Food & Drink

SPICED LENTILS WITH CARROTS

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You’ve probably known me for a while, and you’ll know how much I love lentils. They are cheap and easy to prepare and offer a wide range of flavor options. I tried a favorite spice combination and added it to lentils this week. Combining warm cumin, ginger, garlic, ginger, and the subtle sweetness from ginger, cinnamon and carrots create a complex flavor that is beyond. These saucy spiced lentils can be served over rice, polenta or mashed sweet potatoes to create a delicious lentil feast.

SPICED BUT NOT SPICY

The lentils are seasoned with various sweet, savory, and warm spices. However, they are not spicy or hot. Although the mix has a 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper, it doesn’t give the back end any heat. You can reduce or eliminate the crushed pepper if you are sensitive to spicy flavors.

HOW TO USE LENTILS

This recipe can be used with either brown or green lentils. This kind of lentil can be cooked for 20-30 minutes, doesn’t require soaking and holds its shape once softened. Red, orange, and yellow lentils are not recommended for this recipe. They will quickly break down when cooked, leaving you with a more porridge-like texture.

HOW TO SERVE SPICED LENTILS

These lentils can be served in a bowl by themselves with some crusty bread, or you can spoon them over any starch. You can serve mine over cornmeal mush, like polenta, grits, or rice, sweet potatoes, sweet potatoes, or any other grain you prefer.

MEAL PREP IT

These spiced lentils make an excellent vegetarian or vegan meal preparation. They will keep in the refrigerator for up to five days and can be reheated quickly in the microwave. You can also freeze them, so keep some extras in your freezer.

SPICED LENTILS WITH CARROTS

These warm, sweet and savory spiced lentils make the perfect vegetarian meal prep.

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Servings: Each approximately 1.25 cups

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 yellow onion (0.32)
  • 4 cloves of garlic ($0.32)
  • 1 tsp freshly grated ginger (0.10)
  • 4 carrots, roughly 2 cups chopped ($0.56)
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil ($0.32)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (0.10)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon ($0.05).
  • 1/2 tsp allspice ($0.05).
  • 1/4 tsp crushed pepper ($0.02)
  • 1 cup brown lentils ($0.67)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste ($0.15)
  • 1/4 cup chopped dried raisins or apricots* ($0.75)
  • 3 cups vegetable broth ($0.40)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley (optional) ($0.10)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Chop the onion and garlic into small pieces. Grate the ginger and peel the carrots.
  • In a large skillet, add the onion, garlic and ginger, and olive oil. Sauté the onions on medium heat for five minutes or until they are translucent and soft.
  • Add the diced carrots and cumin, cinnamon, allspice, and crushed pepper to a skillet. Continue to cook for another two minutes.
  • Next, add the uncooked lentils and tomato paste to the skillet. Stir the tomato paste into the broth until it is dissolved. Cover the skillet with a lid and heat on high.
  • Let the broth come to a boil. Turn the heat to low and allow the broth to boil. Once the broth has boiled, cover the pot with a lid and let the lentils simmer for 30 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  • The carrots and lentils should be tender after 30 minutes. Give the lentils a taste. You can add salt or salt to the broth, but I didn’t add any.
  • The spiced lentils can be served with crusty bread or mashed potatoes or on a bed of polenta. If desired, garnish with fresh chopped parsley.

NOTES

*Raisins (golden or purple raisins) are more affordable, but I had dried apricots, so I used them instead.

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