I cooked the lentils from scratch, which does make the cooking time fairly long. To shorten the cooking time, prepare the lentils the day before or use canned lentils. Simmer 1 cup of sorted and washed dry lentils in 3-4 cups of water for 30-40 minutes, until soft. Don't drain off any excess water. They will keep in the fridge for a day or two. Because I have Celiac Disease, I am wary of using canned lentils. I always sort and wash my dried lentils before cooking, and I often find grain that may or may not be glutenous. I'm not confident that the canned lentils are cleaned well enough. If gluten is not a concern for you, go ahead and use canned lentils. After sauteing the onion, add the pre-cooked or canned lentils to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients and continue with the recipe as instructed in step 2. You may add up to 1 cup of extra water, if needed.
For variety, replace the Italian seasoning blend in this recipe with an equal amount of curry powder or poultry seasoning. Seasoning blends are a great way to free up valuable space in your cupboard. The only place I've had to watch out for gluten is in curry powder blends--asafoetida (a special ingredient in many Indian dishes) is often mixed with wheat flour. I have used the blends by McCormick's, Lighthouse, and Simply Organic with no problems.
Put a pot of rice on to cook before you start this recipe and you will have a complete meal ready at the same time.
makes 4-6 servings
1 small yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup green lentils
4 cups water
4 teaspoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon each dried basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary
1/8-1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1-796 ml (28 ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
2 stalks celery, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1/4 head of cabbage, cut into ribbons (about 4 cups)
This is a big recipe which will fuel you for several days so you can concentrate on other things—like shoveling snow...I mean playing in the snow!
To your health and happiness,
Beans and Rice