!). These little legumes are so good for you; high-fiber, low-calorie, chock-full of protein and virtually no fat, they should be a part of every diet, vegan or not. However, if they aren't cooked properly or seasoned well, the lentil can be rather, well, bland. Over the years I've prepared them in various ways, most commonly as an addition to soups & stews.  Sometimes, though, I just want a bowl of beans & rice, nothing fancy. Simple doesn't have to be boring, though, and this recipe below proves just that! 

Note: the original recipe called for cooking on the stovetop, but you all know how much I love my crock-pot so I adapted it for slow cooking. 

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

  Slowcooker Lentils & Tomatoes

 

Slowcooker Lentils with Tomatoes

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 tsp Better than Bouillon vegetable flavor (or vegetable bouillon of your choice)
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 can (10 ounces) diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp grated fresh ginger (I used a little more 'cause I love it!)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (I used parsley this time as it's growing like wild in my herb garden!)

Directions

  1. Saute onion & garlic w/a splash of water or vegetable broth over medium-high heat until softened but not browned, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Put onion, garlic, lentils, water, bouillon, tomatoes, ginger & spices into slow cooker.
  3. Cook on high for about 4 hours, or on low 6 - 8 until lentils are tender. Add additional water if needed, you're going for a stew-like consistency.
  4. Serve over rice or couscous (not included in nutritional analysis).
  5. Just before serving, stir in lemon juice & garnish with cilantro.
Note: Vegetable broth may be substituted for the bouillon & water. 

Makes 6 servings, approximately 1 cup each.

Nutrition Info:


  • Calories: 86.1
  • Fat: 0.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 17.0g
  • Protein: 4.2g 
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

VeganGypsy says: Ok, these were hands down the best lentils I've ever eaten, seriously! I think the combination of the spices along with the bouillon (don't scrimp on this, please!) provided the perfect savory environment for the humble little lentil! The flavors blended so nicely in the crock-pot and allowed the legume to cook slowly to it's ideal soft-but-not mushy consistency. 

Omni-Hubby Says: No, thank you, maybe I'll try them another time. (with a straight face, attempting not to grimace at the bite being offered him) 

I plan to double this recipe next time so that I can stock the kids' refrigerators as well as mine. If you try the recipe, please let me know what you think; I suspect you'll never look at lentils the same way again!

6 comments:

  1. This looks very tasty! I have a slow cooker and keep meaning to use it more (i.e. at all!) These look like brown lentils, rather than split red ones. Am I right?
    Penny

    ReplyDelete
  2. Penny, yes,I should have specified. I love the red ones, too, but they break down more quickly, better for soups and stews I think.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hmm. I've never tried lentils before. This recipe sounds delicious and I love using my crock pot!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like beans quite a bit, and really have most days without meat. It's good for the environment and for the arteries too. So I'm not opposed to lentils at all, just have a beginner's awkwardness with them. :D

    :-) Marion

    ReplyDelete
  5. Laura, lentils are the easiest of the legumes, in my opinion, because they don't require and prep such as soaking, pre-cooking, etc. Let me know if you try them! :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Marion, so true! This is such an easy recipe, perfect for a beginning lentil-eater. :)

    ReplyDelete