Lentils of the Southwest


WINNER: Second Place (Dry Beans and Peas)

By Jane S., judi j., Rocky D. and Anna F. from Sweeney Elementary School, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Description

Lentils have so much potential for school food service menus. Packed with protein, vitamins and fiber, they are easy to cook and have great versatility. These lentils are flavored with ground red chile, cumin, garlic and a touch of tomatoes: "salsa flavors" that kids are sure to love. Serve 1/4 cup as a side dish alongside a quesadilla for the perfect New Mexican lunch. A half cup of Lentils of the Southwest accompanied by brown rice makes a delicious main dish too.

Nutrition Facts

Serving size: 1/4 cup

Calories64.39
From Fat11.3%
From Saturated Fat1.5%
From Sugar8.5%
Sodium172mg

Ingredients

Ingredient 6 servings 50 servings
Lentils, brown or green1/2 cup4 1/4 cups/1.75 lbs
Water2 cups9 cups
Olive oil3/4 tsp2 tbsp
Onions, chopped2 tbsp1 cup
Garlic, minced3/4 tsp2 tbsp
Ground cumin1/2 tsp1 tbsp
Ground mild red chile, optional3/4 tsp2 tbsp
Chili powder1/2 tsp1 tbsp
Diced tomatoes, canned or fresh1/3 cup3 cups
Salt1/2 tsp1 tbsp
Fresh cilantro, chopped 2 tbsp1 cup

Preparation

For 6 servings

Combine the lentils and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the lentils until tender, about an hour. If needed, add more water.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 2 to 3 minutes, until softened. Stir in the ground cumin, ground red chile, if using, and chili powder. Add this mixture to the cooked lentils. Stir in the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro, or use it as a garnish for the lentils.

For 50 Servings

In a large stockpot, combine the lentils and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the lentils until tender, about an hour. If needed, add more water.

Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil for 3 to 5 minutes, until the onions have softened. Stir in the ground cumin, ground red chile, if using, and chili powder. Add this mixture to the cooked lentils. Stir in the tomatoes and salt. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes. Just before serving, stir in the chopped cilantro, or use it as a garnish for the lentils.