Friday, April 03, 2009

I Love Lentils!

I've been meaning to post this recipe for some time, but Stephanie's post today inspired me to get it out there!

Here's my personal lentil history. Well into my third decade, I was certain that I hated the hard little bean substitute. Bland, chalky texture, extreme lack of eye appeal. My lentil dislike was not for lack of exposure either. No, lentil dinners made a regular appearance in my home growing up, usually in the form of ground meat substitute. After hearing a glowing review of the following recipe, I decided to give them another try. After all, they are cheap and highly nutritious... a combo I cannot resist! So, without further delay, I give you Baked Lentils with Cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine in shallow 9 x 13 baking dish:
1 3/4 c. lentils, rinsed
2 c. water
1 bay leaf
2 t. course sea salt
1/4 t. pepper
1/8 t. each marjoram, sage, thyme
2 large onions, diced
2 cloves garlic pressed or minced
2 c. canned tomatoes (sometimes I omit this)

Cover tightly and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and stir in:
2 large carrots, sliced in coins
1/2 c. thinly sliced celery

Bake covered 40 minutes until vegetables are tender. Stir in:
1 green pepper, chopped (optional)
2 T. finely chopped parsley

Sprinkle on top:
3 c. shredded cheddar cheese

Bake uncovered, 5 minutes until cheese melts. Serves 6. Total cooking time 75 minutes.

Eric groans when he hears that this dish is for dinner, but then usually says, "Oh yeah, I like this!" once it is out of the oven. Adjectives I might use to describe it are: hearty, savory, meatless, and kid-friendly. Enjoy!


Erin said...

gross. No, I bet this dish is nothing like spagehti sauce with noodles orlentils and rice, or... the list goes on. I bet it tastes good... But for now, I'm lentil'd out- wait three years and maybe I'll like dahl again and any other form of that bean.

Erin said...

oops i meant spagheti sauce with lentils- barf.

Jessica said...

thanks for this recipe Becca! I on the other hand have been new to lentils about 3 years ago and have been searching for some good recipes for them :) I am liking them though and they are easy to sneak in some things!

AKat said...

You know, Becca, I can't say I have ever tried a lentil. But anything with cheese on it can't be bad! I will let you know when I try this recipe. I am trying to be healthier...and you and your family seem so healthy to me! I am inspired!

kunnak1 said...

Becca, I thought of a title for your blog: Abundant Life - Sharing the Patenaude Family Adventure.

Love you!

Alicia O. & the gang said...

I was honestly just staring into my cupboard trying to figure out what to make for dinner that didn't require earlier preparations...I stared at the lentils, wheatberries, whole wheat pasta and beans...and BAM! I thought..."I'll check a blog or two"! Thanks for the inspiration for tonights dinner!

Ellen said...

I have a question... Do ya have to add the veggies later, like the carrots and green pepper, or could you just, say, dump it all in together in the beginning? =)