Lentils are a great food. Full of protein and fibre, cheap and easy to cook. Puree them for your baby, keep them whole for your toddler, feed them to your whole family. They’re also low in calories so a great meal to fill a mummy up if she’s trying to lose her baby weight.
Red lentils break down more than other types when they cook, so they’re perfect for our little ones. They’re great too if you want to make a thick soup. The following recipe would also work really well as a soup. If after pureeing it’s too thick, add a little stock. And it’s easy to add some chopped vegetables like carrots, leeks, celery, etc.
A little while ago I came across a mummy blogger who freezes cooked lentils. Her favourite thing to do is add the frozen lentils to cooking rice. I haven’t tried this, but it’s a good way to add some extra protein to a meal.
My creamy lentils uses the tomato pasta sauce I often make for Nicholas and always have in the freezer. You could use some chopped tomatoes or some tomato puree instead. Add chopped tomato (chopped as small as you can) after you’ve drained the cooked lentils and cook them over a low heat for a couple of minutes to break the tomatoes down.
Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 15-20 mins
Makes about 4 toddler servings
1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 shallot, finely diced
7 tbsp homemade tomato sauce
1/4 tsp dried oregano
Drizzle of olive oil (optional)
Put the lentils in a small saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil and then drop the heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft. Drain off the excess liquid.
While the lentils are cooking, put the shallot in a small microwave-safe bowl, add 1 tablespoon of water and cook on medium in the microwave for 2 minutes. Drain.
When the lentils are cooked and drained, add the shallot, tomato sauce and oregano and mix well.
If serving to a baby or as soup, puree the mixture until smooth.
Serve with a drizzle of olive oil over the top if desired.
- use onion intead of shallot
- add a little garlic
- add chopped vegetables to cook with the lentils (such as carrots, leeks, celery)
- use tomato puree or chopped tomatoes instead of the homemade tomato sauce
- add to other soups or stews
- add to cooked rice
- serve as a side dish to meat or fish