This one-pot dish of lentils with lemon and herbs is a great example of how keeping canned tomatoes and lentils on hand turns into something extraordinary with the addition of a few fresh and dried ingredients.

We managed to make multiple meals out of this – alongside white fish for dinner, with a fried egg plonked on top for breakfast, and wrapped in a flatbread with salad for lunch. Haloumi, chicken or red meat would also make excellent accompaniments.

It’s packed with lentils, which in addition to being high in fibre and a great source of carbohydrates, have a low glycaemic index (GI) so keep you feeling fuller for longer.

The following recipe serves 6-8 as a side dish.

You will need

  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger (or minced ginger)
  • 2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1-2 fresh chillis, chopped (or 1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes)
  • 400g tin crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g cans brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 cup each of coriander and mint, chopped

What you do

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until soft (around 10 minutes), stirring occasionally. Add garlic, ginger, turmeric and chilli and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add tomatoes and tomato paste. Bring to the boil then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in lentils, lemon juice and herbs and simmer for a few minutes until lentils are warmed.

Tell us, readers… what other canned items prove themselves to be indispensable in your kitchen? 

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30 minute meals, Breakfast, Brunch, Christmas, Dinner, Lunch, Lunchbox, One Pot, Rice, Grains & Pulses, Salads, Sides, Spicy, Vegetarian


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