Sprouted lentils can usually be bought in the organic section of any grocery store I like TruRoots brand but, you can of course replace with regular lentils. Sprouted lentils are lentils that are sprouted, then dried. They provide a boost to the nutritional content and it also helps with increasing nutrient absorbency. I like them because they cook quicker than regular lentils.
You can certainly remove the bacon to make this vegetarian. I think the salty bacon is the best part!
You will need:
- 1 cup sprouted lentils
- 3 cups water
- 3-4 slices bacon for flavour
- 1/2 onion (chopped very fine)
- 2-4 cloves garlic (chopped very fine)
- 1 carrot (chopped very fine)
- 1 celery stalk (chopped very fine)
- 1 small zucchini (chopped very fine)
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1-2 tbsp zaatar seasoning
- 1-2 tbsp Italian seasoning
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
Step 1: cook sprouted lentils in boiling water for approx 15 minutes or until tender. Regular lentils will take longer. Drain and set aside.
Step 2: prepare all other ingredients. Chop 2-4 slices of bacon. You are using this for flavour so you don't need much but, be aware that lentils are quite bland so you do need flavour to make them exciting! I have used to the food processor to chop onion, carrot, celery and garlic together. I then used to the processor to chop the zucchini. I do them separately because I want to add them separately.
Step 3: in a medium hot skillet fry the bacon until crispy. You can add the carrot, onion, celery, garlic mixture next and keep the bacon fat for flavour or I usually drain the bacon fat and replace with olive oil. You are looking to cook out much of the water and get the vegetables to start browning.
Step 4: add your spices and finally add the zucchini which does not take long to cook. Taste it and add more salt and pepper if necessary. Lentils do require some seasoning so if you want more add it. You can serve this as a nice side dish or a quick lunch.
You can add some tomatoes or some fresh cilantro to finish if you like.