Did you know that lentils can work well in a refried beans style recipe? I love lentils like this. The extra oil and braising in the pan gives them lots of flavor and umami.
In this recipe I combine the refried lentils technique with some shredded kale, some red pepper and some young onions. The result is a filling, nutrient dense meal that is quick and easy to cook.
For sides, you could have a salad if you want something to lighten up the amount of lentils, or you can serve this on rice, couscous or millet.
Before we go to the recipe, I just want to touch on how I do the refrying of the lentils.
How to Make Refried Lentils
For non-sloppy, chunky textured refried lentils do the following:
- After simmering the lentils, drain off any excess water and set back onto the heat. Allow any last excess moisture to steam off. Remove the pot before any discoloring on the bottom of the pot happenings. This step will only take a moment or two.
- Pour a lug of oil into a wok or skillet, and bring up to heat. Add your seasoning and lentils and toss gently. Keep tossing.
- You can refry the lentils for quite a few minutes, just make sure to keep turning and mixing them. This way you will get lots of nice crunchy little braised bits in your re-fried lentils.
If you like your re-fried lentils more smooth and sloppy, then you should rather opt to skip step 1 and mash your lentils before beginning to refry them.
Health Benefits of Lentils
Last thing! I just want to mention that lentils are an excellent source of nutrition. They are high in fibre, contain good amounts of vitamins and minerals, and are a good source of protein. If you do not eat much or any meat – then lentils can be a great pulse to fall back on when scratching your head for how to get protein into a meal.
Unlike most other beans and legumes, lentils are quick cooking. So even if you do not have a lot of time and forgot to cook them before hand – you can still boil them up in about 15 minutes. This is a similar cooking time to most starches.
Anyways, enough of Dr. Daniela talking – here is the recipe. Enjoy!
Refried Lentils with Shredded Kale, Red Pepper and Baby OnionsPrint This
- 1 1/2 cups dried lentils or 2-3 cups cooked / canned lentils
- 4 large kale leaves
- 3-4 small young onions (you can also use shallots)
- 1 red pepper
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 2 teaspoons dried and crushed cilantro seeds
- Black pepper
- Cayenne pepper to taste
- Salt to taste
- Dash of apple cider vinegar
- 3-4 cloves garlic
- Start of by simmering the lentils according to their packet instructions.
- While the lentils are simmering, de-rib and chop the kale into shreds. Dice the red pepper and slice the onions into rounds. Peel and slice the garlic.
- Once the lentils are done drain off any excess water and set back onto the heat.
- Allow any last excess moisture to steam off. Remove the pot before any discoloring occurs on the bottom of the pot. This step will only take a moment or two.
- Pour a generous lug of olive oil into a wok or skillet, and bring up to heat. Add the crushed cilantro seeds, some black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste, and the dried rosemary. Quickly add your lentils, and toss gently. Keep tossing. Add in some salt to taste which you are tossing.
- You can re-fry the lentils for quite a few minutes, just make sure to keep turning and mixing them. This way you will get lots of nice crunchy little braised bits in your re-fried lentils.
- Once the lentils are refried to your liking, spoon them out of the wok / skillet and back into the pot you cooked them in. Add a little more olive oil and the kale, pepper and onions. Stir fry this well on a highish heat. You want the kale properly cooked, otherwise it will be tough. You should see the kale reduce a lot in volume, this means that it is nearing being well cooked.
- Now add your lentils back into the wok, sprinkle with a dash of apple cider vinegar and your raw chopped garlic, and stir to combine roughly.
- Serve hot.
You can eat this dish plain, side it with a salad, or serve it on a bed of rice, millet or couscous.