Hello, friends! I hope you had a great weekend! We celebrated Ed’s birthday Saturday night with lots of friends after he won the Noda 5K race . He’s a stud – won the race after sleeping in an airport the night before. It was a fun night but a late night. I haven’t stayed out that late in a long time. Late night pizza made everything better. There were also some cupcakes thrown in there.
Now, I’m already looking forward to tonight’s Meatless Monday dinner. I have learned, as of late, just how much I adore lentils. I’m smitten big time. They can take on a variety of flavors, complement any dish as a topping or the main ingredient, and obviously, pack quite the nutritional punch.
And, is there such thing as too many dips? Not in this house. Dips are so versatile, whether they be for accompaniments to your main meal, appetizers for group get-togethers (or football games!) or just snacks when you open the cabinet and start munching on chips out of the bag (or..is that just me?)
Especially when it’s mediterranean-esque. Once I start with these flavors, I. can’t. stop.
At least, in the back of my mind, I know homemade dips like this one are free from crazy ingredients and preservatives, so I have more piece of mind while enjoying it. Also, this one particularly, is CHOCKFULL of protein and fiber, thanks to the lentils.
I bet you didn’t know that just 1/4 cup serving of lentils provides you:
- 20% of your daily iron needs
- 15 grams of fiber
- 13 grams of protein
- 480 mg of potassium (15% of your RDA)
Furthermore, lentils have virtually no fat in them and they are naturally cholesterol free and gluten free, if you’re into that or need those specifications in your lifestyle.
On another note, I’m also an avid tahini lover. Once I found this stuff in Trader Joe’s, it changed my life. Tahini gives anything a creamy, milky texture. I use it in every batch of hummus I make, and I water it down to make it a dressing for my work salads.
Having some extra tahini on hand, I wanted to make something that used it in a different way. I scanned the cabinets for beans, but instead, my eyes darted to the dried lentils, and took on the challenege of creating something combining the two. I added the flavors and taste tested as I went along and this is what I came up with.
Ya’ll — This dish is fool-proof, even if you’ve never cooked with lentils before. Fear not! You cook them in a 3:1 ratio (3 cups of water per cup of lentils). Once you bring to a boil, you simmer for about 15-20 minutes. Once the lentils are done cooking, it’s a free for all party, meaning you can throw everything in the same pan! My favorite kind of dishes, like my one-pan baked chicken.
YAY! Aka, let these suckers simmer, and you can clean the dishes/fold the laundry/chat on the phone/read blogs/watch the news, etc. It just makes life simpler.
This lemon tahini lentil dip is a blend of Indian and Mediterranean flavors. It is delicately balanced with the lemon juice and garlic, and the spices can be customized to your liking. AND it’s a 30 minute dinner.
It is also a prime candidate for your next Meatless Monday recipe! It can be made vegan by substituting oil for the butter.
So, let’s get to the recipe:
- 1 cup green lentils
- 1 tbsp butter (or oil if vegan)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup tahini paste
- Juice of four lemons (or 2 tbsp lemon juice)
- ¼ tsp black pepper
- ¼ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin
- ¼ tsp curry
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 1 large tomato, diced
- 2 cups kale (or other choice of green)
- Cook lentils according to package directions. I cooked mine on low for about 20 minutes.
- While the lentils are cooking, add the butter and olive oil to a large pan over medium high heat. Once the butter melts, add the garlic and cook for three more minutes.
- Add the cooked lentils, tahini, lemon juice, spices, rosemary, tomatoes and kale (or other choice of green). Stir for 3-5 minutes over medium low heat.
While this is a filling dip on its own, you can also choose to extend the servings by using it as an appetizer with pita chips or bread. Or, use it as a topping for salads or over rice/quinoa.
Also, I’m very partial to just eating it out of the pan. Less clean up!
What’s your favorite way to use lentils?