Are you looking eat more vegetarian meals too? I am not ready to go completely vegetarian but I want to eat more meals that don’t leave me feeling so heavy. With that said, the dish needs to be hearty. I don’t want to leave the table still felling hungry. Lentils are the answer. I love the texture and meatiness of the lentils. The lentils are also a great vessel to absorb, not exactly, the sauce. These Thai Red Lentils also have black beans and chick peas in the dish. The dish, though meatless, is loaded with protein.
So I did some research on lentils and found these facts from The Sweet Beet. The word lentil is from a Latin word which means disc given its shape. Lentils have the 3rd highest protein by weight of any plant behind soybeans and hemp – who wants to eat hemp. I digress. Unlike soybeans and hemp, lentils are virtually fat-free. One half a cup of lentils has the same amount of protein as 2 ounces of salmon. Lentils are a great ingredient to feature in your main dishes. The addition of the black beans and the chick peas made a very hearty dish.
These Thai Red Lentils took advantage of the Gourmet Garden stir-in-pastes that I have in my fridge. I used six of them this time. These stir-in-pastes are so easy to use and added a lot of flavor. The predominate flavor I used was the Thai Seasoning (hence the name). The Thai flavors were enhanced with the lemongrass, ginger, garlic and chili pepper. I rounded out the recipe with some cilantro. Bottom line this dish had a lot of flavor. The addition of the coconut milk made a super creamy sauce. I served the lentils over rice to pick up all the sauce.
- 2 cups red lentils
- 4 ounces Thai Seasoning stir-in-paste
- 1 tablespoon garlic stir-in-paste
- 1 tablespoon ginger stir-in-paste
- 1 tablespoon lemongrass stir-in-paste
- 1 tablespoon chili pepper stir-in-paste
- 1/2 tablespoon cilantro stir-in-paste
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, sliced
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach
- 1 - 29 ounce can whole tomatoes
- 1 - 13.5 ounce can coconut milk
- 1 - 15 ounce can black beans
- 1 - 15 ounce can chick peas
- In a pot, bring water to boil and add red lentils.
- Cook for 8 minutes or so until just soft. (Do not over cook.) Set aside.
- In skillet, heat the oil on medium heat and add in all of the stir-in-pastes and mix well.
- Cook for 2 minutes.
- Add the onions and spinach and cook for 5 minutes. Spinach should be wilted.
- Add the tomatoes and there juice and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Add in the coconut milk and heat through.
- Add in the black beans and chick peas. Cook until soft - 6 - 8 minutes or so.
- To finish, add in the lentils and let all the flavors meld for 2 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
The stir-in-pastes added to skillet.
The onions and spinach added to the sauce, and then, the tomatoes added.
The coconut milk added followed by the black beans and chick peas and finished with the red lentils.
The final Thai Red Lentils Plated.