pasta with lentils and artichoke hearts ~meatless monday meal~

We survived yet another blizzard!  I don’t like being out in the cold much, but I love being snowed in!  It gives me an excuse for being lazy!  We spend the day curled up on the sofa watching movies and enjoying a little comfort food!

A warm dish of pasta always seems to hit the spot!

Pasta with Lentils and Artichokes ~vegan~ Meatless Monday Meal

Cumin, coriander, sea salt and red pepper flakes create a robust flavor, which is then brightened with a splash of lemon juice.  Lentils provide protein and “bulk,” sure to satisfy all those meat eaters out there making it a perfect “Meatless Monday” meal!

I found this recipe in Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites, which is one of my “go-to” cookbooks.  I adjusted it a little, but not much!

Pasta, Lentils, and Artichoke Hearts

1 cup dry red lentils

1 bay leaf

3 cups water

a few gluggs of olive oil

2 cups onions, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1 lemon, juiced

2 cups diced canned tomatoes

1 1/2 cups quartered artichoke hearts

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

1/2 cup vegetable broth

sea salt and pepper to taste

2/3 lb. pasta (I used gluten-free pasta)

Pasta with Lentils and Artichoke Hearts ~vegan~ Meatless Monday Meal

-Boil the water in a saucepan, add lentils and bay leaf.  Lower heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender.

-Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add onions and saute until golden, around 5 minutes.

-Add garlic, cumin, coriander and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

-Add lemon juice, tomatoes, artichoke hearts,veggie broth and crushed red pepper flakes and simmer on low for 10 minutes.

-Drain lentils and add to the tomato/artichoke mixture and simmer for 10 minutes adding sea salt and pepper as needed.

-While sauce is simmering, cook pasta according to directions.

-When pasta is al dente, drain and transfer to a serving bowl.  Top with lentil and artichoke sauce and more sea salt and pepper if desired.

-Top with grated parmesan cheese or feta if desired.


Pasta with Lentils and Artichoke Hearts ~vegan~ Meatless Monday Meal

The original recipe called for a pound of pasta.  I cooked a little less and just added more lentil and artichoke sauce to each plate.

Having a meal of pasta doesn’t spell diet disaster!

Follow these three tips to incorporate the occasional dish of pasta into your diet!

1.  Monitor portion sizes.  Keep to a baseball size portion of pasta, not a soccer ball!

2.  Add protein and a little healthy fat to your pasta dish for a balanced meal.  Incorporate beans/lentils, tofu, chicken, meat or seafood for protein and olive oil, avocado or nuts for healthy fat.  This will slow down the speed at which pasta is metabolized in the body and will keep blood sugars stable.

3.  Don’t over cook pasta!  Overcooked pasta will send glucose levels soaring!  Instead, cook to just tender or al dente.

I hope everyone is staying warm!

A pug shot, just for fun…