Last weekend I went to a fabulous hole in the wall restaurant in Virginia Beach called the Mayflower Cafe. It features Turkish/Mediterranean food. My mom, who is a picky eater, and both of my nieces, who can be picky at times also, were really happy with their meals. I ordered eggplant stewed with tomatoes served with rice pilaf. I had some leftovers and decided to make a lentil dish to go with them. In keeping with the Turkish theme, I looked up some different recipes and put together my version of Turkish lentils. Turned out great.
Turkish Lentils with Carrots
1 cup of lentils (I used green lentils)
3 cups water or low sodium veggie broth
1 medium yellow onion, sliced thin
3 carrots, peeled and chopped
3/4 cup chopped kale (optional)
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. paprika
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
¼ tsp. black pepper
Low sodium salt, to taste
1) Put lentils and water or broth in a medium-sized kettle. Bring to a boil, immediately reduce heat and simmer covered for about 25-30 minutes (until lentils are tender but not mushy).
2) Meanwhile, add a couple of tbsp. of olive oil to a deep, large skillet. Add sliced onion and carrots (and kale, if you decide to add it) and sauté until onion is nicely caramelized and carrot is tender– about 15 minutes.
3) Add minced garlic and spices and sauté a few minutes.
4) When lentils are done, drain any excess liquid and add them to the skillet. Stir everything together and cook another 5 minutes or so to marry the flavors.
Makes 4 or 5 good sized servings. Serve as a main dish with quinoa or brown rice. Spinach, kale or other greens served alongside the lentils and rice makes for a delicious and healthy meal. A little garlic naan rounds it all out.