Day 300: Lentil, Pepper & Spinach Supper ♥

A one-pot healthy vegetarian supper, lentils with bright bell pepper and dark spinach, topped with tofu cooked Indian spices, perfect for #MeatlessMonday. Vegan, filling and satisfying. Adaptable too! For Weight Watchers, #PP3.
graphic button small size size 10 The next time you want to "lighten up" calories but "brighten up" flavor? Choose this vegan one-pot supper, easy to make with pantry ingredients, especially since it's so adaptable. The lentils cook quickly atop the stove. They'd be great on their own but here I've topped them with tiny cubes of tofu cooked in Indian spices. Not just vegan, "Vegan Done Real". graphic button small size size 10

~recipe & photo updated 2015~
~more recently updated recipes~

2006: First, allow me to get this out of the way. Day 300? Did you see that? Day 300??? DAY THREE OhMyGosh HUNDRED! How is it possible? This blog, this venture, truly started as a lark. And now here it is, Day 300! And I'm still learning, still having more fun than imaginable after 300 days of discovering vegetables in new ways.

And besides, this vegetarian supper was absolutely delicious! I first made it a year ago with red lentils and remember it being good. But tonight's supper, with black lentils that hold their shape like French lentils, was stunningly delicious. And compared to many vegetarian dishes, especially often mud-brown lentil dishes, it gets high marks for color, too.

If you or your tablemates aren't excited about tofu, leave it out or substitute cubes of chicken breast or pork or even lamb or even, to keep it vegetarian sweet potato. And while tofu made for a hearty vegetarian supper, the lentils alone would make a great bed for grilled meat or aside roasted chicken, too. Or a quick lunch. Or topped with a poached egg. Can you tell? I love these lentils!

2015: I still love these lentils! In fact, I turned the recipe into a column for one of the favorite concept recipes at Kitchen Parade, Two-Way Lentil Skillet. It's a recipe to come back to again and again, easy to adapt to what you have on hand. The two essentials, to my taste, are the lentils and the spinach. After that? Go to town!

"This was soooooo good. ... Even the kids liked it." ~ Carrie


Hands-on time: 30 minutes
Time to table: 30 minutes
Makes 5 cups lentils

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 large onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic (from a jar or substitute 3 minced garlic cloves)
1 tablespoon minced ginger

3/4 cup (150g) lentils, rinsed well
3 cups water or vegetable stock
2 teaspoons kosher salt

5 ounces (141g) fresh spinach

1 tablespoon peanut oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon curry powder
Sprinkle cayenne pepper or to taste
12 ounces light extra-firm tofu

LENTILS Heat the oil in a large, deep skillet over MEDIUM HIGH. (If you're not cooking the tofu, add the cumin seed, curry and cayenne now and cook for a minute before proceeding.) Add the onion and pepper as they're prepped, stirring to coat with oil and then occasionally, until soft. Stir in the garlic and ginger and cook for a minute. Add the lentils, water and salt. Bring to a boil, then cook, uncovered for about 20 minutes or until liquid is fully absorbed, stirring occasionally. Stir in the spinach in batches until it's softened.

TOFU In another skillet, heat the oil until shimmery on MEDIUM heat. Add the cumin, curry and cayenne and cook for 2 - 3 minutes, until fragrant. Dry the tofu with a paper towel, then cut into cubes. Add the tofu to the skillet and gently stir to coat with spices and oil. Let cook until browned (or at least warmed through), stirring occasionally.

COMBINE Spread tofu across the lentils (or stir into the lentils, if preferred.

graphic button small size size 10 LENTILS I've made this with red lentils (for a creamier version), black lentils and French lentils (which hold their shape so well) and even, most recently, with plain brown lentils (which can look awfully "brown" but are easily found and least expensive. All taste great!
graphic button small size size 10 TOFU Both firm and extra-firm tofu work, the others are too soft to saute. If you're watching calories, do check out the huge calorie difference between light and full-fat tofu. The last time I made this, the tofu didn't crisp up at all in a cast-iron skillet but still tasted good.
graphic button small size size 10 SPINACH Five ounces spinach will seem like way too much! How will that big pile fit into the skillet? Add it in two or three batches, the tender leaves will wilt into the dish, cooking just from the heat of the lentils.
graphic button small size size 10 CILANTRO The inspiring recipe calls for a light sprinkle of chopped cilantro at the end – it's great but half the time, I forget it and it's never missed.

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Still Hungry?


~ Slow Cooker Vegetarian Lentil Sloppy Joes ~
~ Summer Lentils ~
~ Julia Child's Lentil Salad ~
~ more recipes with beans & lentils ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Simple Lentil Salad with Seasonal Vegetables ~
~ Lentil Soup Vincent ~
~ Two-Way Lentil Skillet ~
~ more lentil recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column

A Veggie Venture is home of 'veggie evangelist' Alanna Kellogg and the
famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.
© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2006, 2015

Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.


  1. Congrats on reaching 300 days and still going strong. This looks great. I love lentils, but so far I haven't been able to find the black ones here. I keep hoping I'll stumble on them somewhere.

  2. This looks yummy. I also like lentils very much and tend to eat them once a week.

  3. This looks amazing...might have to try!

  4. I made this last night for my shared meals group. I doubled the recipe, which was easy,and used little French lentils. Even the kids liked it.

  5. Carrie - You MADE my day! Thanks for letting me know. This is one recipe I keep thinking about!

  6. This was soooooo good. I'm having frozen leftovers for lunch today.


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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna