I know it’s spring, but it certainly didn’t feel like it this past weekend!
I started training for the Hyannis half-marathon that takes place at the end of May. For the entire 10 miles of running in the cold rain all I could think about was curling up in front of the fire with a bowl of American chop suey, the perfect comfort food!
I loved American chop suey as a kid! Traditionally it is made with ground beef, so I haven’t had it in decades! This recipe uses red lentils instead! I used gluten-free elbow macaroni, but feel free to use any type of pasta you prefer! I add a pinch of baking soda to my tomato sauce to reduce the acidity. Some people add a pinch of sugar instead. I’ve heard this is an old-wives tale and that it really doesn’t lower the acidity, but I still do it…habit I guess!
Lentils are an excellent source of vegan protein, 18 grams in 1 (cooked) cup! Lentils have been praised for lowering one’s risk of heart disease due to their high content of fiber, folate and magnesium. Magnesium is also glorified as an anti-aging nutrient because it increases blood flow helping to deliver oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.
Lentils may be tiny, but they are powerful!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup tomato paste (preferably organic)
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup red lentils
- ⅛-1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda (optional)
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- 2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
- In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until cooked down and translucent. Add minced garlic and sauté for a few more minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Add tomato paste, broth, lentils and crushed red pepper flakes. Bring to a light boil, turn heat down, cover and simmer on low until lentils are soft, around 20 minutes.
- Add a pinch of baking soda and flavor with sea salt and pepper.
- Meanwhile, cook macaroni according to package. Drain and add to sauce.
This dish packs a little spice from the crushed red pepper flakes, consider omitting it for a more “kid-friendly” recipe.
I wonder what meal I’m going to be dreaming of on next week’s run!?!
Happy Meatless Monday