Lovely Lentils with Spinach and Tomatoes
This sweet and fragrant combination, suggested by Jennifer Gross, hits just the right flavor notes and is truly healthy vegetarian food at its best.
- 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion finely diced
- 2 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3/4 cup dried green or brown lentils soaked in water overnight, if possible
- 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth (or use any variety)
- 14 oz. diced tomatoes slightly drained
- 1/4 cup dried currants, dried cranberries, or raisins
- 6 - 9 oz. baby spinach or use 1 lb. regular spinach, leaves only
- (If you have soaked the lentils for faster cooking, drain them before proceeding with the recipe.) In a large heavy skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, cumin, cinnamon, and salt, and cook until the onions are very soft, about 10 minutes.
- Add the lentils and broth and bring it to a boil. Cover, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes (15 minutes for pre-soaked lentils).
- Add the tomatoes, currants, cranberries, or raisins, and the spinach.
- Bring it back to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to simmer it for 10 more minutes or until the lentils are tender. Serve immediately or refrigerate it for up to 3 days.
Slow Cooker Directions
- There is no need to pre-soak the lentils when making them in the slow cooker. Omit the olive oil. Put the remaining ingredients except the spinach into the slow cooker and cook on high for 2 1/2 hours. Turn off the slow cooker, stir in the spinach and put the cover back on. Allow the spinach to cook using the residual heat of the pot, 10 - 15 minutes. (Slow cooker cooking times may vary—Get to know your slow cooker and, if necessary, adjust cooking times accordingly.)
Do Ahead or Delegate: Soak the lentils, dice the onion, combine the spices, or fully prepare and refrigerate the dish. Scramble Flavor Booster: Add ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper with the other spices. Tip: A 2012 study published by the American Heart Association associates high fiber diets with decreased risk of stroke. Foods generally containing generous amounts of fiber are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes (like lentils), so make sure to incorporate plenty of these into your diet. Nutritional Information Per Serving (% based upon daily values): Calories 280, Total Fat: 8g, 13%; Saturated Fat: 1g, 6.5%; Cholesterol: 0mg, 0%; Sodium: 743mg, 31.5%; Total Carbohydrate: 42g, 14.5%; Dietary Fiber: 16g, 62.5%; Sugar: 13g; Protein: 16g Like this recipe? Check out The Scramble's family-friendly meal plans to see just how simple getting dinner on the table can be!
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