Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Lentil Nachos - No Really, I'm Serious!

How do you get rugged men and picky children to eat lentils?  Read on friends...

I was perusing through our local Bulk Barn today, for nothing more than something to pass some time.  I picked up some vegetable elbow pasta, a baggy of loose tea, the cutest dog biscuit shaped cookie cutter (for when I make my own dog treats) and some lentils.  I have NO idea why such a range of products but like I said I was wasting time....good thing I only had 10 minutes!

So I get home strutting my stuff like a peacock, praising myself for buying lentils and then realize I haven't the slightest notion of how or what to do with them.  ANNND feathers fall flat.
I haven't eaten lentils since I was about 13 years old. My mom used to make them, and I used to hate them. Story of her life.

Palates change; I have heard that but I didn't want to believe it because I still hate mushrooms and despise the brussel sprout and for some reason I don't want to like them.

You might have already read that I am not a fan of soup either and there are a million and one recipes for lentils and flavored water, ugh, I mean soup.  There are also a lot of recipes that incorporate bacon, tomatoes, even pasta.  I did some research on the red lentil because I have only had green or black/brown - whatever.
So it seems the red variety doesn't tend to hold its shape, turns a bit to mush really.  PERFECT that's what I bought! 
Then it hit me! Refried beans watch out, the lentil has now replaced you on my nachos!  Honestly, this dish doesn't even need a side if you put enough vegetables on them!
You are welcome - Enjoy!

Red Lentil Nachos
takes about 30 min prep 10 min cook

1 c. red lentils - rinsed
1 small can diced tomatoes with chilies
(or add a few jalapenos to some fresh tomatoes)
1 tbsp. bacon fat for browning veggies
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 large carrot cubed
1 red pepper diced
1-2 c. shredded cheese (of your choice)
tortilla chips (I like multi grain)
If you like, add in some browned ground meat or chicken (I did), sour cream & green onions for a more traditional nacho flavor.

Inspect your lentils prior to rinsing, removing any that are black or opened.  Rinse with cold water and let drain while you prepare the rest.
In a pot heat the bacon fat and brown the onion on medium heat.  Add in the carrots.  Stir occasionally for the next 8 minutes or so.  Add in the tomatoes and garlic (or you could add with the carrots if you like a less garlicky flavor) Stir in the lentils and add enough water to just cover (about 2 small cans worth).
Simmer for approx. 25 minutes.
To assemble take an oven proof dish and cover the bottom with multi grain tortilla chips.  Using a slotted spoon (in case there is a bit of excess liquid) dollop the lentil mixture over all of the chips, add your ground meat (or chicken) if you wish, veggies and cheese.  Add another layer of chips and start again.
Heat in a preheated 425 F oven for about 5-8 minutes to melt the cheese.
Serve with sour cream and green onions - forgoing the salsa because you really don't need it!
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  1. this looks amazing! i was craving nachos earlier and then i come across your wonderful recipe! thanks so much for sharing! =]

  2. Oh you really must let me know how you like it! My 13 year old couldnt get enough!

  3. I like your idea, I'm thinkin' football food :)

  4. For some reason I had a notion had come up with a way to turn lentils into chips LOL these look incredible, what a great replacement for re fried beans

  5. I am not a fan of lentils, but this might get me to eat them!

  6. I just thought I would praise you for using bacon fat for browning the veggies.