ACTIVE TIME: 30 min.
TOTAL TIME: A little over 1 hour
I’m not the first one to say this, and I sure won’t be the last: ground lentils might as well be the number one ground beef substitute out there. Beyond having the perfect texture and flavor for the job, they’re also crazy nutritious and high in protein, dirt cheap, and restriction-friendly (unlike its soy counterpart).
That said, use this base recipe as a substitute for ground beef in bolognese pasta, meatballs, and stuffed veggies like tomatoes, zucchini, and my personal favorite, bell peppers.
I like making a batch of ground lentils ahead of time and having it handy for quick, healthy dinners after a busy workday. Stuffing bell peppers and popping them in the oven for half an hour is just as easy as ordering takeout, and almost doesn’t require any attention during the process.
Try kicking it up a notch by adding sliced green olives, chili pepper, and different herbs to the recipe.
Ground lentil stuffed peppers
2 large bell peppers
1 cup green/brown lentils
2 cups water or veggie broth
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 Tbsp. liquid smoke
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped (and more to garnish)
Nut “parmesan” (optional)
1/2 cup raw almonds, soaked for at least 3 hours
1/4 cup raw cashews
2 tsp. sesame seeds
1 tsp. sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp. Nutritional Yeast
Sort, rinse and drain 1 cup. of lentils.
In a pot on medium heat, sautée the onions in olive oil until translucent
Add garlic and sautée until golden
Add the lentils, ground cumin, water/broth, and bring to a boil. Lower to low heat and simmer for 30 min. or until lentils are “al dente”
Pro tip: Check the lentil every 10 min. If you’re low on water before they’re fully cooked, add a tiny bit more and cook for longer. Be careful not to overcook it, or they’ll turn mushy.
When lentils are soft and al dente, rinse any remaining water, add the salt, black pepper, liquid smoke, and parsley. Try and adjust seasonings to taste.
Transfer the mixture to a food processor and pulse several times until obtaining a crumbly texture, similar to ground beef.
Pre-heat oven to 375 F
Wash and cut the bell peppers, discarding the seeds.
Fill each half with grounded lentils
If you wish, sprinkle each half with nut “parmesan”
Bake for 30 min. or until peppers are soft and fragrant
Nut “Parmesan” (optional)
Pulse all ingredients in a food processor until obtaining a fine, crumbly texture. Will last in the fridge for about a week.
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