Monday, June 7, 2010

Cooked Lentils with Avocado Topping Recipe (Vegan)

I decided to try cooking lentils because I read how protein-rich and iron-rich they are. Plus, we can't eat potatoes, pasta, or rice for side dishes too often due to Sam's food sensitivities. I discovered how great fresh avocado and lentils go together by accident. I wanted to top the lentils with something fresh and creamy other than cheese, and happened to have an avocado in my fridge, so I gave it a try, and it worked. For a little spice, my husband and I also add crushed red pepper flakes.

Cooked Lentils with Avocado Topping Recipe

1 cup dry brown lentils
2 cups water
1/4 tsp salt

1 avocado
Crushed red pepper flakes

Put the dry lentils in a 2 cup measuring cup, fill the measuring cup with water and stir the lentils around with a spoon to wash them before cooking them. Remove any debris or anything that floats to the top that isn't a good lentil. Drain out the water and put the lentils in a small cooking pot. Add 2 cups of water and start the pot to boil over High heat.

When the pot is boiling, set a timer and let the lentils boil for 5 minutes. When the time is up, reduce the heat to Low and cover the pot. Let the lentils simmer for 25-30 minutes over Low heat. When done, sprinkle the salt over the lentils (lentils don't cook right with salt in the water initially) and gently mix it in with pepper to taste.

To prepare the avocado topping, cut the avocado in half along the pit, open and remove the pit. Use a knife to make slices in the avocado half, first in one direction, then in the other direction to make the cubes. Use a spoon to scoop out the cubes.

Plate up the lentils and top with avocado cubes, plus a sprinkling of crushed red pepper flakes. Sam likes her lentils just topped with shredded parmesan cheese (a non-vegan option). Serves 2 adults (and 1 small child) as a main course, or serves 4 as a side dish.

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