Monday Menus: Baked Lentils, Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

It’s cold lately.  Really, really cold.  I come home from work with a red nose, numb, fumbling fingers and stiff joints.  And I’m only 19.

Something substantial for dinner that will fill you up and keep you warm?  Here you go.  Baked Lentils.

Borrowed from one of my favorite food blogs, Seven Spoons.

Baked Lentils (made like baked beans!)

makes 4 servings

  • 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 cups (500 millilitres) red lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • 4 cups (1 litre) water
  • 1/4 cup (60 millilitres) ketchup
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup, plus more as needed
  • 2 tablespoons neutral oil
  • 2 tablespoons Colman’s mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar, plus more as needed
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper, plus more as needed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. In oven proof pot with lid, fry bacon over medium-high heat until crisp. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for about 4 minutes, or until softened. Then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.
  3. Add the lentils, water, ketchup, maple syrup, oil, mustard, vinegar, pepper and bay leaf. Stir well and season with salt. Bring to a boil. Cover, place in oven, and bake for 45 minutes, or until lentils are tender.
  4. Taste and correct the seasoning with salt, pepper, maple syrup, and vinegar. Serve hot now or later.
Some notes:

  • When it comes to lentils, they need a good wash – a quick rinse in a sieve doesn’t always do the job. I cover them with water in a bowl, give them a swish with my hand, strain, and repeat, until the water is no longer cloudy.
  • The bacon I had was rather thick cut, and so produced a good amount of fat. As a result, I didn’t use the full 2 tablespoons of oil. I also squirreled away a few of the bits of crisp bacon before adding the lentils, reserving them to add at the table.
  • I used some homemade ketchup, which has things like celery seed, clove, mace, allspice, cinnamon, chili flakes in it; for those so inclined, you could make up a sachet of these spices and steep them into the liquid for the baking. I’ve not tried it, so fair warning. Sounds like a nice idea though.

And for dessert:

It’s not really pumpkin season anymore, but I love love love everything pumpkin (especially with chocolate chips).  This recipe is eggless (because I run out of ingredients frequently) yet still delicious.

Vegan Pumpkin Muffins

makes 1 dozen muffins

  • 1 & 1/2 cup All Purpose Flour
  • 2 tsp. Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp. Salt
  • 1 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 & 1/2 cup Pure Pumpkin Puree
  • 1/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 2/3 cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Dry Oats
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, chopped finely
  • 1 tbsp. Ground Cinnamon (again)
  1. Mix all wet ingredients.
  2. Separately mix all dry ingredients.
  3. Fill a lined or sprayed muffin pan with mixture.
  4. Mix oats, pecans, and cinnamon. Top muffin mixture.
  5. Bake muffins at 350 degrees F for approx. 27 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

 

-Kelsie Belanger

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