Think cooking with lentils requires diving into recipes you’ve never tried before? Wrong! Lentils are an incredibly versatile ingredient if you stop thinking they can only be used in lentil recipes.
The other night I tossed a baked potato into the oven. I don’t know about you, but a baked potato isn’t worth eating if it isn’t smothered in toppings. Whipping up a quick batch of chili lentils proved to be the perfect topping for my supper.
This is a simple dish to make. Baking a potato takes awhile in the oven, and the chili lentils took about 20 minutes to make. You could speed up meal prep by baking your potato in a microwave if you aren’t feeding too many mouths.
My (very) unscientific recipe included:
- Lentils – about a quarter cup dry. Cover with twice the amount of water, bring to a boil and then simmer until tender. Drain completely and then pour a little water back on the lentils; return to burner.
- Onion – sautéed in a separate pan and add to cooked lentils.
- Tomato – chopped and add to cooked lentils.
- Seasonings – Use whatever you like and add to cooked lentils. I’m notorious for foraging through my spice drawer and throwing in whatever sounds good. This means I sometimes have a dish that tastes really great, sometimes a little funky and almost always that I never remember what seasonings I used. Chili powder was on the list, of course.
Stir on low heat, allowing the spices to permeate the lentil, onion and tomato mixture. Add water if necessary. You don’t want this to be too dry, but you also don’t want rivers of chili making mountains out of your baked potato.
Top your baked potato with a generous helping of chili lentils, sour cream, cheese, olives – all the ingredients that make a baked potato into a feast!