Red Lentils (Side Dish Recipe)

Most of the meals I plan include some sort of side that consists of either rice or potatoes. I love rice and like potatoes. My husband loves potatoes and tolerates rice. It becomes a delicate balance as I have to draw a line somewhere otherwise risk becoming short order chef — which my life just doesn’t allow the time and energy for.

Back in early Sept I attended a women’s retreat with my church and Saturday night we were served a most delicious meal of roasted chicken and vegetables, alongside lentils. Having never had lentils before, except for maybe in soup (which is where I discovered lentils are typically used) my mind was blown. They were incredible! I HAD to figure out how to make them myself.

Fast forward a couple of months…I took my first run at lentils in side dish fashion. I’m quiet pleased to say they turned out as incredible as I remembered them from the retreat. And, what might be even better is that my husband is 100% on board. FINALLY I have another staple to add in the potatoes and rice rotation!

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Ingredients:
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
2 cups chicken stock
2 T olive oil (or you could use butter)
1/2 sweet onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium tomatoes, chopped (could use a can of diced as well)
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp fresh pepper
salt, to taste

Instructions:
-heat oil over medium heat in deep skillet, saute onion and garlic until onions are beginning to brown
-add tomatoes and cook for a couple minutes
-season with turmeric, cumin and fresh pepper
-add lentils and chicken stock, cook, uncovered, until lentils are desired firmness (30’ish minutes), stirring occasionally
-add salt to taste and serve warm

There will be a little bit of sauciness left after the lentils have reached their desired doneness (some people like them a touch firmer while others prefer them pretty soft – the choice is yours – I tested mine along the way to determine how ‘done’ I preferred them). This sauciness is wonderful to soak up with some grilled chicken so don’t be afraid to flood your plate!

Lentils are rich in dietary fiber, a good source of protein and folate, and high in iron. They certainly have a lot more going for them than my beloved rice…or potatoes.

It’s so awesome when an adventure in the kitchen turns into something that will be a frequent flyer in your meal planning. Give this one a try – it’s wonderful – and easy!

Light at the end of the tunnel, the work week is nearly over!
Have a great weekend!
H

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