This recipe is an improvisation that we've made a few times. I use French Green Lentils (also called French Puy Lentils) because they keep a nice firm texture and don't get too mushy. Each time it's a bit different based on the spices we add and the left-over tomatoes. This time the tomatoes were from my canning this summer and had been pasta sauce the night before, so there was a little garlic, red pepper and herbs already mixed in. In the photo below, we served the lentils with a Kashi 7 grain pilaf which we found on-sale at our local Co-op. They are also good with rice, couscous, or another whole grain.
1 cup French Green Lentils
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/2 inch ginger, grated or chopped
1-2 tsp garam masala or other spice mix
1 tsp ground cumin
ground cayenne pepper(if you like to add heat)
about 14 oz crushed tomatoes (or tomato sauce)
generous handfuls of kale or swiss chard,roughly chopped
In a small pot, place 1 cup lentils and 4 cups water. Bring to a boil and then simmer 20 minutes until lentils are tender.
Meanwhile in another pan, saute the onion, garlic, and ginger in a dash of olive oil. When the onions are clear, add the spices and stir for one minute. Pour in the tomatoes and bring to a simmer to thicken. Don't let the tomato mixture get to dry. Turn it off if it is thickening too much and the lentils are not yet done.
When the lentils are done, drain them and then add to the the tomato mixture. Stir well and return to a simmer. Add the chopped kale and cover to cook the greens. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper. If the mixture is too acidic, add one small teaspoon of sugar.
Serve with rice or other grain.