As we continually seek to eat as sustainably and locally as we can (and to trim our grocery budget where we can), one easy way to do that is to reduce meat consumption. Foods like lentils and quinoa are a great way to do that.
While French lentils with goat cheese and walnuts (or Parmesan and pine nuts) are a delicious, no-fail staple in our household, we decided to spice things up a bit. Literally. Trader Joe's had harissa, a spicy chili paste typically used in Middle Eastern and North African cooking. Basically, we've never met a spicy condiment we didn't love.
I found this recipe, and it didn't disappoint. It had tons of flavor, which was basically perfect. The leftovers reheated well, too. If you need an easy, inexpensive, make-ahead meal, this is a great one.
E & B
French lentil tomato and harissa stewA spicy, veggie-heavy meal with tons of flavor. Serves 4
2/3 cup French lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot or small onion, chopped
1 cup carrot, diced
1 cup celery, diced
1 clove garlic (I used about three)
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
3 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon paprika
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
2 teaspoons harissa, or to taste
1. Rinse lentils and soak for 2 hours in enough water to cover. I did this the night before, drained them, stored them in the fridge, and they were ready to go the next afternoon.
2. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When hot, toss in shallot (or onion), celery, and carrots, and cook for 3-4 minutes, or until soft. Add the garlic, stir for 30-60 seconds, then add the ground coriander, cumin, and thyme. Stir to coat the vegetables.
3. Add lentils, tomatoes, and turmeric, and pour in one cup of water (I used homemade vegetable stock). Bring to boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 20 minutes.
4. Stir in the paprika, salt, and harissa, taste for seasoning, and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, or until the stock is reduced and the mixture is a thick stew.
Recipe adapted from Lisa's Kitchen.