Colder days means warming comfort food, and this cosy dish of red lentils, mushrooms and spinach, with a hint of chilli, fills that need perfectly while keeping it on the healthy side…
It’s been a while since my last post, and the weather has definitely changed! These significantly chillier days definitely bring a need for heartier dinners. It can be hard to stay healthy while indulging in comfort food, but by using red lentils you get the bulk with plenty of added health benefits.
Red Lentils are a fantastic substitute for meat, and as well as tasting great, they are a brilliant source of protein and high in fibre. This dish has a tomato base with a slight chilli kick, although feel fee to add more if you like it super spicy! I love to add a spoonful of harissa or chilli sauce once cooked, just for an extra spice hit.
I use cherry tomatoes in this recipe, which will break down as they start to cook and release their lovely juices. A slight press with the back of a wooden spoon will also help this along. As the lentils absorb most of the liquid, this is not a super saucy dish, but I like to leave a little stock in at the end to help keep the lentils nice and moist.
This is a great dish to make if you are looking for tasty comfort food, and still trying stay healthy over the colder months! Red Lentils are also guaranteed to leave you feeling full without the bloat, and so definitely worth adding to your diet.
Red Lentils with Mushrooms & Spinach (serves 4)
- I Red Onion
- Garlic Clove, crushed
- ½ Tsp. Dried Oregano
- 1 Tsp. Chilli Powder
- 200g Cherry Tomatoes (I like to use ones on the vine)
- 175g Mushrooms
- 400g Dried Red Lentils
- 900ml Vegetable Stock
- 90g Spinach
- Handful Flat Leaf Parsley
First, heat a tablespoon of olive or coconut oil in a large sauté pan over a medium heat. Chop the red onion and add to the pan along with the crushed garlic clove.
Once softened, add the oregano and chilli powder to the onion mix and stir for 30 seconds to release the beautiful aromas.
Tip in the cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, and a splash of the vegetable stock and stir to coat in the spices.
Next, add the red lentils and half of the remaining vegetable stock. Stir well to combine and ensure to coat in all the liquid. Cook for approx. 20-25 minutes over a medium heat, adding the remaining stock as necessary. (The lentils will absorb all of the stock, so you will need to keep an eye and add the remaining stock to the pan once this has happened)
Continue to cook until the lentils are cooked through, they should be soft not soggy! I like to leave a little stock remaining to prevent the dish being too dry.
Remove from the heat and add the spinach to the lentils, stir through until wilted slightly. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, be generous with the pepper!
Finally scatter with the chopped parsley, and serve.