Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Warm Lentils with Carmelized Onions and Red Bell Peppers over Greens with a Tangy Mustard Dressing

This was another one of those meals that came together because of a lack of groceries in the house. I had lentils, an onion, and some lettuce and tomato, and began to figure out a way to make a potentially blah meal great instead! The more I started to put things together, the more ingredients I thought to add, until I came up with this relatively simple dish with a super fancy title. Enjoy!

Warm Lentils with Caramelized Onions and Red Bell Peppers over Greens with a Tangy Mustard Dressing


Lentil Dish:

1 lb. lentils, picked free of grit
Water to cover
1 Tbs. garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 onion, halved and halved again lengthwise, then sliced into strips
1/2 cup marinated red bell peppers (I used Mezzetta Deli-Sliced Roasted Sweet Bell Pepper Strips)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. dried oregano
Salt and Pepper to taste

1 head of Romaine lettuce, chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into wedges


4 cloves of garlic, minced
3/4 cup of olive oil
1/3 cup of white vinegar
1 Tbs. of yellow mustard
1/2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. dried oregano

Directions: In a large pot of water, bring lentils to a boil. Turn down the heat to medium and cook for 40 minutes, or until tender. Keep water level no more than a half inch above the lentils, adding water as needed. Add the garlic powder, salt and pepper, and cook another five minutes. While the lentils are cooking, heat the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook for at least twenty minutes, stirring occasionally, until they start to brown or caramelize. Add the pepper slices and garlic powder, oregano and salt and pepper and cook for another three to five minutes, until flavors are blended. Create a bed of lettuce with the tomato wedges on plates. Spoon a serving of lentils over each bed of greens and top with some of the onions and peppers. Combine all the salad dressing ingredients into a jar with a lid, and shake thoroughly. Drizzle the desired amount of dressing over the top of each serving. So good. Feeds five hungry vegans.


  1. I have to say, you had me salivating with just the post title!

    Way to make a super delicious meal out of a minimum of ingredients! I think mustard goes really well with lentils, and caramelized onions...yum! Sounds delish.

  2. Wow, I could totally make your recipe but with sprouted lentils instead--making it raw.
    Wonderful recipe. Thanks.
    Peace & Raw Health,
    Homeschooling raw mom to 5 blessings :)

  3. Sounds great! Sometimes a semi-empty pantry or fridge can inspire the most creative meals.

  4. I should really always have lentils on hand for things like this. I actually had some in my grocery basket today but then didn't buy anything at all because the lines were so long, lame.
    Those marinated peppers look great.

  5. I know the feeling of being out of certain foods at some poing, especially by the end of the month. I only make groceries once a month but I always think i buy enough and I always run out of fresh fruit, fresh veggies and some specialty items. Those minimalistic meals always turn out to be the best, for sure.

  6. i agree with Millie, that minimalistic meals are often the best ones. forces you to get creative

  7. You had my attention at "carmelized onions"! This sounds delicious, although I will have to leave out the bell peppers (they don't like me). Wonder what else I could use instead?

  8. Rose, a fancy title can do wonders, right? Mustard is one of those everyday condiments that I just love.

    Elizabeth, I love your take on this! Sounds great.

    Jessica, sometimes the best meals are born from necessity.

    Food Feud, practice patience! Now, you're going to be hungry and without lentils because you didn't chat up the lady in front of you to kill time.

    Millie, we have a set grocery budget that has to last us for a month, so I'm always looking for ways to stretch our food and our dollars.

    Michelle, I agree with you both. :-)

    Reggie, seems that phrase drew a couple of people in. :-) How about sun-dried tomatoes instead of bell peppers?

  9. Yummy! This sounds awesome. You did a geat job with what you had at home. Sometimes when we have to make do with what we have, it turns out to be one of the best meals. I'll have to try this!

  10. Am I the only one who thinks that this recipe requires a ton of groceries in the house??? (Fresh Tomatoes, Romaine, Garlic, Onion Lentilsl). How many more groceries did you need??? (Sorry, just love stirring the pot).

  11. Your lack of groceries is much superior to our lack of groceries! That looks like a wonderful meal. I love lentils, and you've made them so appealing with the onions, peppers and wonderful dressing.

  12. I think it's great that your pantry put together salad sounds so great - I normally have lentils and lettuce, too, but maybe not the tomato.

    This sounds delicious. I like the warm things on salad (we'd call that "killed greens" when they wilt a little) - and I like the mustardy dressing. Yum!

  13. Michelle, thank you! I hope you like it, if you try it.

    S.V., when this is all that you're down to with a family of five, it doesn't seem that much. But, maybe you're right.

    Andrea, I was just fortunate to have a choice from a couple of food groups. We sometimes dwindle down too far. :-)

    Thanks, Jessica! I like the "killed greens" term!

  14. Sounds alot like my go to meals when I don't have much left in the fridge/pantry either.

  15. Hi, Robyn! It's good to have staples on hand for times like this. :-)