Spanish Style Lentils à la L

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Spanish Style Lentils à la L: warm, comforting, nutrient rich!

Now that we are in that month or so that is happily smushed between Thanksgiving and Christmas, and bursting with holiday cheer, I wanted to take a break from all the rich, decadent and elaborate holiday meals and bring it back to simple, flavorful, healthy and warming comfort food. This meal is high in nutritional value, flavor, and is so simple: it’s a single pot meal that cooks up in just about 35 minutes. Lentils are one my favorite legumes – they are fiber and protein all stars! Just one cup of cooked lentils provides: 90% DV (daily value) of folate, 63% DV of fiber, 37% DV of iron, 36% DV of protein, 21% DV of potassium (plus 28% DV of vitamin B1, 25% DV of vitamin B5 and 21% DV of vitamin B6) – aka they are total powerhouses of nutrients. The spices in this meal are saffron and smoked paprika (pimeton), which are the major players in one my favorite Spanish dishes – paella. Here they lend a smokiness and earthiness (yeah, so weird but I couldn’t think of how to describe saffron, some connoisseurs say it has a metallic-honey, with grassy, or hay-like notes – idk, those descriptions sound suspect – but saffron is the BEST even though it is so dang expensive) to this dish. I like to describe this lentil dish as “stewp” – a hybrid between a soup and stew – perfect for serving with some crusty bread, or pouring over your favorite grain (brown rice, quinoa, farro, barley…you name it). YUM!

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Ingredients for Spanish-Style Lentils: veggie broth, lentils, onion, celery, carrots, saffron, and paprika. Not pictured: wine (bc I was totally drinking it straight out of the bottle to “taste” it), parley for garnish and a bay leaf or two.

Spanish Style Lentils à la L

Ingredients

  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 – 3 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 – 3 large stalks of celery, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of dried lentils, washed and picked over
  • 2 cups of veggie broth (or more, depending on how soup-y you like your stewp)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of dry red wine
  • 2 tiny pinches of saffron (1/2 tsp)
  • 2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parsley, chopped, for garnish
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All of the herbs/spices in a small bowl, with my finger for reference size. Saffron is SO expensive, so just add as much as you can spare, even one pinch will give pretty stellar flavor to the dish.

Directions

Step One: Heat the olive in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Saute the onion, garlic, celery and carrots for a few minutes, until they are softened (5 – 7 minutes)
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Saute the vegetables over medium heat until softened, about 6 minutes.

Step Two: Add the spices and saute for 1 minute.
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I accidently dumped my bay leaves in there while sauteing the spices. I would try to pick them out if you do the same (I did, only minorly burning my fingers), but it’s not a make-or-break situation. They can be put in with the veggie broth and wine.

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Give it a good stir to ensure that the spices are evenly distributed and get a nice little saute to pop the flavor up a few notches.

Step Three: Add the veggie broth, wine and bay leaf and bring to a simmer. Stir in the lentils, and allow the mixture to simmer on medium-low heat, partially covered for about 35 minutes, or until the lentils have softened.
While you’re waiting, enjoy a glass of that dry red wine! 😉
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Carefully add the veggie broth – I always start with 2 cups of broth and then add more if desired. This time I added an entire container of broth (4 cups) and the stewp was more on the soup end of the spectrum – great for dipping my crusty bread in there! 🙂

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Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup of wine. I added closer to 1/2 cup because I wanted more for drinking (duh).

Step Four: Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve with crusty bread or over your favorite grain, and enjoy!! 😀
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Enjoy your lentils with a glass of your leftover red wine!

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Add some fresh (or dried, in this case!) parsley for garnish.

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I served my lentils with crusty bread to dip into the stewp-y part. YUM!! SO goood! 😀

This “stewp” is balls to the wall amazing. It’s warm, comforting and versatile – you can make it more of a soup, or stew, depending on your preference. It’s an easy, one-pot meal that is one of my go-to’s for busy weeknight dinners. There isn’t much to it (but has that comforting earthiness), and the simmering time gives you enough downtime to enjoy a glass of that dry, red wine that you add. The perfect ending to a crazy day, if you ask me. 😀

I added some crusty, whole grain bread to it (and a glass of wine to savor), but as I mentioned before – don’t feel limited. Serve over a cup of wild rice, red quinoa, or farro if you’re looking for more of a stick-to-the-ribs stew. So, so delicious. It really hit the spot I was craving – healthy, flavorful, and filling. Perfect for an early December evening meal 😀

I hope you guys enjoy this as much as I did last night! Yummmm!!! 😀

Happy Tuesday, all! ❤ 🙂

xo,

L

49 thoughts on “Spanish Style Lentils à la L

  1. Yes, yes, yes! 🙂 I am on this kick where I need “comfort” food that’s not necessarily indulgent food…so far this week I have a buffalo cauliflower salad and the quinoa caesar salad from Isa Does It in the lineup, but this is definitely earning a spot somewhere this week since I have a crap ton of lentils to use up after a failed grain salad experiment! (Note: lentils, dried spicy mango, capers, and quinoa make the worst salad ever!)

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    • As per usual, we are on the same cooking wavelength for the week. I’m totally with you – I’ve had too much rich food, I needed something healthy, comforting and (obv) tasty to start the week off right, and this fits the bill. So damn good. Also – lol, thanks for the tip on the No-Go salad (lentils, mango, capers, quinoa) – I’ll be sure to avoid that creative combo in the future. Thanks for being the test dummy! 😉 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m going to try this. Looks yummy and I have never used saffron before. By the way, I just wanted to say that you have a gift in writing and expressing yourself. I found you so real, honest and funny. You never fail through your writing to bring a smile or laugh to my face. Thanks for brightening up my day and I believe your blog will go far, just keep being yourself! 🙂

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    • First of all – your comment made my day! I so appreciate reading your (and everyone’s) comments and connecting with all my fellow bloggers/bloggettes, reading their posts and interacting in this (still-semi unfamiliar) online arena. I’m honestly really touched that you like my writing style and more importantly you get a laugh out of it (uh, bc that’s totes what I’m going for!). Life should be fun, and reading recipe or food blogs doesn’t have to be boring, right? 🙂 Thank YOU for making this fun and enjoyable for me! I truly appreciate it. 😀
      Secondly, saffron is a really interesting spice. As I noted before, it has a really distinct flavor to it, and it’s really hard to put a finger on how to express its flavor in words. I can’t wait for you to try it and let me know what you think! It’s the main flavor component in the vegan paella that I make (which the more I think about it, the more I want to make it, meaning it will be posted in the near future – get excited) and it’s just really, really yummy. It’s REALLY expensive though (like one small vial is just shy of $20) so you really only need a tiny pinch to add flavor to your dishes. It’s definitely one of my favorite spices in my arsenal (/the crate of spices that unceremoniously shoved on a shelf in my kitchen).
      I hope you have a great rest of your day, Jennifer!! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you and I hope you have a great day too. I will be trying this soon and I will let you know. I’m looking forward to your vegan paella too! What is paella it sounds familiar? Talk to you soon. 🙂

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      • Paella is a Spanish rice dish with white rice, vegetables (like artichoke and pepper), and seasoned with saffron, rosemary, paprika and lemon. Traditionally, it has seafood and/or meat, as well (obv as a veg, I don’t eat this, so in my version, I add more veggies, along with vegetarian sausage as the protein). You make it a huge, flat paella pan, and simmer the ingredients in broth over an open fire made out of orange and pine branches, and pine cones to season it. In my tiny apartment, I don’t really have space for an open fire pit, so I just make it on the stove top. It’s DELICIOUS beyond words. I had the legit version when I went to Spain with my entire family, and all of us are completely enamored with this dish. 🙂

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      • This sounds wonderful! I’m always interested in trying something new with new flavors. Looking forward to it and when I try your Spanish lentils I will have the saffron on hand to make it as well. Can’t wait! 🙂

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  3. How have I survived this long without having the word ‘stewp’ in my vocabulary?! It’s such a perfect word! This dish looks yummy- I’m a bit boring with my lentil dishes so I will definitely be trying this!

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