Beans and legumes are a great source of plant protein and minerals; unlike meat, beans are cholesterol-free and low in fat. It’s important to cut down on meat and seafood and replace them with plant protein for optimum health. This is my favorite bean dish – I make a version of it every week and love it with a side of vegetables and brown rice. This is great with toast, in a wrap, or over a salad, too!
Makes 2 3/4 cups or 4 to 6 servings
2/3 cup dry lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups red or white onions, diced (about 3 small pieces)
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup tomatoes, diced
1 1/2 tsp ground paprika, optional (for color)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
Salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste
1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with plenty of water and cover with a lid. Bring to a boil on high, then decrease to low and cook, partially covered, until tender, about 25 minutes. Rinse and drain. You should have about 2 cups of lentils.
2. Meanwhile, warm the oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook the onions with a pinch of salt, pepper, and chili flakes until softened and lightly golden, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute, stirring occasionally.
3. Stir in the tomatoes and optional paprika and cook until softened over medium or low heat for about 3 or 4 minutes. If the pan looks a little dry, instead of adding more oil add 2 or 3 tbsp of water.
4. Add the lentils and more salt and pepper. Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes or so.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the cilantro. Adjust for seasonings accordingly.
• Substitute the dry lentils with 2 cups cooked or canned beans.
• Play around with this recipe! Use a different bean such as fava beans, white beans, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, or soy beans. Use a different fresh herb like parsley or basil. If you don’t have access to fresh herbs, use 2 or 3 teaspoons of mixed dry herbs (thyme, oregano, rosemary) or spices (mild chili powder, cumin, coriander seed, curry powder).