Italian Sausage and Lentils with Spinach and Mushrooms

I need to begin by telling you something. I just have to get it off my chest. This recipe came about by accident. It was a happy accident.

It was one of those nights where all of my well thought-out dinner plans were tossed out the window due to unforeseen circumstances. A rain storm, some traffic, a dying fridge. Everything contributed. Somehow though, things fell in to place.

I often keep some precooked protein as a starting block on hand. Be it tofu, seitan or some cooked beans. I had a few cups of cooked French Green Lentils. Further back on the fridge shelf, I noticed a package of Italian Sausage flavored Tofurky. Double score! I was doing better than I thought.

It being a chilly and rainy day, my older daughter had a special request for some lentil soup. While I patiently explained that I didn’t have time for soup making, I assured her that the lentils would work well for dinner and that dinner could be on the table in less than a half hour.

I began by sauteeing some onions and garlic in olive oil. I then added the faux sausage to brown. After, I added some sliced Baby Bella mushrooms along with the lentils and some herbs. It started to smell pretty good in my kitchen.

sausage-and-lentil-mixture

I then added some canned, diced tomatoes to the mix along with the spinach, and I was just about ready to serve.

My kids ate this over some mini-penne pasta, while I had it as-is. I hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.

Lentils and Sausage over Pasta

 

Italian Sausage and Lentils with Spinach and Mushrooms
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Course

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 package of Italian Sausage Tofurky or 1 pound of your favorite Italian Sausage, sliced
  • 8 oz. Baby Bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked French green lentils
  • 8 oz. baby spinach
  • 2 tbsp basil, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. oregano, chopped
  • ½ tbsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (I liked the kind flavored with garlic and basil)
  • additional salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)

Instructions
  1. Heat up the saute pan for a few minutes. Add in the olive oil.
  2. Add in the onions and garlic and saute for a few minutes.
  3. Add in the sliced sausage and cook for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add in the mushrooms and cooked lentils. Cook for another 5 minutes, stirring until mushrooms have softened.
  5. Add in the canned diced tomatoes and the spices. Cook for two minutes.
  6. Stir in the spinach until wilted.
  7. Taste the mixture.
  8. Add in additional salt and pepper as needed.
  9. Enjoy!

 

 

 

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil Sloppy Joes

I was browsing through the grocery store the other day, and I came across an end cap that held rows and rows of Manwich. I haven’t had that stuff in years, if ever. A while back though, I made some homemade sloppy joes for the kids and they were a big hit, if a bit messy. I don’t know which part they liked more – the saucy hands or the taste of the saucy meat.

Anyhow, Sloppy Joes brings back some good food memories. Not eating meat anymore, I decided to turn it in to a vegetarian treat and use lentils as my base. It turned out really great!



Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
Ingredients:

1 large onion, chopped
1 tbsp. olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1/2 10 oz. package of mushrooms, chopped
1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1 can of diced tomatoes
2 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup of tomato sauce
1/3 cup ketchup
1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp. cayenne
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. ground pepper

Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Rolls for serving
Cole Slaw (optional) for serving in the Sloppy Joe’s

Directions:

Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.

Add in the chopped onions and cook until soft.

Add in the garlic, peppers, celery and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes.

Add in the lentils and the broth and cook a minute.

Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Spoon mixture over some slightly hollowed out kaiser rolls. I like topping mine with a bit of coleslaw for a tangy crunch!

Yum! Enjoy!

Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup red pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup green pepper, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • ½ 10 oz. package of mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • ½ cup of tomato sauce
  • ⅓ cup ketchup
  • 1 tbsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. cayenne
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. ground pepper
  • Hamburger Buns or Kaiser Rolls for serving
  • Cole Slaw (optional) for serving in the Sloppy Joe’s

Instructions
  1. Heat a large sauce pan over medium-high heat. Add in the oil.
  2. Add in the chopped onions and cook until soft.
  3. Add in the garlic, peppers, celery and mushrooms. Cook a few minutes.
  4. Add in the lentils and the broth and cook a minute.
  5. Add in the rest of the ingredients and cook 5-10 minutes. Let it come to a boil and then simmer for about 5 minutes.
  6. Spoon mixture over some slightly hollowed out kaiser rolls. I like topping mine with a bit of coleslaw for a tangy crunch!
  7. Enjoy!

 

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Veggie Lentil Loaf

Sunday is my day to make things. I spread out my wings in the kitchen, so to speak, and get down to business. It will never be my day to shine as a once-a-month cooking type person, but I can at least try to get createive in the kitchen. I try to make something new, using a new skill or a new ingredient. Whatever it may be – I have a few extra minutes, so why not use it to cook something tasty. I get extra excited when whatever I make becomes an easy meal for during the week.

I am trying to make more gluten free, whole meals that can serve everyone. I don’t like having to prepare multiple meals to fit the eating habits of various family members. I’m also trying to spend less and use up more in the house. 
Looking through my cabinets I found some trusty lentils. I’ve been wanting to make a lentil loaf for a long time. I came up with this recipe. Seems to work!

Veggie Lentil Loaf
Ingredients:

2.5 cups of cooked lentils (I recommend you cook the lentils in veggie broth)
2 cups rice, cooked (I used basmati)
1 tbsp. olive oil
2 yellow onions, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 carrots, grated
10 oz. mushrooms, chopped
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ketchup
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. rosemary
2 tbsp. flax + 2 tbsp. water OR two eggs

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Place lentils in a large mixing bowl and mash half of them. Add the rice to the bowl.

If you are going the flax seed route, this is where you will mix the flax seed with the water and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.

Saute the onions and garlic for a few minutes. Add in the mushrooms and carrots.  Add in the spices. Saute for another 3-5 minutes.

Add the vegetable mixture to the lentil/rice mixture. Mix in the ketchup and another tablespoon of olive oil.

Press the mixture into loaf pans. I had enough mixture for two loaf pans. Drizzle ketchup on top of each loaf.

Bake in the oven for about an hour.

I served this with a vegetarian onion gravy made up of earth balance, veggie broth, onions, garlic, herbs, and potato starch as a thickener.

Dinner was some lentil loaf, roasted brussel sprouts, and sweet potato fries. Yum!

You can definitely play with it.

Enjoy!

Apologies for the not so pretty picture…
it was just that kind of night
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