Lentils: A Healthy Alternative to Black-Eyed Peas

bowl of lentilsEating black-eyed peas on New Year’s Day is a tradition in many Black homes, which is said to bring good luck and prosperity, but this year, try lentils for a healthy alternative.

“Lentils are a great source of fiber and they can be used to make a variety of things including soups, salads, and stews,” said Greg “Chef Hef” Brooks, owner of Food Hefner Catering.

Below is Chef Hef’s lentil recipe for New Year’s Day that you can pair with kale for a strong start to the new year:

Ingredients

2 cups of lentils (lentil color doesn’t matter)
1 quart of vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1-2 cups of water (depending upon if you would like the lentils as a soup, more water, or as a side less water)
1 small red pepper, diced
1-2 large shallots, diced
3 ribs of celery, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp of maple syrup (Grade B or agave nectar)
1 can of crushed tomatoes
1 cup of cherry tomatoes
1/2 tbsp of tomato paste

1/4 tsp or more to taste of following:
Applewood smoked salt (or kosher salt)
Pepper
Lemon curry (optional)
Granulated garlic (or fresh chopped garlic)
Granulated onion
Herbs de province
Smoked paprika
Turmeric
Fresh thyme
1/8 tsp of cayenne pepper
1/8 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes
Olive oil

*add chopped sautéed smoked sausage, ground sausage, or soy meat to make it a meal*