Quick Smoky, Spicy Chipotle Lentils and Beans

Just to let you know, this post was written before I started the paleo diet to help ease my psoriasis. Nowadays I eat a more allergy-friendly diet, but leave these older, non-paleo posts up in case they are useful to readers, as I know not everyone eats the same as I do. Thanks for your understanding. 

This is another of those storecupboard dinners you can stir together in just a few minutes, and it makes a pretty good veggie Chilli Sin Carne (chilli without meat) too, when served up with some boiled rice and cheese for sprinkling on top. All you need to do is keep a few tins lurking in the back of the cupboards and a couple of fresh ingredients and you're away. As well as being a cheap meal in itself, it's also great added to burritos, spooned over baked potatoes or heated and made into beans on toast with a difference.

You can of course use fresh tomatoes if you have some you need to use up, and dried beans and lentils but I have to admit I do often rely on tinned because there isn't always time for all that soaking and cooking. I've also just given the basic recipe here - you can add chopped veggies in just after the garlic frying stage, too.

The amounts given below make up a deceptively large batch, which will feed about 6-8 people. Keep any leftovers in the fridge for a couple of days, or freeze in individual portion sizes and defrost before reheating for a quick, warming treat. This is one of the quick, cheap and nutritious meals I wish I'd discovered before I went to university...

Smoky Chipotle Lentils and Beans (or Chilli Sin Carne
Serves 6-8 people
  • olive oil
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chipotle chilli paste
  • 1 x 400g can green lentils
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 x 400g can red kidney beans
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of dried mixed herbs

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan and gently fry the garlic, until it turns aromatic and soft. Stir in the chipotle chilli paste, the lentils, tomatoes, kidney beans and tomato puree and season with a pinch of salt and a grinding of black pepper. Add the herbs and leave to bubble gently for about 10 minutes.

Do you have any really quick meals you rely on in the week when time is tight?