There are plenty of things I love about being a vegetarian, but experimenting with a huge variety of spices, vegetables and grains is definitely at the top of the list. Simply adjust the spices and make this recipe your own! If you love some extra heat, add some more cayenne, and if you like sweet, add an extra tablespoon of honey. I have made this dish several times and I alter it to my liking as I go.
If you checked out my post on vegetarian proteins, you’ll know that chickpeas, lentils and quinoa are rich protein sources. This recipe is a flavorful, nutrient-dense and high in protein. Try it out tomorrow and have a wonderful Meatless Monday meal!
Want to know what you’re eating? Here are the healthiest ingredients in this recipe:
Garlic: This flavorful herb is packed with antioxidants that may help protect against free-radical damage, infections, several types of cancer, and most heart and blood conditions. Garlic is also rich in vitamins A and C and manganese.
Onions: Onions are often overlooked for their health benefits, but some studies show that the flavonoids in onions can lead to improved immunity, reduced inflammation, and regulated blood sugar. Additionally, these same nutrients may help fight against free-radical damage. Simplified, free radicals are very reactive molecules that cause damage to surrounding molecules, including our bodies.
Red Bell Peppers: Stick to the red peppers when enjoying these bright and tangy vegetables! They are much higher in vitamins A and C than the other varieties. They also contain vitamin B6 to protect your nervous system and enough folate to keep your heart healthy.
Quinoa: This trendy super-grain is packed with fiber, iron, magnesium and manganese and contains all nine essential amino acids. A half-cup is fours grams of protein and only 100 calories, so it’s also an awesome low-calorie vegetarian protein source.
Lentils: Lentils are a cheap and easy to get protein and other nutrients. They are also easy to cook and very inexpensive—a pound costs a little over one dollar. Lentils have more protein than beef gram-for-gram, and they contain three times more dietary fiber than bran. They’re also a rich plant-based iron source.
Chickpea & Lentil Curry
1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
4 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons ginger
½ cup uncooked lentils
2 cans chickpeas
2 tablespoons honey
½ cup freshly chopped tomato
1 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
½ cup peas
Olive oil for cooking
Brown Rice & Quinoa Mixture (combine 1 cup cooked quinoa with 1 cup cooked brown rice)
1.5 teaspoons curry
1 tablespoon coriander
2 teaspoons cumin
1.5 tablespoon garam masala
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
- Heat oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and pepper and cook until soft.
- Add garlic, ginger, and all of the spices. Stir well and cook until onion begin to caramelize.
- Stir in the tomatoes, chickpeas, lentils, and honey. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Add the peas.
- Cover and let simmer for about 40 minutes. Stir occasionally.
- Adjust spices to your liking, and serve over brown rice & quinoa mixture. The package the grains came in should have cooking instructions.
- Enjoy & store leftovers in the fridge.
Note: If you cook the lentils beforehand, reduce the simmering time to 15 -20 minutes or until the chickpeas are soft.