LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Next time you want to make chili or any other dish that might have beans in it how about using lentils!

Debbie Arnold is here to help us fall in love with lentils! She shares two delicious lentil recipes your family will love. 

Coconut and Curry Lentil Stew

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoon of Madras curry powder
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced into 1/2-inch rounds
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and large diced
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 14-ounce can coconut milk
  • 1 Tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 Fresno or serrano chile
  • Fresh mint
  • Lime wedges
  • Grilled naan sprinkled with zaatar, optional

Directions

  • Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, garlic, madras curry, salt, and pepper.
  • Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions start to soften, about 1 minute.
  • Add the parsnips, sweet potatoes, and red lentils.
  • Add the vegetable stock and coconut milk.
  • Simmer until the vegetables are tender and the lentils are cooked 25 to 30 minutes.
  • Stir in the vinegar and spinach and cook until the spinach is wilted about 1 minute.
  • Ladle the stew into bowls and garnish with Chile, fresh mint and a lime wedge.
  • Serve with the grilled naan, if desired.

Slow Cooker Lentil Taco Salad

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 2 large red and/or green bell peppers, coarsely chopped, about 2 cups
  • 1 large yellow onion, chopped, about 1 cup
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup uncooked long-grain brown rice
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder or taco seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked chipotle, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 14-ounce cans unsalted or low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 medium yellow summer squash, quartered and sliced 1/2-inch thick, about 1 - 1 1/2 cups
  • 6 cups mixed salad greens, shredded Romaine or shredded head lettuce
  • 2 cups chopped yellow and red tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Salsa or pico de gallo
  • Grated cheddar cheese
  • Sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • Corn or tortilla chips, preferably whole grain

Directions

  • Combine bell peppers, onion, lentils, rice, garlic, chili powder, ground chipotle (optional heat) and salt in a 3 1/2 to 4-quart slow cooker. Pour broth over all ingredients.
  • Cover and cook on LOW for 10 to 12 hours. Turn slow cooker to HIGH and stir in the squash. Cover and cook 20 minutes more.
  • To serve, arrange salad greens on serving plates. Spoon lentil mixture over greens. Top with tomatoes and whatever additional taco ingredients you prefer.

Note: This same taco mixture can be served in regular corn or flour tortillas if you prefer.

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