Happy Halloween! We’re big fans around here, always sitting out with a game or two on our front porch and some music to greet kids as they come around trick-or-treating. This year, though, it’s super chilly, so we needed a hearty (if blood-red!) dish to keep us warm and full… at least full enough not to eat all the candy!
One of my favorite ways to make lentils is to boil them in a tomato sauce. My favorite is to start with a can of basic tomato basil spaghetti sauce – simplest and cheapest you can get is fine. Then I add a few cups of homemade tomatoes, sliced up to make them cook faster. This gives some good homestyle chunkiness. I add a little bit of water if the whole mess looks too thick, and I then just follow the directions on the lentils as if the tomato sauce was water.
Make sure to add a little water if it gets too gooey too early; you want the lentils to cook fully rather than being tough or chewy.
The final product tastes like a spaghetti dish, especially if you put a little grated parmesan cheese on top, but has all the protein and fiber of lentils. I personally don’t see lentils as having much flavor, so it is a great way to make sure that you get your favorite hearty flavors (I’m a sucker for cheese and marinara on anything!) while also getting some good nutrients.
A big bowl of marinara lentils will also work great as leftovers for lunch tomorrow, and I like it with a salad, a piece of garlic bread, or some other addendum. For tonight though, it’s going to go great with a peanut butter pumpkin and a pile of mini crunch bars. 🙂