Green Ribbon Lentils

Almost two years ago, I saw this recipe for Garlicky Lentils and Tomatoes, which is very flexible.  We have tried it several different ways, and this variation has become a favorite.

This recipe is easy, cheap, and pretty quick!  It is vegan and gluten-free.  It has lots of fiber, vitamins, protein, and iron.  It can stand alone as a meal or be eaten with bread, over rice, or even on a bun like Sloppy Joe.

It’s a great way to use some of the tomatoes that are so abundant at this time of year–but it also tastes great made with canned tomatoes at any time of year.  It’s also yet another way to use kale, a vegetable that tends to be affordably priced year-round and freezes well.

Best of all, this recipe appeals to our nine-year-old son, and it gets a lot of healthy dark-green vegetable into him!

I’m giving it this name because I like to make the kale into thin “ribbons”.  This happens naturally with Tuscan kale (a/k/a dinosaur kale or lacinato kale) when you peel the leafy part away from the tough central stem, because the leaves are so narrow near the base.  With any variety of kale, though, nice “ribbons” can be made by rolling up a handful of leaves and slicing with a bread knife, making the strips about 1/4″ wide.

The kale ribbons look like this. Click on the photo for a well-illustrated tutorial on how to de-stem and thinly slice kale, by Marin Mama Cooks.

To make 4 hearty servings, you will need:

  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning or fresh or dried herbs of your choice (rosemary, thyme, parsley, etc.)
  • 3 tomatoes, diced, or 1 cup canned or frozen-and-thawed diced tomatoes, including juice
  • 1 cup dry green lentils
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 2 cups fresh, or 1 cup frozen, shredded kale or other leafy green, such as spinach or chard
  • salt and pepper to taste

Slice or crush the garlic.  In a medium saucepan, saute it in the oil for just a minute or two.

Add herbs and tomatoes.  Stir and cook for another minute or two.

Add lentils, water, kale, salt, and pepper.  Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until lentils are soft and water is absorbed, about 15-20 minutes.

What prize level gets a green ribbon–third?  Much as my family likes this recipe, if we had to rank our favorite lentils, I think Honey Baked Lentils might come in first and Masoor Dal second…but I’m glad we don’t have to choose!

This recipe works for me!  Visit Waste Not Want Not Wednesday and Fabulously Frugal Thursday and Thrifty Thursday for more low-cost recipes and other tips! Visit the Hearth and Soul Blog Hop and Healthy Vegan Friday and Real Food Friday for more food-related articles!

8 thoughts on “Green Ribbon Lentils

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