Easy Student-Friendly Recipes Using Lentils

Lentils are one of my favourite cooking staples. I would usually make some of these with different kinds of lentils, but for the sake of the poor uni student, these can all be made with green or brown ones (you can get them dried or in a can — getting them dried is generally cheaper). Green and brown lentils hold their shape, while yellow or red lentils are the ones that break down and thicken up. Here are three lentil recipes for you to try!

Spiced Tomato Lentil Stew:

Ingredients:

Olive oil 

1 small onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 eggplant, diced

1 cup lentils 

800ml chopped tomatoes

4 cups of vegetable stock

1 ½ tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp paprika

1 tsp red pepper flakes

½ tsp turmeric

Salt and pepper to taste

Handful of spinach

Method: 

  1. Cook onions and eggplant in a pot on medium heat until onion is translucent and eggplant is browned. 
  2. Add garlic and spices and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, tomatoes and stock to the pot. Cover and let simmer. (If you’re using canned lentils, this will only take ten to fifteen minutes. If you’re using dried, follow the packet directions regarding cooking time.)
  4. Add spinach to the pot and let sit until it has wilted, then stir in.
  5. Enjoy! It’s as simple as that.

Note: For a little something extra, I sometimes serve this with couscous. You can also top it with some diced avocado or Greek yogurt. 

Lemon Spiced Lentils:

Ingredients: 

1 small onion

3 cloves garlic

5 small mushrooms

5 cherry tomatoes, halved

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp ground coriander

1 tsp turmeric 

½ cup cooked lentils

Juice of a lemon

½ cup vegetable stock 

A handful of spinach

Method: 

  1. Cook onions and mushrooms in a pan on medium heat until onion is translucent and mushrooms are browned. 
  2. Add garlic, cherry tomatoes and spices and cook until fragrant.
  3. Add lentils, lemon and stock to the pan. Let simmer for five minutes.
  4. Add spinach and let wilt.
  5. Serve with rice or couscous. 

Note: you can add a cornflour and water slurry to this if you want the sauce to thicken up!

Lentil and Potato Salad:

Ingredients: 

1kg potatoes

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp salt

2 cups cooked lentils

200g cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

2 cups fresh rocket

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup dill, finely chopped

¼ cup chives, finely chopped

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp Dijon mustard

½ tsp honey or maple syrup

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper

Method: 

  1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius (392 degrees Fahrenheit) and line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Peel potatoes and cut into chunks 
  3. Coat with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast for about 40 minutes to an hour, or until golden and cooked through.
  4. While the potatoes are cooking, make the dressing. Add olive oil, herbs, white wine vinegar, mustard, sweetener of choice, salt and pepper to a jar and shake until combined. 
  5. Combine potatoes, lentils, dressing, tomatoes and rocket in a bowl. 
  6. Enjoy! 

 

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