Tomato Braised Lentils are a nourishing and healthy side dish, or vegetarian meal. These tiny legumes are slowly simmered in an herb-infused, tomatoey broth. Once cooked, the lentils are tender and creamy, yet hold their shape. Lentils are a perfect pairing with your favorite protein. Leftovers are even better the next day!
Although not new, lentils are quickly surpassing chickpeas as the go-to superfood in pastas, chips and even pet food.
Lentils are a a tiny, round-shaped legume that has long been a staple in Indian cuisine (daal). In addition, these protein-packed lentils play a huge role in vegan cooking as a plant-based source of protein. They are grown in pods and come in a variety of sizes and colors (green, brown, black, red, yellow and green). Also, lentils are gluten-free!
Health benefits of eating lentils
Lentils are a superfood, packed full of nutritious goodness. These powerful legumes contain 18 grams of protein in one cup. They are full of fiber and are generous in polyphenols. Polyphenols fight off harmful agents in the body.
WHAT IS BRAISING?
Braising is a cooking technique that begins with browning and ends with steaming. In the case of this recipe for Tomato Braised Lentils, the mirepoix is sautéed with the legumes, then combined with liquid and covered to steam. Stewing and braising are similar techniques. However, stewing calls for the use of more liquid.
TIPS ON MAKING THE BEST TOMATO BRAISED LENTILS
- LENTILS – French green lentils work really well in this braised lentil recipe. Green lentils or black lentils are great substitutes.
- MIREPOIX – feel free to add or substitute with leeks and/or fennel.
- SHERRY WINE – this is NOT cooking sherry. White wine, red wine or marsala wine are suitable for substituting.
- VEGETABLE STOCK – substitute with chicken stock
- TOMATO PASSATA – crushed, diced or tomato sauce can be used as substitutes
- FRESH HERBS – use whatever is in your pantry (rosemary, thyme, bay leaves)
SERVING SUGGESTIONS AND STORAGE
As mentioned earlier, these creamy, Tomato Braised Lentils can be enjoyed as a vegetarian side dish, or meal with roasted vegetables. Alternatively, these braised lentils make for a perfect pairing with:
Tomato Braised Lentils can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 to 4 days, or frozen for up to three months. Reheat on stovetop or microwave. Leftovers can also be repurposed into:
- as the base for fried or poached eggs
- mixed with wilted greens
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