Monday, 19 July 2010

The Best Use For Lentils Ever?

After my initial cold start with the lentil, I have been experimenting regularly in a plight to add them to my weekly menus with joy rather than passivity. And finally, I think I have the answer.

One of my favourite comfort foods is veggie spaghetti bolognese, which I usually make with dried soya mince. I've perfected my recipe, and it's one of my all-time specialities. So, on Friday when I needed some comfort and a protein-boost, I decided to cook up a huge spag bol all for me. Until I realized I'd run out of soya mince. Darn.

Then, I spotted a bag of orange lurking in the back of the cupboard. Why not replace the mince with lentils? I thought? And I did! A few adjustments were made to my original recipe, and I must confess, the lentils worked better than the mince ever could! They have that soft, creamy texture, they absorb the flavours, and they create something wholesome and complete, rather than a sauce with nobbly pieces of protein swimming around on top. (Ok, my soya spag bol is way tastier than I make it sound, but I am bigging up the lentil here, after all)

And so I will share my new recipe! Enjoy!

Serves 1

1 onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tbsp tomato purée
1 pepper, chopped
3 mushrooms, chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 cup lentils, washed
Veggie stock
1 tsp wholegrain mustard
1 handful fresh basil
1 tsp mixed herbs
salt & pepper

1. Fry onion, garlic, peppers and mushrooms and carrot
2. Add lentils, cover with hot stock and boil/simmer for 10 minutes
3. Add tomato purée, mustard and mixed herbs, cover and simmer for 20 minutes
4. Uncover, add basil and stir. If it's not thick enough, simmer uncovered for a bit longer. Maybe add more toato purée, too.
5. Season and serve with wholemeal spaghetti for a totally tasty and healthy spag bol!


  1. I make this! Almost exactly the same, except without the mustard, and usually with a splash of soy sauce or a little marmite. Love it :D

  2. Okay, the title definitely got me over here so quick I'm ashamed to even talk about it. lentils are so good...not even because they taste great, but they're ridiculously cheap and good for you...this looks like a really neat recipe!

  3. Adding Marmite - a super idea! I'll try it, thanks :-)

    And yes, Becca, I'm slowly learning that lentils are amazing!!

  4. Well I've never cooked with lentils I must admit. I do like them and have had them in lots of other 'bought' things - but have never cooked with them myself! I normally go the veggie mine route myself. This recipe looks lovely - I think I'm going to have to give it a try!