BELUGA LENTILS WITH ROASTED BEETS & BUTTERNUT SQUASH

 

Lentils are some of your best friends in the health and weight management department, and thus something you should just have in your refrigerator, as they are extremely versatile.   This lentil recipe is a super basic way to pack some flavours into black lentils and give you a variety of serving options.

Save your leftovers to give salads and omelettes a punch of flavour, nutrients and long-lasting energy to carry you through your day!

PREP TIME:  20 min  (5 min for the lentils, 15 min for the vegetables)

VEGETABLE ROASTING TIME: 1 hour 30 min

LENTIL COOKING TIME: 1 hour 15 min

SERVES:  4-6  (makes just over 6 cups/1.5 L cooked lentils)

INGREDIENTS

FOR THE VEGETABLES:

  • 1 whole butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cut into ½-inch (1.5 cm) cubes (about 1.4 pounds/650g cubed, if buying pre-cut squash)

  • 5 red beets, peeled and cut into ½-inch (1.5 cm) cubes (about 1.3 pounds/600 g cubed)

  • ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) water

  • A few pinches of salt

  • 8-10 springs of fresh thyme

 

OPTIONAL GARNISH:

  • Raw pecans, roughly chopped

  • Chèvre (soft goats cheese) in small chunks

  • Fresh thyme leaves

 

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FOR THE LENTILS:

  • 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil

  • 2 yellow onions, finely diced

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced

  • 2 cups (210 g) beluga/black lentils

  • 3 ½ cups (850 ml) water

  • 1 tsp salt

  • Additional 1 Tbsp (15 ml) olive oil for after cooking

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ROAST THE VEGETABLES

1)  Preheat your oven to 350F (180C).

2)  In a medium size bowl, mix the cubed butternut with ¼ cup (60 ml) of the olive oil.  In a separate bowl, mix the cubed beetroot with the remaining ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil.

3)  Place both in separate baking dishes, add about 2 Tbsp (30 ml) water to each dish (just need a little water in the baking dish to keep the veggies from drying out/burning), sprinkle with a bit of salt and top with fresh sprigs of thyme.

4)  Place the beetroot in the oven first and cook for 45 minutes.

5)  Place the butternut squash in the oven next to the beetroot and continue cooking for 45 minutes.

COOK THE LENTILS
CONVENTIONAL METHOD

1)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 L) pot on medium-high.  Add 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

2)  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

 

3)  Add the lentils and water, mix well and bring to a boil.

4)  Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 45 minutes to an hour (or follow directions on package). 

 

You will want to stir this about every 20 minutes to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.

WONDERBAG METHOD

 

1)  Heat a 2 ½ quart (3 L) pot on medium-high.  Add 3 Tbsp (45 ml) olive oil and onions, and sauté for 5 minutes, until soft and golden.

 

2)  Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.

 

3)  Add the lentils and water, mix well and bring to a boil.

 

4)  Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.

 

5)  Place the lidded pot into your Wonderbag and seal for a minimum of 1 hour to finish cooking (you can also leave it longer if needed, no need to be stressed on timing).

SERVE

Remove the squash and beets from the oven, pull out the stems of thyme and discard (the thyme leaves will have fallen off nicely into the veggies).

 

Remove the pot of lentils from the Wonderbag and drain off the cooking water and place your cooked lentils in a large mixing bowl.  Stir in 1 tsp salt and 1 TBSP (15 ml) olive oil, mixing well. 

 

Spoon lentils into individual serving bowls, top with a good spoonful each of the roasted butternut squash and beetroot.  Garnish as desired with goats cheese, pecans and fresh thyme leaves.

LOVE YOUR LEFTOVERS

Since lentils pack so much punch in terms of nutrients, fibre, and protein, keep the leftovers on hand to mix through salads or with omelts.  These meals will give you brain power as well as energy to carry you through your day and won't leave you feeling hungry!

Recipe & Photo Credit:  Cathy Menees

COOK'S NOTES

INGREDIENTS: 

Never salt the lentils while cooking else they will not soften.  The olive oil on the lentils at the end is just to give them a sheen, texture and a flavor kick (much like you might drizzle your cooked pasta with olive oil).

 

Beets are quite sturdy and require a longer cooking time than the butternut squash, so you’ll put them in the oven first.  This is why you need to mix them separately as well as place them in separate baking dishes.

STORING:  I store the butternut and beets separately even after cooking purely for aesthetic reasons (if you mix them, the beets will turn the butternut from orange to red).  Perfectly fine in terms of taste, but I’m sometimes a bit fussy on how food looks when I put it in front of people.  To each his own!

 

I also store the lentils seperately as they are an excellent way to give salads and omelets a powerful nutrient boost!

KITCHEN BUDDIES:  The Wonderbag is your best friend here as you can leave the lentils for longer than the recommended cooking time, and they will keep their texture (vs. too long on the stove top and they will turn to paste)!

 

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