Tag Archives: lentils

Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce with Lentils

IMG_9313

My week in England is coming to an end today. I have had a great time visiting family and perusing the British countryside.  My diet this week has been anything but healthy, but I couldn’t resist dipping into the local fare that I haven’t eaten in years.

I leave early in the morning for my first ever visit to Italy. We will be staying about 30 minutes outside of Rome in a villa.  We will be a huge gang of friends and family out to celebrate my uncle’s 60th birthday.

As you can imagine I am incredibly excited for my visit as I  am a huge fan of Italian food.  All of it.  Whether we eat at the villa or out at a trattoria I am expecting the food to be excellent.

Pasta with tomato sauce is one of the most popular comfort foods in North America, and in many other parts of the world as well. Nevertheless,despite its popularity, it has become one of the most controversial foods in recent years.  The combination of carbs and gluten together seem to be taboo these days.

For those of us who do still dabble in some carbs and gluten, this is my healthy version of pasta with tomato sauce.  Not to worry, still comforting, delicious and hearty.  The lentils make a nice substitute for the traditional bolognese sauce.  Don’t forget the basil, an essential compliment to the tomato and garlic sauce.

IMG_9340

Here is what the spelt looks like when it is cooked.

IMG_9304

You know I love my mason jars. I store my lentils and spelt in mason jars, as well as all my other dry goods. Check out my post on Building a Healthy Pantry  ( if you are curious about what I keep in my pantry) which allows me to be able to whip up a healthy meal at any time.

IMG_9320

Here are a few pictures from my visit in England over the past week.

IMG_1369 IMG_1413IMG_1422 IMG_1423 IMG_1466 IMG_1478 IMG_1384

IMG_1393

Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce with Lentils

2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and diced
2-3 sprigs of fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
700 g jar tomato passata
1/2 cup water, (rinse the passata jar with the water to avoid waste)
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper
a few sprigs of fresh basil
optional: one chopped dried chili, or chili pepper flakes to taste

1/2 cup french dupuy lentils, sorted and rinsed

1 cup of spelt or wheat berries, or pasta of choice

Note: Don’t forget to bring some water to a boil for your pasta or whole-grain. If cooking a whole grain such as wheat berries or spelt berries, be sure to get these cooking a bit before because they take 40-60 minutes.

1. Cover the lentils with water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Boil on medium for 20 minutes or until cooked, but still a bit firm. Be sure not to overcook. Be careful because different lentils can take different lengths of time to cook. Drain and set aside

2. Once the lentils are on, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onions, garlic, carrots and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for about 5 minutes until onions and carrots have softened.

3. Add the bay leaf, jar of tomato passata, and water. Stir, lay the cover ajar, and simmer for 25-30 minutes. Taste and season with salt and pepper again if necessary.

4. Add the lentils to the sauce and stir. Simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs.

5. Tear the fresh basil leaves into the sauce.

6. Serve pasta and sauce in bowls, with  more fresh basil leaves torn into the bowl.

IMG_9310

4 Comments

Filed under Blog, Main Courses, Recipes

Curried Red Lentil & Swiss Chard Soup With Coconut Milk

IMG_8018This is my new favourite soup, and I am convinced that if you make it, it will be yours as well. What does that mean? It means I really think you should make this soup. I made it at the beginning of last week, and it provided me with lunches and even a quick dinner. I loved it so much, that I made it again today, so I could have it again this week.

Do you have a favourite soup? One that you found yourself making several times this winter? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.

This soup is filling, really tasty, incredibly nutritious, and REALLY easy to make. Seriously. It’s so easy! We often don’t have the time or motivation to prepare a healthy meal for ourselves or our family, but preparing a big batch or 2 of something like a soup or a stew is a great way to help you eat healthy. This way you have something ready for those days when you don’t have time or simply aren’t in the mood to cook.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes, Soups

Vegetarian Bean Chili

Chili is one of those dishes that has the ability to please meat eaters and vegetarians alike. Meat eaters often seem to be happy eating vegetarian chili if it is a good one. It is also a great warming winter meal, and although we are getting closer to spring we are still in the dead of winter. As I look outside at the moment the snow is coming down. Chili sounds great.

This vegetarian bean chili is a seriously hearty chili. I mean serious. Black beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils. It’s got it all. I also used sun dried tomatoes and parsnips which you don’t usually see in chili. The reason I thought of adding sun dried tomatoes was because I was using tomato passata and not diced tomatoes since I didn’t have any on hand.

I highly recommend grinding your own spices if you can. This ensures you are getting the most flavour out of your spices. When spices are ground they start to lose flavour. So imagine the difference in flavour between spices you just ground and the pre ground spices that have been in your spice drawer/cupboard for who knows how long. You see my point? It really does make a difference. You can grind your own spices with a mortar and pestle or with a spice grinder. There is something very satisfying about the process of grinding spices with a mortar and pestle. Continue reading

Comments Off on Vegetarian Bean Chili

Filed under Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes

Lentil, Walnut, Spinach Loaf Recipe Inspired by Oh She Glows

I made this lentil walnut spinach loaf for the first time over the holidays. I liked it so much that I have made it again since. Something that doesn’t happen very often. Rarely, do I make the same thing twice in a matter of a couple weeks, mostly because I am always trying to come up with new content for this blog.

A lot of the recipes I post here are recipes that I make up myself. The inspiration for this recipe came from my friend Nathalie. Yes, the same Nathalie that I made a couple videos with recently. Nat was telling me about all the delicious vegan food she had made over the holidays, and one of the things she made was a lentil walnut loaf. Sounded good to me. I had never made a vegan loaf of any kind before. Lentils and walnuts. Hmmmm. Thank you Nathalie for sparking my curiosity. Has anyone made a vegan loaf before? If yes, what kind?

A few days later, I found myself needing to make food for several people for New Year’s Eve dinner. I remembered what Nathalie had told me, so I decided to give it a shot. I googled lentil walnut loaf and the first one that came up was from OhSheGlows.com. Angela from Ohsheglows.com has a few different lentil walnut loaf recipes on her site. I took a look at a couple of them as well as a similar recipe from eatliverun.com Continue reading

Comments Off on Lentil, Walnut, Spinach Loaf Recipe Inspired by Oh She Glows

Filed under Blog, Main Courses, Recipes

Easy Red Lentil Curry Recipe


Red lentils are great for a variety of  easy vegetarian recipes.  Great for curries, soups, veggie pate, burgers.  They are an inexpensive and delicious source of nutrients.  A source of fibre, protein, a variety of minerals like iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

Red lentils are great for easy vegetarian recipes because they cook quickly and don’t require any soaking.  This easy red lentil curry recipe is a perfect example.  As long as your spice drawer is well stocked, you are in business.  Onions, garlic, oil, spices, and lentils cooked with water topped with fresh cilantro. Continue reading

Comments Off on Easy Red Lentil Curry Recipe

Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes

Delicious, Easy and Quick Healthy Meal; Lentils Rice & Broccoli

My intention here was to make a simple dish that is a complete meal.  I stuck to the plan and it was a success.  Although it does require cooking rice, broccoli, and lentils, it is incredibly easy, straightforward, and relatively quick.  So all you do is cook the 3 main ingredients, chop some cilantro, and then dress with olive oil, lemon juice and cumin.

I  decided to add the cumin later to add a little something to the dish to make it a little more flavourful.  I toasted the cumin seeds, and then ground them in a mortar and pestle.  This is the most complicated thing in this recipe however not 100% necessary.  While toasting the cumin seeds and grinding them yourself is nice, you could also use ground cumin.  Skipping the cumin all together is another option if the lemon, olive oil and cilantro does it for you. Continue reading

Comments Off on Delicious, Easy and Quick Healthy Meal; Lentils Rice & Broccoli

Filed under Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes, Salads

Hearty Lentil and Kale Soup Recipe

Although the forecast says a high of 16 degrees tomorrow we all know what is coming.  Don’t worry it will be below freezing by Wednesday.  Soup season is officially upon us.  There is no snow on the ground, but it’s cold enough that our bodies are craving those warming foods.  A lot of comfort food can be quite unhealthy.  The good news is it doesn’t have to be.  Good hearty soups like this lentil soup are very comforting as well healthy.

This soup is incredibly easy to make, it is filling and inexpensive.  Green lentils, potatoes, tomatoes, kale, carrots, celery flavoured with fresh thyme and cumin.

Nutritious and delicious. Simple yet satisfying.  Anyone can put this soup together, even those of you who claim not to cook.  The problem is if you are reading this,  you are more than likely someone who does cook.  So share this recipe with someone you know who doesn’t like to cook but wants to make a delicious hearty soup to keep them warm this winter.

Hearty Lentil and Kale Soup

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

2 cups green lentils (or black beluga), picked through and rinsed
6 cups of water

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
a few sprigs of fresh thyme
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
250 g potatoes, cut in small chunks
1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, lightly toasted in pan
2 cups of chopped dinosaur kale, de-stemmed (or other leafy green)
fine grain sea salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper
6 cups water or vegetable broth
_________________________________________________________________________________________________
In a medium saucepan, combine the lentils with 6 cups of water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until tender, but not mushy.  Approximately 20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a heavy soup pot, over medium heat, combine the oil, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, thyme sprigs,  salt and pepper.  Saute for 5 minutes until the vegetables being to soften.

Add the can of tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Cover and let simmer for 10 minutes.  Then add the potatoes. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes.

Add the lentils, and 4 more cups of water or vegetable broth. ( I used water and it was delicious)  Bring the soup back to a boil for 5 minutes before adding the chopped kale and toasted cumin seeds.  Simmer for approximately 5 minutes.  Remove from heat, and allow to cool a little. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking.

Comments Off on Hearty Lentil and Kale Soup Recipe

Filed under Gluten-Free, Recipes, Soups

Lentils with Fresh Herbs & Broiled Eggplant from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi

Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi is an amazing work of art.  It is a cookbook with some serious soul.  Incredibly vibrant.  Some cookbooks excite me, and this is definitely one of those that does.  In fact it makes my mouth water and my head spin, because I want to make so many of the recipes.

The pictures are incredible, soulful and real.  The layout is simple in the best of ways.  Easy to read and follow which is incredibly helpful when actually trying to make some of the recipes.  The recipes are creative and inspiring but not overly complicated.

The book is vegetarian, but not vegan.  It is organized by ingredients, so if you are looking for a recipe with green beans, they will all be within a few pages of each other.  It is hard to decide which recipe to make from this book first because they all look so good.  I look forward to the next one.  I don’t think this book will be headed back to the bookcase anytime soon. Continue reading

Comments Off on Lentils with Fresh Herbs & Broiled Eggplant from “Plenty” by Yotam Ottolenghi

Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes

Sweet & Spicy Rice, Lentils, Spinach Recipe

This is a tasty one.  This dish is loaded with healthy ingredients and it is easy to make. I will definitely be making this dish again.  In fact I already have.

The sun dried tomatoes, with the sweet currants, the nutty flavour of the roasted pine nuts, smokey paprika, fresh herbs and a little kick of cayenne certainly bring these rice and lentils to life.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Sweet & Spicy Rice, Lentils, Spinach Recipe

Filed under Blog, Gluten-Free, Main Courses, Recipes

Quinoa, Lentil, Beans and Greens Salad

This salad is filled with nutritional powerhouses. I am sure most of you know about how good quinoa, lentils, hemp seeds, swiss chard, lemon, green beans, and garlic are for you.

This is a serious salad. If you were looking for recipe ideas for any of these amazing ingredients look no further.

Continue reading

Leave a Comment

Filed under Blog, Main Courses, Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes