I've read several times in the past few weeks both at Chez Mama and at Mothering.com about Honey Baked Lentils. Since I'm always looking for new ways to use lentils I thought I'd give it a try. While searching for recipes, I couldn't find one that was consistent, but there were many that sounded yummy. So, drawing elements from several recipes I decided to throw together my own version of honey baked lentils. I was running low on honey, but had plenty of agave nectar in the pantry, so I substituted agave (which, personally I like better than honey, for it's mild flavor). I served the lentils with a side of sweet potato mashed with a few tablespoons of Vanilla Silk, and about 1 tablespoon of brown sugar.
The lentils were delicious, it was just the right balance between sweet and savory. Rob was out of town last night, so in essence I cooked this for myself. Both girls are feeling a bit under the weather, and weren't exactly in the mood for eating last night. Fortunately, we have plenty left for lunch, because I am sure this is one dish that they will both love. When Mairin spoke to Rob on the phone last night and told him what we were having for dinner he apparently asked her to save some for him, because she promptly hung up and told me that daddy said dinner sounded yummy and that we have to be sure there is some left for him to try..............so, honey, there's plenty here for you when you get home tonight!!!
Agave Baked Lentils:
2 cups Puy Lentil (you could use any kind of lentils, but I prefer the french lentils, they seem to hold their shape and not become mushy)
4 cups water
1 Bay Leaf
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 large carrot, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup agave nectar (or substitute honey if you like)
1 tsp nutmeg
2 Tbs extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375. In sauce pot add 4 cups of water with 2 cups Puy lentils, vegetable bouillon cube, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. After 30 minute remove lentils from heat and set aside. In a 9x12 baking dish combine carrots, celery, onions and garlic with agave, nutmeg, EVOO and salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Then, pour lentils with their cooking liquid into baking dish. Stir to incorporate vegetables. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 1 hour. After 1 hour remove foil and bake about 10 more minutes to evaporate some of the liquid.
I baked the sweet potatoes at the same time the lentils were baking, when they were done I cut them in half, scooped out the flesh and mashed it with a few Tbs of soy milk and 1 Tbs of brown sugar.