My kids both devoured this two nights in a row but my hubby and I were on the fence about it. You be the judge! I may make a few changes the next time I make this so I’ll keep you posted!
I served this over spaghetti squash for us, brown rice pasta for the kids! Another great pasta sauce is Easy Garlic Roasted Marinara Sauce if you have more time!!
Water/Veggie Broth for sauté
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 medium carrots, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 fennel bulb, diced
4 cloves of garlic, mined or pressed
2 – 280z cans of crushed tomatoes (I used crushed with basil)
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1 – 15oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup veggie broth or water
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1/2 cup red wine
12 ozs sliced mushrooms
2-3 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
3 tsp italian seasoning
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
1. Saute onion, celery, carrot and fennel together until soft. Add in garlic and mushrooms, sauté a few minutes more until mushrooms are soft’ish.
2. Add in italian seasoning and sauté for anther few minutes.
3. Add in broth, red wine, tomato paste and tomatoes and let simmer 30 minutes to an hour. I did an hour but I bet 30 minutes would work just fine!
4. Add lentils, cover and cook until lentils are done – about 30 minutes or so. Stir in parsley and balsamic vinegar, let cook a few more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
5. Let me know what you think?! Thank you!!!
- The Best Lentil Chili Ever (Slow Cooker) (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
I’m serious, this is the best lentil chili I’ve ever tasted and trust me, that means something because I’ve made a ton in my day. Both kids love it too, especially as leftover burgers! This would be great as a taco or burrito filling, nachos or anything with a Mexican flair! Plus it’s super easy to make and who doesn’t love that!
The original recipe is from the cookbook “Fresh From The Vegan Slow-Cooker“. I’ve made a few things from this book and loved them all.
Best Lentil Chili Ever!
* Water/broth for sautéing
* 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
* 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 or 2 jalapeños, seeded and minced (I omitted this for the kid’s sake)
* 1 bell pepper, seeded and chopped (any color – I usually use a fresh red one but I used a jarred roasted red pepper last time and it was GOOD!)
* 3 Tbsp chili powder (Yes, 3)
* 1 tsp dried oregano
* 1 tsp ground cumin
* 1 cup dried brown lentils, rinsed and picked over (I’ve been using the sprouted lentil/bean mix from Costco)
* 1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed and picked over
* 1 (29oz) can crushed or diced tomatoes
* 1 Tbsp coconut aminos (or tamari or shoyu)
* 1 tsp sugar (optional but gives it a different flavor)
* 1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
* Salt and fresh ground pepper
* 4 cups water
1. Water sauté onions in a skillet over high heat. Add onions, garlic, chilies and bell pepper and sauté for about 4 minutes or until soft. Add the chili powder, oregano and cumin and saute for 30 seconds longer.
2. Transfer the onion mixture to the slow cooker/crockpot. Add both lentils, tomatoes, soy sauce, sugar and cocoa. Stir in the water, cover and cook on LOW until the lentils and veggies are tender, about 6 to 8 hours. (Mine took closer to 6 since I used the sprouted and red lentils) DO NOT ADD SALT YET! Salt tends to toughen/harden the lentils.
3. Once it’s done, add salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning, if needed. Serve hot with your favorite chili toppings!
Another one pot meal! I know it’s a little too hot for soup but hey, it works in our house right now. Our 1-year old loves soup so it’s an easy reheat meal when I’m super busy. Plus he really enjoys the burgers I make out of the leftovers!
This soup is REALLY GOOD! My hubby said it’s in the top 5! The caramelized onions and garlic really make this soup so if you can, take the time to do that first!! You won’t regret it!
Original recipe from Food.com.
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed – I used red lentils
- 7 cups water
- Water for saute OR cooking spray
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, crushed & chopped
- 3 carrots, diced
- 4 stalks of celery, diced
- 1 potato, diced
- 2 cups stewed tomatoes – I used one can
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
- 1/4 cup brown rice, uncooked
- 1/3 – 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped – I used about 1/2 cup
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- Heat soup pot, add in onions and garlic and sauté on medium heat, stirring often, until everything turns a deep golden brown – took me about 30 minutes.
- Add in brown rice, spices, carrot, celery, potato, tomatoes, and spices and sauté for another 5 minutes. DO NOT ADD WATER, LENTILS, PARSLEY OR LEMON JUICE YET.
- Stir in lentils and water and bring to boil. Cover and cook over low heat for 30-40 minutes or until rice and lentils are done.
- Stir in lemon juice and parsley, serve hot.
- Lentil Kale Soup (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
This soup is a meal in itself! Our kids both loved this soup, especially our 1-year old who ate two big bowls!
I served this with a little Coconut ‘Bacon’ on top, it was delicious!
Original recipe from Food.com.
- 5 cups vegetable broth + 3 cups water (OR 8 cups of water)
- 1 1/2 cups lentils, picked over and rinsed (I used brown lentils)
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 (2 lb) can chopped tomatoes, drained,reserving juice – I used a large can of tomato sauce (all I had on hand) but I bet you could use fresh tomatoes, if you prefer
- 3 carrots, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise into ¼ inch pieces
- 1 onions, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chopped frozen kale (Trader Joe’s sells it now) OR 1 bunch fresh chopped kale
- 1/2 heaping tsp crumbled dried basil (pinch it between your fingers)
- 1/2 heaping tsp crumbled oregano
- 1/4 tsp crumbled dried thyme
- 1 bay leaves
- 1/2 cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- Combine broth, 3 cups water (or just 8 cups of water if you’re not using broth), lentils, rice, canned tomatoes with reserved juice (or tomato sauce OR fresh tomatoes), carrots, onion, celery, and herbs and bring to boil (do not add parsley and vinegar).
- Simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, 45-55 minutes, or until lentils and rice are tender.
- Stir in kale and cook for another 5 minutes or until kale is wilted.
- Stir in parsley and vinegar and season to taste.
- Serve as is or blend up soup using your immersion blender. (I blended mine so that our 1-year old could eat it)
- Buffalo Ranch Roasted Chickpeas (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
Sorry I’ve been absent lately, operation “Daily Toddler Energy Drain” is in full effect this summer which means I haven’t been spending a ton of time at home. We’ve also been camping quite a bit since we bought our RV. So much fun!
I haven’t done a ton of cooking lately but I decided to make these burgers tonight since I need a burger recipe for our upcoming camping trip. Our son is turning one soon and I also needed a new menu item for him to try. These burgers were a hit all around, our kids LOVED them! I ate mine in a lettuce wrap with horseradish mustard, Habanero Sauce, avocado, relish and heirloom tomato slices. YUMMO!!
The original recipe is from the blog For The Love of Food. I altered it a bit and I may continue to do so the next time I make them. I want to play with the spices a bit, maybe make a spicy batch next time.
Brown Rice & Lentil Burgers
- Chipotle Lentil Burgers (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
I’ve had my eye on this recipe for a while so I decided to try it since my hubby requested burgers this week. SO GLAD I DID because this one’s a keeper!!! This was a little too spicy for our toddler since I left the seeds in the ancho chiles. I’m going to remove more seeds next time I make it and see if she likes it. I’m sure she will!
The original recipe is from “Appetite for Reduction: 125 Fast and Filling Low-Fat Vegan Recipes cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz (Buy it here). Her recipes are AWESOME! I love her other book, Veganomicon too.
* Bean cooking liquid/water for saute
* 1 small red onion, cut into medium dice
* 1/2 pound zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/2 inch thick (about 2 medium to large-sized zucchinis)
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 (15oz) can cooked lentils, drained and rinsed (1 1/4 cups)
* 1 cup lightly packed fresh cilantro, chopped (stems and leaves) 1 (15-ounce) can cooked lentils, drained and rinsed (1 1/4 cups)
* 1 1/2 cup bread crumbs (Recipe called for 1 cup but I needed more. I’m going to try using rolled oats or quick oats next time, maybe let the mixture sit overnight before cooking)
* 1/4 cup chipotles in adobo sauce, seeds removed if you wish (I didn’t remove any and they were nice and spicy but not too hot)
* 2 Tbsp soy sauce
* 2 tsp red wine vinegar
* 2 tsp smoked paprika
1. Saute onion for about 3 minutes, use bean liquid/water to keep from sticking. Add zucchini, garlic and cilantro and sauté for 7-10 minutes, until the zucchini is soft. 2. Transfer veggie mixture to food processor, add all other ingredients EXCEPT 1 cup breadcrumbs – SAVE FOR LATER. Pulse until mostly smooth, transfer to a large mixing bowl. 3. Add remaining breadcrumbs and mix with a fork to combine. 4. Divide burger mixture into six equal pieces and form patties with your hands. 5. Spray the pan with non-stick cooking spray (just a little!) to keep them from sticking. Cook burgers about 10-12 minutes turning a few times until done. I cooked three at a time.
- Ancho Lentil Bowls with Low-fat Vegan Nacho Cheese (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
This is one of the best meals we’ve had in awhile! It’s so good, I’m trucking the kids to the store in the morning to make it again for a party tomorrow night. No joke, it’s that good!
I’ve made the Ancho Lentils a few times now and they’ve always turned out great. The original recipe (from Post Punk Kitchen) is for Ancho Lentil Tacos but you could use this on just about anything – tacos, burritos, nachos, collard wraps, etc.
I have a ton of fake cheese recipes but this Lowfat Nacho Cheeze from Happy Herbivore is my new favorite! Together they make an awesome meal! I served it over brown rice tonight but next time I’ll try these ingredients in a collard wrap. YUMMY!!! I also topped this with tomatoes, lettuce, cilantro, sliced avocado, a squeeze of lime and our favorite Habanero Sauce, our favorite Mexican food topping!
P.S. Our toddler loved this! I took out a scoop of the lentils before I added the hot sauce, figured she may not like it so spicy.
* 1 Tbsp water or bean cooking liquid (for oil-free sautéing)
* 1 small onion, minced
* 2 cloves garlic, minced
* 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils (from about 1 cup dried) – Brown or green work great. I used a package of Trader Joe’s cooked lentils this time
* 3 tablespoons tomato paste
* 2 tablespoons hot sauce (preferably Cholula)
* 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
* 2 teaspoons ground ancho chile
* 1 teaspoon ground cumin
* 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
First combine all of the ingredients for the spice mix and set aside. Also, keep a cup of water within reach, you’ll need to add splashes as you cook.
Preheat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sautee the onion and garlic in the water or bean liquid with a pinch of salt (optional) for about 3 minutes, until lightly browned. Add spices and toss them for 30 seconds or so to toast.
Lower heat to medium, add lentils, a few splashes of water, tomato paste and hot sauce; use a spatula to mash them a bit as they cook, until they hold together. If your spatula isn’t strong enough to accomplish this, just use a fork or a potato masher (I used this).
Do this for about 5 minutes, adding splashes of water as necessary if it appears dry. Taste for salt and seasoning; you may want to add more spices or hot sauce. And that’s it, time to serve!
Low Fat Vegan Nacho Cheese
- ¼ cup raw cashews – I soaked mine for a few hours first
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp onion powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ⅔ cup non-dairy milk – I used unsweetened almond milk
- 2 tsp yellow miso paste
- ½ tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornstarch
- ¼ cup roasted red bell peppers
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- a dash of cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring occassionally and allowing the cheese to thicken.
Have you tried the vegan Spicy Lentil Wrap from Trader Joe’s? OMG it’s so good! I’m not that stoked on the white lavash wrap or the high’ish sodium content but in a rare pinch it works perfectly! I decided to try and find a copy recipe for that wrap, maybe make it a wee bit healthier in the process so I can have it more often. I found this recipe on theKitchn website after a few searches and decided to make it immediately.
I made the red pepper paste first. It didn’t come out the way I expected it to, it was a little runny in the end but it still tasted good! I cooked it much longer than the directions said, hoping that it would thicken up but it didn’t. It was still delicious and I plan on making it again!
I bought lavash bread/wraps from Trader Joe’s but as my luck would have it, they were out of the whole wheat ones that day so I decided to do a few on collard wraps to make it a bit healthier. The collard wraps were pretty good but not as good as the lavash bread… figures, right?!
I wasn’t super crazy about the tahini sauce recipe that came with the wrap recipe from theKitchn so I did a little hunting… maybe it was the lack of salt? Hmmm…. I found a Yogurt Tahini Sauce on one of my absolute favorite vegan food blogs Fat Free Vegan Kitchen and made that as well. Now THAT is a good tahini sauce! Her secret ingredient is ketchup, who would’ve guessed to use that! Genius!!!
Spicy Lentil Wraps with Tahini Sauce
Makes 6 wraps
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups water
3/4 cups bulgur
2 tablespoons olive oil (I omitted this and water sautéed instead, as usual!)
1 onion, finely chopped
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 scallion, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (I omitted)
6 (approximately 9×12-inch) sheets lavash, white or whole wheat OR use collard wraps!
3/4 cup red pepper paste (recipe below, or use store-bought)
2 cups shredded cabbage
Tahini sauce to serve (recipe below)
Combine lentils and water in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Simmer until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.
Turn off heat and stir in bulgur. Let stand until water is absorbed and bulgur is soft, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil (or water for water sautee) in a pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Stir in cumin and red pepper flakes and cook for another minute.
Add onions, scallions, parsley, and salt to lentil-bulgur mixture and stir until well combined. Let cool before using to make wraps. (If you want a smoother texture closer to the Trader Joe’s version, you can run the filling through a food processor, but I like it just as it is.) You can freeze the filling in an airtight container if not using all at once.
To assemble, lay out a lavash sheet with the shorter end closest to you. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons of red pepper paste across the lower 1/3 of the sheet. Top with the lentil-bulgur mixture, and then the cabbage. Roll from the bottom up, and spread an additional 1/2 tablespoon of red pepper paste across the top end to help seal the wrap. Repeat for remaining wraps.
To serve, cut each wrap in half and serve with tahini sauce on the side.
Red Pepper Paste
Makes about 3/4 cup
6 red bell peppers, cored and chopped
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon kosher salt (I omitted this)
Olive oil to cover (if refrigerating) – I did not use this and mine kept in the fridge just fine
Combine bell peppers, cayenne pepper, and salt in a food processor and puree.
Pour the puree into a skillet over low heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced to a paste. This can take up to 2 hours.
Let cool before using. To store, pack the paste into a jar, pour enough olive oil on top to cover, and refrigerate.
Makes about 3/4 cup
1/4 cup tahini
2/3 cup or more warm water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons finely chopped parsley
1/4 teaspoon crushed garlic
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
Place all ingredients in a small bowl and mix with a fork until well combined.
Gradually stir in small amounts of additional warm water until the desired consistency is achieved.
** Fat Free Vegan’s AMAZING Yogurt-Tahini Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy yogurt
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, pressed
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 pinch red pepper
- 4 teaspoons ketchup
- 2 tablespoons water
- Mix all ingredients well in a small bowl. Add additional seasonings to taste.
Life has been CRAZY lately! Our youngest is almost 8 months old and just started crawling! I’m almost completely done with my shopping/wardrobe makeover so I’m really happy about that! Life is good, I can’t complain!
So… I’m totally addicted to the oil-free lentil salads at Whole Foods! Since WF is 20 miles away and costs a wee bit more than you’re usual takeout food (my hubby calls it “Whole Paycheck”) I decided to come up with my own lentil salad recipe. This is a mixture of several different recipes. It’s not exactly like theirs but it’s pretty darn good! I usually double this recipe and eat it all week. It makes a great after-workout snack! Our toddler loves it too!
Crunchy Cold Lentil Salad
- 1 cup of lentils – I use green lentils
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 cups mini heirloom tomatoes (YUM!)
- 1 cup bean sprouts – I use mung bean sprouts but you can leave this out if you don’t like sprouts
- 1 green onion sliced
- A handful of Flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 bell pepper, diced (red would be good too!)
- The juice of a lemon with a little or a lot of zest
- A splash of apple cider vinegar
- 1 shallot, diced
- A little Dijon mustard – about 1-2 tsp
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
- 1 T honey or agave syrup
- 3 to 5 garlic cloves , minced
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt, to taste
- Ground black pepper
1. Bring water to a boil and add lentils and bay leaf. Let lentils stand in hot water for about 30-40 minutes. I like mine super crunchy but test them to see how you like them. Drain and let cool for another 30 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and zest, vinegar, shallot, Dijon mustard, honey/agave, garlic, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper. Add chopped tomatoes, parsley, green onion, dried cranberries, sprouts and bell pepper.
3. Remove the bay leaf and add the lentils to the mixture. Put in fridge and chill for a couple of hours or more. It’s really good the next day! Serve cold.
- Red Lentil Curry (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
You know how much we love soup and lentils! Here’s an easy lentil soup using the unique spice sumac.
What in the heck is sumac? I found this description on WorldSpice.com (where I buy all my spices… YUM!) “The deep red sumac berry is ground and dried to impart a tart, lemony flavor with a refreshing complexity. Sumac’s traditional usage in middle eastern cuisine sees it added to rice or kebabs and sprinkled as a condiment atop bowls of hummus.”
Ah ha… that’s what that red powder is on top of the hummus served at Mediterranean restaurants!
I serve this soup with a scoop of grain (quinoa this time) and a hefty portion of greens (kale, of course)… Like my RD says – make sure to add a grain and a green at every meal! Oh and sometimes I add a scoop of plain soy yogurt on top too.
* 1 medium onion , chopped
* 1 stalk celery , chopped
* 1 medium carrot , chopped
* 2 garlic cloves , minced
* 1 (28 ounce) can chopped tomatoes (I use a box of Pomi chopped tomatoes and a can of tomato sauce in a pinch too)
* 4 cups vegetable stock or water
* 1 cup red lentil
* 2 tablespoons dried parsley (or one bunch fresh, chopped – I like to use fresh)
* Salt and pepper, to taste
* 1 to 2 teaspoon sumac (I use 2)
* 1 small lemon, juice of (optional but good)
1. Saute (using broth, water or bean cooking liquid) the onion, celery, and carrot, and cook until softened (a few minutes). Add the garlic, then, in a minute add the tomatoes and stock or water.
2. Simmer for about 20 minutes, season, and let it cool.
3. Puree the soup – I use my immersion blender for this. You can puree the soup after it’s done too if you’re like me and you always forget at this point!
4. Add the lentils and return to a low simmer. Taste a lentil in about 15 minutes to see if it’s tender. If not, continue cooking, but don’t let them get mushy.
5. Add the sumac and parsley. Taste for seasoning and add lemon juice if you like.
- Lentil Quinoa Stew with Red Chard (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)
I love anything with curry and lentils! This is quick and easy to make and it makes the house smell awesome! Our toddler enjoyed this; I added a little plain soy yogurt to hers before I tasted it, thinking it would be spicy but it wasn’t.
This recipe comes from Vegetarian Hostess.
3 While the onions are cooking, combine the mustard seed, cinnamon, fennel, curry powder, turmeric, cumin, chili powder, salt, sugar, garlic, and ginger in a mixing bowl. Mix well. When the onions are cooked, add the curry mixture to the onions and cook over a high heat stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes.
- Red Lentil Thai Chili (kidtestedfirefighterapproved.com)