Well I made a run to the Harmony Co-op here in Bemidji over lunch and picked up some lentils and baby spinach. I fully plan on trying this recipe for dinner tonight. I’m hopeful that it will be a success.
Let’s talk lentils for a minute. Along with other types of beans, lentils are legumes. They grow in pods that contain either one or two lentil seeds. They readily absorb flavors from other foods and seasonings, are high in nutritional value, and are available throughout the year.
Not only do lentils help lower cholesterol, they are especially beneficial in managing blood-sugar disorders since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar from rising rapidly after a meal. But wait, there’s more! Lentils also provide good to excellent amounts of six important minerals, two B-vitamins, and protein—all with virtually no fat. At only 230 calories for a cup of cooked lentils, these nutrition-packed little buggers fill you up…not out!
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ cup onion diced (in the future I would love to try using leeks instead…I forgot them at the store today…shame on me for not making a list)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ red bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup lentils
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup baby spinach or however much you’d like
- 1 can diced or petite diced tomatoes with juice
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garam masala (An Indian spice blend…you can find it in bulk spices at Harmony in Bemidji)
- 1/4 tsp ground coriander
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
Add lentils and water to saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil. Cover, lower heat, and simmer about 35 minutes, until lentils are soft (this may take less time, depending on your water and the lentils).
Once lentils are nearly cooked heat oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion and red pepper until slightly tender. Add minced garlic and sauté for another minute or so. Add spinach, tomatoes, and cooked lentils. Cover and allow spinach to wilt. Add pepper, cumin, coriander, and garam masala.