Usually when I cook lentils I go ahead and make them vegetarian. However, tonight I decided to make them like my mother used to when I was a little girl – full of hot dog slices. My children went from loving lentils to hating lentils to loving them again tonight!
In my opinion, lentils are delicious! I love their nutty flavor and could eat them every other day! To top things off, lentils are loaded with protein, fiber, potassium, magnesium, phosphorous, iron and more! What a power food to serve your family!
So here is what you are going to need:
1 – 16 oz. bag brown lentils, rinsed well – no need to soak overnight
1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup bell peppers (I use frozen mixed bell peppers from Trader Joe’s), finely chopped
1/4 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves
2 large tomatoes, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 tablespoon chicken “better than bouillon” base (optional – you can use plain bouillon if preferred or simply season with extra salt)
4 Franks, sliced into eighths
6 cups water
Salt & Pepper
Heat a braising pan. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add onion and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic, bell peppers, oregano and parsley. Cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their rendered juice and mix well. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes at medium heat. Add the tomato paste, the bouillon and the franks. Mix well and cook for 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the lentils and the water. Mix well. Season with salt and pepper. If you are using bouillon make sure you don’t add too much salt (remember the franks have salt as well). Bring to a boil, cover and lower heat.
Allow the lentils to braise for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. If necessary add water if lentils are getting too dry. This is what they need to look like:
Serve and enjoy!