Crockpot Spiced Lentils, cooked and frozen for later!
This month’s Recipe Redux asked us to share our favorite freezer meal. Since I’m the only one in the family that doesn’t eat meat, I am often left without a protein source at dinner. That’s where these little freezer packs of cooked spiced lentils comes into play! All I have to do is thaw them out and serve with rice, potatoes or naan bread for a complete meal with plenty of protein!
I use my handy dandy crockpot for this recipe, making it super simple! Once cooked and cooled, portion lentils into appropriate serving size (~3/4 cup) and freeze! The cinnamon and raisins give these lentils a sweet flavor that pairs nicely with cooked coconut brown basmati rice (just add coconut oil to rice when cooking!). I don’t want to call this recipe “dal” because I’m not culinary creative enough to use true Indian spices and seeds, but it tastes similar!
- 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
- 4½ cups water
- 1 cup organic canned diced tomatoes
- ¼ cup raisins
- 3 tablespoons onion, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1½ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 bay leaf
- Place all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
- Let cool and scoop individual portions into ziplock bags. Place in the freezer and thaw as needed.
- Top with fresh cilantro, roasted pumpkin seeds and serve with brown basmati rice, quinoa or naan, enjoy!
Similar to beans, lentils provide fiber, folic acid and are a meat-free source of protein. Their high fiber content helps control blood glucose levels as well as naturally lower cholesterol. The Nurses’ Health Study II also shows that increased consumption of beans and lentils reduces the risk of breast cancer. Researchers found “that women who ate beans or lentils at least twice a week were 24% less likely to develop breast cancer than women who ate those foods less than once a month.”
Fun Fact: Did you know lentils were one of the first cultivated foods? Archeologists unearthed lentil seeds in villages of the Middle East that date back 6000 B.C.E.! These little lentils have come a long way!
Check out the other Recipe Redux freezer meals!