Lentils with Cauliflower “Croutons”

Last week, I was faced with a dwindling pantry and laziness at dinnertime. Through creative magic and scouring the blogosphere, I came up with this easy lentil dish with a depth of flavor that suggests hours of cooking. And because I had cauliflower on hand, I chopped it up and roasted it to add a bit of crispy crunch to the soft, warm lentils.

 

Tomato-y Lentils with Cauliflower “Croutons”
Adapted from Fit Foodie Finds
Serves 4

Ingredients
For Lentils: 

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes, no salt added*
  • 2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • A few handfuls of spinach

For “Croutons” 

  • 1 head cauliflower, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sea Salt to taste

Method

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

2. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and salt. Spread on baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes until crispy.

3. Meanwhile, heat sauté pan on medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent.

4. Add tomatoes, lentils, tomatoes, broth, and spices. Bring to a boil.

5. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is most absorbed – 20 – 25 minutes. Cooking time will depend on the type of lentils.

6. When lentils are soft, add spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Top with crispy cauliflower.

You could serve this over rice, if you’re being fancy about it. Or in a baked sweet potato, if you want something a bit more filling. It’s endlessly adaptable – add whatever spices you have on hand. Try different kind of lentils – some will break down more and you’ll have a delicious pile of mush. Others, like French lentils, will hold their shape and have a bit more bite. The perfect dish for using up whatever you have in your pantry.

*I purchased the crushed tomatoes based on the fact that they were produced by Eden Foods, which is currently the only manufacturer using BPA-free cans. BPA is a compound found in food packaging, including the linings of canned goods and plastic, that is under scrutiny for it’s possible damaging effects on the human body. Canada declared BPA a toxic substance in September 2010.

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