The problem I run into with this recipe, is I do not always have turkey on hand each week. I have to PLAN to get turkey at the store. Let’s be honest, if I haven’t planned, and I’m shopping with a 1 year old, I forget to buy the turkey.
Yet, I always have lentils in my pantry. We try to eat at least one meatless dinner every week. Sometimes I aim for even more as I think a mainly plant based diet is so healthful and nourishing to our bodies (I’ll write a post about that soon!).
Lentils tend to be my main go to plant protein of choice. They contain quality protein and fiber that fills you up and keeps you satisfied for several hours. This helps with balancing your blood sugar and not mindlessly eating throughout the day. Lentils also contain folate and magnesium which improve blood flow of oxygen and nutrients throughout the body helping protect your heart from disease.
Plus, there are SO many ways to prepare lentils. We make this quick 15 minute lentil soup, my favorite French Lentil Salad, and a lentil marinara with zucchini noodles. My husband and daughter love all of them (can you believe my husband loves a lentil marinara with zucchini noodles?!). All of these recipes are wonderful as leftovers as well.
Lentils are also cost effective. I can buy a bag of organic lentils from Trader Joe's for $1.69. Therefore I keep several bags on hand in case I need a quick solution for dinner.
Needless to say, lentils are a staple food for us as it helps with simplifying meal planning.
Here is our recipe for the lentil marinara with zucchini noodles. I actually make it similar to the Turkey Bolognese, but substitute lentils for the turkey.
Lentil Marinara with Zucchini Noodles SAVE RECIPE
1 tablespoon of avocado oil
2 carrots, diced
2 celery ribs, diced
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
A dash of red pepper flakes
1 cup of lentils
2 cups of water
3 teaspoons of oregano (though I usually don’t measure, I just tend to sprinkle a fair amount in the recipe)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 24 ounce jar of tomato basil marinara sauce (I love Trader Joe’s organic version)
4 zucchini, spiralized into pasta (or you can buy it pre made at some grocery stores)
Grated parmesan cheese for topping
1. Add lentils and 2 cups of water to medium pot. Bring to boil, then lower to a simmer and cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes. Drain any excess liquid.
2. Heat oil in large skillet. Add carrots, celery, onion and cook until soften. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook for another 2 - 3 minutes. Add tomato sauce, oregano, salt and pepper and simmer on low for 15 minutes.
3. When lentils are done, add to the tomato sauce and simmer for an additional 5 minutes.
4. In a separate pan, sauté noodles in 1 tablespoon of avocado oil for 5 - 10 minutes.
5. Divide pasta onto plates and top with lentil marinara.
*recipe from Inspiralized