Split in half on homemade bread – leftover lentil loaf sandwich.
Laziness is the mother of invention. Last night I was a little slow to start fixing dinner. I wasnâ€™t sure if we were having a potluck with our sailing buddies or not so I planned a dish that I felt good about serving to other people. Most things I make donâ€™t fall into that category.
I started cooking the lentils for a loaf Iâ€™d fixed and enjoyed a couple of times in the past. When we learned that a potluck was not on the agenda that night, Lee and I went for a swim and came back to a pot of cooked lentils. At that point, I was feeling very lazy about making the full-fledged lentil loaf. It was supposed to take at least 45 minutes to cook and I was hungry. Since I no longer had to worry about making my dinner presentable to others, I decided to have some fun. What are muffin cups for but to cut down on cooking time and make a meal fun?
The first step was to spice up the recipe a bit. The previous times I had made this loaf, I was disappointed with the flavor and knew it wasnâ€™t living up it itâ€™s potential. The recipe already included raisins and nuts so curry powder seemed like the perfect spice to add. The spice combination I came up with is by no means traditional curry flavoring. I just pulled jars off the spice rack, adding what I liked and what I thought might taste good. Really, the spices and their amounts are up to your individual taste. I do, however, highly recommend the raisins and nuts. They may seem like strange ingredients to some but they add the perfect crunch and sweetness to the lentils. Unfortunately, I didnâ€™t have any cashews on hand. I considered trying macadamia nuts, the only plain nuts I have right now, but decided to hoard my minimal supply instead.
Lee downed three â€œTexas-sizedâ€ muffin loaves and I was satisfied with two. That left one to experiment with as leftovers (and a chance for me to take a picture during the daytime). The loaves were delicious and very filling with a side of random sauteed veggies. Lee and I split a baked plantain for dessert, my first foray into plantains. Iâ€™m definitely going to get more of this Caribbean staple at the market today! It might become a favorite dessert and Iâ€™m eager to try other plantain preparations.
Curried Lentil Muffin Loaves
Adapted from Food.com
1 cup dried lentils
3 cups water
1 medium brown onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed or minced
2-3 teaspoons curry powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
2 eggs, lightly beaten (or equivalent egg replacer for a vegan version)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup unsalted cashews, if youâ€™d like
Rinse and sort lentils.
Combine lentils and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce to simmer and cook for about 1 hour, or until the lentils are cooked and the mixture is thick.
Set lentils aside.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Saute garlic and onion in a skillet until the onion is translucent.
Add the onion mixture, spices, raisins, nuts (if using), flour, and eggs to the saucepan of lentils or combine all the ingredients in a large bowl if the saucepan is not big enough.
Mix thoroughly and pour into 6 lightly oiled jumbo muffin cups. You can also make one large loaf or 12 regular-sized muffins, just adjust the baking time accordingly.
Place muffin cups on a cookie sheet if using silicon cups and bake in 350 degree oven for 35-45 minutes (on the longer end of this range for larger cups and 45+ minutes for a loaf).
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Gently remove muffins from tin or individual cups and serve with chutney or any sauce that suites your fancy.