Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Lentil Challenge

As I walked through Costco the other week, I spied a 10 pound bag of lentils. We didn't have bulk dried items like that in Costco on the East Coast. I thought about it and decided I am going to buy 10 pounds of lentils for less than $6.00 and we will enjoy lentils. Do you realize that is 60 cents a pound? That is cheap protein.

Now before you feel sorry for my kids for having to eat 10 pounds of lentils, let me tell you about my son's reactions when as I walked through the aisle with my shopping card to put a bag of lentils in the cart. His reaction was something like, "lentils, yeah!" with a very excited tone. My kids love lentils.

One of the easy things about lentils is they don't need to soak and are generally ready to eat in 45 minutes. For a long time lentils have been my go to item if I didn't have meat thawed.

So the challenge that I have given myself is to use all 10 pounds in the next 8-10 weeks. (We are praying that we will have our visa by the end of the year and be moving and I won't take this with me.)

I have a few lentil recipes that we like and I also spent some time online looking for lentil recipes. I pinned a number on Pinterest.  For my first meal I was brave and tried a new recipe. I made this recipe, Lentil And Spinach Dhansak (I copied the recipe here for reference.) We ate it so fast I didn't take a photo.


  • 25ml Flora Cuisine
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5cm (1 inch) piece root ginger, grated or finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry paste, or to taste
  • 1 Knorr Vegetable Stock Cube dissolved in 600ml (1 pint) boiling water
  • 85g (3 oz) red lentils
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into cubes
  • 350g (12 oz) basmati rice
  • 225g bag spinach leaves
  • Finely grated rind and juice of ½ lime or lemon
  • Lime or lemon zest, to garnish
  • 150g carton low fat natural yogurt to accompany                   


  1. Melt the Flora in a saucepan, add the onion and ginger and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft.
  2. Add the curry paste and cook, stirring, for 1 minute.  Gradually add the vegetable stock and bring to the boil.
  3. Stir in the lentils, carrots and sweet potato and simmer gently for about 15 minutes until tender.
  4. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to packet directions.
  5. Stir the spinach leaves into the cooked vegetables until they have just wilted and then add the lime or lemon rind or juice.
  6. Serve the vegetables with the rice, garnished with lime or lemon zest.

In my typical style I changed the recipe a bit. I didn't know what Flora Cuisine was so I just used butter. I didn't use red onion just a regular brown onion. I used brown lentils instead of red and decided that was not enough lentils so I increased it to 1 cup and added more water. Maybe it is because I used brown lentils instead of red but it did take longer than 15 minutes to cook.

The recipe was a hit. My son had thirds. Everyone was a bit disappointed that there were not enough leftovers to have for lunch the next day.

So share with me your favorite lentil recipe. I have enough lentils and we will probably be looking for some variety. A number of the recipes I have are Indian type dishes. Give me your favorite.
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  1. We often eat lentil soup, in fact, we ate it for lunch today. This is my recipe:

    The Cranks recipe book has a lentil bake which I like.

  2. We don't eat a lot of lentils. I made a soup with them in the crockpot once. This recipe sound AMAZING!

  3. This isn't my recipe but I've made lentil burgers before and think they'e delicious. This would be similar to what I"d make. http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/vegetarian-lentil-burgers-recipe.html

  4. I sneak lentils into a beef stew recipe that everyone eats. :) I have a lentil soup recipe but that is just for my own lunch.

  5. I was just about to look up what "Flora" was, thinking you were so sophisticated to already know what it was. :) We will definitely try this. Thank you! I hope the visas come in November so you'll be settled by Christmas time.

  6. We just tried a lentil dish last week because it was in our (MFW) homeschool curriculum! Since I have the other half of the bag to use up, I'll have to try one of your recipes.



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