Of all the dishes I’ve done for lentil week, this is by far my favorite. It’s a simple, yet delicious side
dish. Even my seven year old liked lentils prepared this way. As far as I’m concerned, that’s a major
accomplishment! Make them today!!

½ cup dried lentils
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
1 roasted red bell pepper, diced
¼ cup diced pancetta
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
Handful of Italian parsley, finely chopped
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Salt and pepper

Cook the lentils in boiling water until tender, 15-20 minutes, and then drain. While the lentils are
cooking, cook the pancetta in a skillet with about a tablespoon of olive oil, until crisp. Add the garlic to
the pancetta and cook, stirring, one minute. Drain on a paper towel. When the lentils are done, stir in
the bell pepper, pancetta and garlic, parsley, pine nuts, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve the lentils
with freshly grated Romano cheese on top.

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   It didn’t take me long to decide that I wanted to try a curry of some sort for lentil week. While I love
curry, I’ve never actually made it before, so I decided to wing it. I intended to serve the curry over rice,
but once I had already started cooking, I realized I was out of rice. Instead of panicking, I looked in my
pantry and found rice noodles…problem solved! I was pretty happy with how the curry turned out,
especially for a first try. Make it this weekend!

2/3 cup dried lentils
1-2 cups cooked, shredded chicken
½ onion, thinly sliced
½ red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, thinly sliced
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 (14 oz) can coconut milk
1 tablespoon green curry powder
1 tablespoon fresh lemongrass, finely chopped
1-3 teaspoons hot chili garlic sauce
8 oz rice noodles
Peanut or canola oil for stir frying
Chopped fresh cilantro, optional (for garnish)
Sriracha hot sauce, optional

Cook the lentils in boiling water until tender, about 15-20 minutes; drain and set aside. Soak the rice
noodles in hot water for 10 minutes; drain and set aside. In a large skillet, sauté pan, or wok, heat oil
over medium high heat, then add the onion, bell pepper, and zucchini; cook until crisp-tender, 3-5
minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for another 1-2 minutes. Remove the veggies
from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add the coconut milk, curry powder, lemongrass, and chili
garlic sauce and simmer, stirring, for 3-5 minutes. Add the veggies, chicken, lentils, and noodles to the
sauce, and stir well to combine. Serve garnished with fresh cilantro and Sririacha hot sauce, if desired. 

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   Hmmm... what shalI I say about this dessert? With its cardamom spice, it definitely has an Indian feel. I don't think I have quite mastered yet the perfect lentil consistency, but overall, this would be a good diet treat. Low-fat, for sure, and you could probably use stevia instead of brown sugar. Even though I found the recipe online, I didn't have all the ingredients, so I just sort of winged it...
   For me, the end result had the consistency of oatmeal. I like oatmeal, so that's not a bother. Next time, I might try to process it for a smoother consistency and refrigerate it. Something tells me that it would taste even better cold!

1/3 split red lentils
about 8 halved cashews (I used sunflower seeds)
1/2 cup half and half
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
dash of cinnamon
1/2 cup almond flour, more or less to your desired consistency

Rinse lentils well and let soak, along with cashews, for about an hour. Drain and bring to a boil in a saucepan with 1 cup of the water. Add half and half and the rest of the water, along with the cardamom, coconut and cinnamon. Add almond flour to your desired consistency.

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I really had no idea what I was going to make for a dessert for lentil week.  I mean really, dessert with lentils?  But, after searching the web, I finally settled on cookies.  I found several recipes for lentil cookies, and I decided to combine the things I liked best from two different recipes, plus add a little extra.  They are interesting, and they actually don't taste like lentils.  If you like oatmeal or spice cookies, then you'll like these.

1 cup lentil puree
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon cardamom (optional, use if you have it)
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup goji berries

To make the lentil puree, cook 2/3 cup of dried lentils in boiling water for 20-30 minutes, until tender.  Drain, and puree in a food processor.  Set aside.  Preheat your oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, cream
the lentil puree, butter, and sugar with a mixer; add the egg and mix well.  Add the flour, baking soda, vanilla, cinnamon, and
cardamom and mix. Stir in the oats, pumpkin seeds, and goji berries.  Drop by spoonfuls onto the cookie sheet and flatten them a bit.  Bake for 18 minutes.
NOTE:  Feel free to substitute any dried fruit for the goji berries.  Also, you could add chocolate chips, nuts, shredded coconut,
whatever you have…make them your own!

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Woohoo! I got scared there for a minute. My Black Bean and Lentil Chili idea just did not turn out like I wanted. Something about my seasonings... Then someone on our Facebook page suggested a Lentil Soup. So get this: I was doing some running around earlier today, and all of a sudden, I got a whiff of something, and it reminded me of an asian/thai-style soup I used to make but somehow forgot about. So here you go!

1-2 pounds raw chicken (I used chicken wings, but I usually drop in chopped breast)
1 cup lentils (I used split red lentils)
10-12 cups water (1/2 gallon?)
2 tsp salt1/3 cup soy sauce

1-2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 bunch asparagus (Or broccoli), cut in 1-1 1/2-inch pieces
2 large carrots, sliced
1 small onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
4 green onions, diced
1 large clove garlic, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms, if desired
(you can also add prepared brown rice)
sesame oil
1 tsp Chinese 5-spice blend
2 tsp sugar

Boil chicken, lentils, and salt in large stockpot about 10 minutes, then lower to a simmer. Add soy sauce and red pepper flakes. Meanwhile, saute carrots, asparagus and pepper in sesame oil. When finished, drop in soup. Now saute onion, green onion and garlic. When done, add to soup. Drop in mushrooms, spice, and sugar. Salt to taste.

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   Watch out, this one is definitely on my repeat list! I found the red lentils at an Indian market, and the black ones at Whole Foods in their bulk goods section. Interestingly, the red lentils are actually orange, and when the dish is finished, they're more of a very pale yellow. Flavorwise, it's great! And a wonderful diet food with fiber, especially when eaten with carrots and celery. Happy eating!
--- Jenny

1 cup split red lentils
1 cup black lentils
1/2 cup sesame tahini
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/2 cup (or more) olive oil
1/2 lemon's juice

Boil each color lentil in separate pots until soft, split lentils for about 15 minutes, and black for 25-30. Drain and let cool. Keeping each set separate, blend red lentils and half of each of the remaining ingredients. Rinse your blender or food processor and do the same with the black lentils. Place together in a serving dish and swirl so that each are still their recognizable colors.

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