V. Melina’s Easiest Ever Curried Lentils

There is no food in the fridge. Well, almost.

Becoming increasingly with peanut butter as a protein source, we stumbled across dried red lentils hiding in the pantry. Red lentils are a quick protein source, as they do not require to be soaked overnight. Through perusing Vesanto Melina’s index of her book (to find the page that would educate on how to prepare lentils), a recipe was discovered: Easiest-Ever Curried Lentils. Well, with its 5 ingredients and likely to taste better than plain lentils over brown rice (which was cooking away in the rice cooker), it was a solid decision.

Found: The New Becoming Vegetarian, by Vesanto Melina & Brenda Davis

Makes 6 servings

Back to the first line of this post: “there is no food in the fridge. Well, almost,” still holds true. The original recipe calls for onions, but hey! We didn’t have any. The fridge did contain leeks, which are a member of the onion and garlic family. Sounds appropriate. Currently eating a bowl of these, we’re glad we went with the fennel as it adds texture and colour.

So quick. So easy. So delicious.


  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups red lentils*
  • 1 large leek**
  • 2 tbsp. curry paste (I used red curry paste to match the red lentils; depending on the desired heat, choose 1-3 tbsp.)
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce

Original recipe calls for:

*Brown, green, or French lentils: using any of these varieties will increase the cooking time from 25 to 45 minutes.

**2 medium or 1 large onion, chopped.

How to:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer. Cook until the liquid is gone and the lentils are soft.

See? Easy.

Make it a meal:

  •  Towards the end of the cooking, add chopped cauliflower or other vegetables (ensure you add them later on so they retain some crispness). Serve over quinoa.
  • Serve over brown rice with a side salad.

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