After you cook several “big” dishes, such as Mango Lentil Dal, or Artichoke Lentil Loaf, you may come to realize you still have uncooked lentils left over. Looking in the soak pot, I found we had “a lot” of lentils left. If the zombie apocalypse started today, and all access to the grocery store had been cut off by the horde of brain-eating walking dead, we would be fine with the one bag of dried lentils. It never seems to run out. But since the Eastern Shore, for the moment at least, is devoid of zombies, it would be poor form to leave said lentils to slowly die a horrible death inside the refrigerator.
What to do. Hmmm.
Why not take those lentils and add some left over bell peppers and a snit or two from the jar of Amy’s Black Bean & Corn Salsa? You know, the jar that always seems to be in the door of the refrigerator? Could end up with a tasty meal, me thinks.
Turned out to be a great idea! I also stir fried some fresh cut vegetables to give the meal a little more bulk and color. Here’s the easy lentil recipe:
1 cup uncooked lentils (uncooked but soaked overnight, then drained)
Water – enough to cover the lentils once they are in a sauce pan
1 each – red, green and yellow bell pepper. cored and seeded, then rough chopped
1 snit of Amy’s black bean corn salsa (no ‘snit’ mark on your measuring cup? 6 Tablespoons is about the same amount)
1 Tablespoon cumin
Put the uncooked lentils in a medium sauce pan.
Add water, enough to cover the lentils by a half inch or so.
Add the chopped bell peppers, salsa, and cumin.
Stir gently, then cover.
Heat over medium high until the liquid starts to boil.
Once boiling, reduce heat to medium. You want a simmer only.
Uncover and stir occasionally.
The goal is to allow the liquid to soak into the lentils and to create a “salsa reduction.” In other words, as the liquid cooks down, the salsa and cumin flavor will be brought out for the better. Once you stir the lentils and don’t see any more liquid at the bottom of the sauce pan, you are done!
Remove from heat and cover until the rest of your dinner is done cooking.
(I stir fried veggies while the lentils were cooking. There are a plethora of options for you. Go with your favorite!)
This lentil recipe makes 3 good sized main servings or 4 side servings.