If you follow along on my instagram posts you’ll know by now that I’m a fan of Gardein veggie meats. With Irving traveling so much, David and I pop those bad boys into the oven on a fairly regular basis. Raised fairly traditionally when it comes to food, the protein/carb/veggie plate is pretty ingrained in my head, and somehow those little nuggets seem to make it a meal.
I’m guessing that processed nuggets aren’t always the healthiest source of protein. Although, I did recently read this article that shows a link between eating veggie meats and a reduction in risk of hip fracture, so I’m going with it! In all seriousness though, I do try to keep things fairly balanced. And last week I needed a quick protein to balance out our dinner. I turned to my favorite legume—lentils! They cook so quickly—they can be ready in just about the same amount of time it takes to bake up some veggie nuggets!
For this quick lentil dish I added warm cinnamon and cumin—perfect for fall. I served these in halves of roasted delicata squash the first night we had them. Then I had them on their own for lunch a few days later, and even mixed them in with some rice I fried up—delicious every day for a week! They were a big hit in my family—even David was gobbling up a big bowl of them! Hope you’ll have a chance to try this protein packed weeknight dinner soon!
2 c lentils, brown or green, NOT red
6 c water
1 t salt
2 t olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 med carrots, diced
1-2 c water
2 roma tomatoes, diced
1 t cumin
1 t cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
Rinse the lentils and place them in a pot with 6 cups of water. Bring to a boil, add 1 t of salt and reduce heat and cover. Cook until slightly al dente, about 20 minutes. When cooked, drain and set aside.
In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large sauté like pan, or even a pot, and add the onion. Allow to brown slightly and then add the carrot. Allow carrot to brown slightly, then add 1 c of water and place a lid on the pan. Allow the carrot to cook in the water until it mostly evaporates. If your carrots are mostly soft at this point continue. If they are not, add 1 more cup of water and repeat, leaving a little bit of liquid remaining.
Add tomato, cumin, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to the pan. Mix well and allow the tomato to cook down a bit. Add the cooked lentils and stir until well incorporated. Allow to simmer for a few minutes for flavors to meld and serve!
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