Lentils!

In our effort to continue to clean out our cupboards, we decided to make lentils for dinner.  I’m not going to lie, I’ve never had lentils before I came to Belgium and I really wasn’t sure what they were.

For those of you in the same boat, here is a little excerpt I found (thank you, Wikipedia):

  • Part of the legume family
  • Grown in the Near East (Um, also didn’t know where that was…N.Africa and middle east)
  • 3rd highest plant for protein
  • Health Magazine calls lentils one of the 5 healthiest foods
A lot of “big” words in the article, but the main take-away…they are HEALTHY!
Lentils Preparation (modified from Martha Stewart:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 white onion (cut in 1/2 slices)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Saute the onions for about 10 minutes (until slightly browned) and then add the garlic.  Saute for another minute or so.  Next, add the lentils and the water and bring to a boil.  Cover and simmer over low heat for about 30-35 minutes (lentils should be soft).  Stir occasionally.  Add the cumin, salt, and ground pepper.  Mix well and simmer for another couple minutes.  Serve WITH bread and enjoy!
YES, we DEFINITELY ate the entire baguette.  How funny does it look on that little plate?!  Of course, our weekend meal wouldn’t be complete without sliced pepp’s and hummus (and wine – hey, gotta clean out the cupboards).
*A couple things to note – 1)  You may think it looks like a LOT of water in the skillet, but trust me, those little suckers do suck it up (pun intended).  2) Last time we made this we added fresh spinach after the lentils simmered for 35 minutes.  The spinach cooked in about 5 minutes in the mixture.  We also topped with tomato wedges, but unfortunately we didn’t have these items on hand.  Would recommend as both add great flavor and COLOR (don’t be afraid of the bland color above – it definitely has a kick to it…thank you cumin)!
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