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I’ve been wanting to try beluga lentils for a long time. They’re not the easiest to find, but this recipe will work equally well with french lentils. I think the appeal comes from the fact that they’re almost black, a little shiny, kind of like little black gems. Maybe I should try sprouting them. Anyway, this turned out to be perfect. A light meal packed full of nutrition and nothing to leave you feeling over stuffed or sluggish. We had this for dinner but it would also make an amazing weekend lunch as well. I love the aroma of toasted cumin seeds, the fresh citrus smell of lemons all paired with the mild earthy taste of these little delicate lentils. The squash adds some filler and is less traditional than peppers or zucchini, but I would recommend adding fresh spinach at the end of the cooking time of the lentils to balance out all the orange on this plate.

Lemon Cumin Scented Lentils

  • 1 cup beluga lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 a large onion finely diced
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 large handful of cilantro

In a medium sized pot add 4 cups of water and 1 cup of lentils. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile get started on the squash and then come back to the next step. Dice half of a large onion and mince 3 garlic cloves. In a large frying pan add 1 Tbsp of olive oil and heat over medium high heat. Once the onions are tender add the cumin seeds and cook for 30 more seconds. Add the cooked lentils, lemon juice, lots of salt and pepper and cilantro. Mix until well combined. Add the squash and mix together. Plate with cooked shrimp.

Roasted Spiced Squash

  • 4 cups peeled and cubed squash (I used a small butternut squash)
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil

Toss the cubed squash with olive oil and sprinkle with spices and salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 20 minutes (or until tender) at 375 F.

Turmeric Spiced Shrimp

  • 20 Large shrimp (serves 4) or enough for the group
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp paprika

Add oil and spices to the peeled raw shrimp and toss until well coated. 5 minutes before the lentils and squash are done cooking heat up a large pan over medium high heat. Add the shrimp and cook until no longer opaque, about a minute per side.

To serve, mix the squash into the lentils on the plate. Put a cup and a half onto a plate and top with the deliciously colorful shrimp. Bon appetit!


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