Garlicky Lentils with Charred Chickpeas and Veggies

4 Nov

Let’s talk about the pantry. Often the closed-off part of the kitchen, or stowed in some other hidden place in the house, the pantry is largely overlooked. Some have one the size of a gym locker, while others are blessed with one that rivals the size of the kitchen itself. The last time I moved residences, the pantry was one of those things that was non-negotiable. I can work with minimal counter space – tables and creativity make it easy to overcome.

But a pantry. A coveted space to house all your foodstuffs, large pots and dishes, weirdly-shaped cake pans, over-sized coffee mugs. And the 10-lb bag of potatoes you got on super sale. Oh yes, the pantry to me is just as important as the kitchen. When organized properly, it can spark creativity, quench sudden pangs of hunger, and make baking an elaborate torte much easier.

I’m blessed with a large walk-in pantry. Plenty of shelf space holds all the non-perishables. Drawers and cabinets beneath store all the cooking and baking items that just don’t fit in the kitchen, nor are used on an everyday basis. There’s even space for my recycling bags, plethora of aprons, and mop & broom. It’s even adorned with a small window and a flick of a switch bathes the entire mini room in bright light.

It’s easy to let things get out of hand, though. A few trips to the grocery store and specialty store, and you end up just throwing items wherever there’s room for them. A nice, sorted baking shelf gets haggard with 6 types of flour, sitting haphazardly about. 5 types of pasta are sitting who knows where. And that honey you bought from the farmer’s market all but disappears behind the big jug of Italian olive oil. This not only looks like a complete mess, but can halt your cooking creativity. It makes things difficult to find, resulting in the all-too-familiar situation where you end up with 3 of one identical ingredient because you didn’t realize a full package was stuffed in the corner.

What I’m getting at is this: take some time to organize and clean out your pantry. Donated those food items that are perfectly good, but which you’ll never use. Make some sense out of the flow of types of ingredients and come dinner time, you’ll have no problem throwing together a quick, healthy meal. In fact, that’s how this recipe came about. I had just re-organized the pantry and dinner was rolling around. A glance at the lentils and chickpeas, knowledge of a few veggies in the fridge, and some delicious spices all came together in my mind to form this warm, vegan meal.

Garlicky Lentils with Charred Chickpeas and Veggies |


Need some organizing help? Both The Kitchn and Melinda have great tips for you to implement now!

Garlicky Lentils with Charred Chickpeas and Veggies

Serves 4-6

  • 1 C green lentils
  • 3 C vegetable broth (or 2 C broth + 1 C water)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • Sea salt & fresh black pepper
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • bread, to serve

In a large pot, bring broth/water to boil with lentils and whole garlic cloves. Once boiling, reduce heat to simmer and cook, covered, for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, pepper and chickpeas. You want these to nearly char – you’ll notice some black spots form on the vegetables. Stir every 5 minutes or so, for about 30 minutes.

In the last 5 minutes before the lentils are done, deglaze the pan of veggies with some of the broth from the lentil pot – 1/4 C should do it. Stir all the spices into the vegetables and keep cooking on medium-high.

Test the lentils for doneness – they should be cooked just past al dente and almost all the liquid should be absorbed. Fish out the garlic cloves and throw them away. Stir the vegetables into the lentils until combined.

Garlicky Lentils with Charred Chickpeas and Veggies |

Serve into bowls with a piece of bread – sourdough is really nice with this.


3 Responses to “Garlicky Lentils with Charred Chickpeas and Veggies”

  1. genevieve y November 4, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Sounds like a great weeknight dinner!

  2. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine November 4, 2014 at 12:51 pm #

    Charred chickpea! That just sounds so good and something I would totally make l)

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