Trying vegetarian recipes on Meatless Monday, I bet you occasionally wonder what else is there besides cheese, tofu and eggs for a protein source. It can get boring if you don’t branch out.
Have you tried cooking with lentils? They’re pretty easy to make; pretty cheap, too. The fiber-heavy bitties (one cup has more than half the daily recommended intake of fiber) provide the same protein benefits as meat without the fat (one cup contains less than 1 gram of fat). Not to mention the vitamins and minerals you’ll get from eating them. For more information, take a look at what livestrong.com has to say about this powerful food here. (If it’s good enough for Lance’s organization, it’s good enough for you, right?)
If you’re ready to give them a try, I have a tasty and quick recipe for you. I found this recipe for Lentil & Veggie Tostadas in a Better Homes & Gardens “Easy Vegetarian Meals” pamphlet that contained recipes previously published in “Better Homes and Gardens Easy Vegetarian Dinners.” I was skeptical that I’d find anything I’d like in there; a non-vegetarian aunt passed the mini-book on to me and from then on, I just wasn’t optimistic.
I’m glad I did. This was quick to make and tasted great. I tweaked the recipe a bit, adding a layer of refried beans on the tostada before putting on the lentil mixture. It stretched the recipe out a bit so there were leftovers for one more meal. This was a hearty tostada and one was filling.
For vegetable toppings, we tried ours with tomato, zucchini and avocado. You can get creative and use whatever you have around the kitchen.
Lentil & Veggie Tostadas
Start to finish: 40 mins
1 ¾ cups water
¾ cup dry yellow or green lentils, rinsed and drained
¼ cup chopped onion
1 to 2 tablespoons snipped fresh cilantro
½ tsp salt
½ tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tostada shells
2 cups assorted chopped vegetables (such as broccoli, tomato, zucchini and/or summer squash)
¾ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (3 oz)
In a medium saucepan, stir together water, lentils, onion, cilantro, salt, cumin and garlic. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until lentil are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Use a fork to mash the lentils.
Spread the lentil mixture on tostada shells; top with vegetables and cheese. Place on a large baking sheet. Broil 3 to 4 inches from the heat about 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Serve immediately.