Lentils & shrooms in a cloud

by KalaLea on February 18, 2011 • Posted in Recipes

Recipe by KalaLea K

Serves 4-6 depending on how greedy the bunch


  • Soak and rinse your dry lentils – Lentils don’t need to soak for hours like other beans but I soak them while I’m at work or running errands – I prefer dried lentils to canned.

You will need:

approximately 3 cups of water (tap water will do unless you live in Chernobyl)
1 and 1/2 cups of lentils or whatever you like (1 cup is fine for 3-4 people)
1 medium sized sweet onion
2-3 cloves of garlic (i use 3 because I LOVE garlic)
1/2 cup of tomato sauce or 2 TBSP of tomato paste or leftover marinara sauce (optional)
portobello mushrooms/1 per person – (optional – it adds a meaty-ness to the meal and look how beautiful)

SPICES – i mix these spices together in a little bowl:
1. mustard seed (1/2 tsp)
2. fennel seed (1/2 tsp)
3. thyme (1 tsp)
4. marjoram (1 tsp)
5. paprika (1 tsp)
6. ground cumin or cumin seeds (1 tsp)
7. fresh ground pepper (optional – a pinch or two will do)

2-3 TBSP of sunflower, safflower, or olive oil (these oils are good for high heat)
1 large pot for boiling and sautéing / a skillet for cooking the mushrooms
fire or electricity
a loving attitude (not optional)

These items will be added at the very end (after about 1 hour):

1 cup or less of coconut milk (i use a small can of Thai Kitchen Pure Coconut Milk)
1 TBSP of apple cider vinegar or juice from half of a lemon
1/4 red peper (the veggie) mainly for color – this can go in at the end
Sea Salt or Tamari Sauce (put 1 TBSP in the pot at the end)

Ultimate Goal: to prepare a light lentil stew that is flavorful in 1 pot


  • Chop or dice your onion
  • Peel and chop your garlic
  • Chop  your red pepper (and put aside)
  • Wipe your portobello mushroom with some water and your hand (no need to fully rinse mushrooms)

LET’S COOK! In the large pot:

1.     Add the oil then the onions (not the garlic though)
2.     Add your spice mixture to the oil then your onions
3.     Sauté the onions for 5-7 minutes just enough to get the juices flowing
4.     Add your garlic and cook for 2 minutes – just a little
5.     Add the 3 cups of water to this mixture
6.     Add the tomato paste or sauce
7.     Add your rinsed lentils to the pot
8.     Put your rinsed lentils in the pot and turn the heat on HIGH.
9.     Cover and let cook on high heat until it comes to a nice boil – not a raging one – then simmer for 1 hour.

VERY IMPORTANT NOTE: You can cover the pot but do not leave the room because the starch from the lentils will boil over – messy, messy. Keep an eye on it and when it comes to a full boil turn the heat down to LOW.

1.     Take this time to clean up, wash dishes and cutting board, etc.

2.     Towards the very end (one hour later) – Add your coconut milk, diced red pepper, salt or tamari, and lemon juice (if you have it) then turn off the heat and let it sit while you grill your mushrooms

3.     Grill your mushrooms with a teeny bit of olive oil, sunflower oil, safflower, or even butter (but only a little) – you can season it if you like with salt, pepper, or some vinegar – only need to cook the mushrooms for 3-5 minutes

4.     If you make the Israeli couscous, it’s just like rice (2:1 ratio) – 2 cups water to 1 cup couscous (only with Israeli couscous the fat kind) – Cover the pot and let the water come to a boil on HIGH, add the couscous then when it comes to a boil turn the heat down LOW and simmer for 15 minutes. Let it sit for 5-10 minutes before serving.



Serve with Israeli couscous, a portobello mushroom, and steamed collard green ribbons (as seen here), or grilled fish or free-range chicken and brown rice. Whatever you feel like!

These lentils are delicious with anything. I’ve even eaten them for breakfast :)

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One Comment

  1. Lovliqueen

    Thanks for this recipe! I purchased a big bag of lentils last week, and had no idea what to do with them. I am going to try this, minus the mushroom (I don’t have any now) and I am going to eat it with brown rice.

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