Tag Archives: lentils

Sweet Potato Lentil Meatloaf


Everyone knows the iconic meatloaf, a loaf of meat.  You may have fond memories of your mother serving it as a child, you may have a secret family recipe, you may have only seen it on TV, or you may be a whiz at making vegetarian versions for faux-meat-loaf. Heck, maybe you don’t actually know what meatloaf is. Whatever the case, I will bet you you can adapt this recipe to suit your tastes!

When dating/living with/married to die-hard meat lovers and trying to stuff more vegetables into a resistant person’s diet, you need some tricks up your sleeve. This recipe is great because it combines two of my favorite strategies: shred the veggies so you barely know it’s there, and add lentils to meat to bulk it up without affecting taste too much. If you want a vegetarian version of this dish, easy peasy just leave the ground turkey out and double down on lentils, or try half lentils and half black beans.

Lentils and sweet potatoes

This recipe creates a moist, tender, tasty loaf which is packed with all kinds of healthy goodies.  The sweet potato gives it vitamin A, beta carotene, fiber, vitamin C, and other nutrients.  The lentils give you tons of healthy fiber, protein, folate, iron, and other nutrients. If you add the meat, it keeps the carnivores happy too, and has a texture not much different from meat alone.

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf


  • 1 pound ground turkey (or pork, beef, chicken)
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1 egg
  • 1 med-large sweet potato, shredded
  • Spices to taste (suggest garlic salt, pepper, Italian seasoning)

For the Sauce:

  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup

If you are staying away from processed things (good for you!) and or feel ambitious and want to make your own ketchup (see here) or hot sauce (right here) then go for it!  You can use other sauces if you don’t like ketchup such as BBQ sauce, Worcestershire, mustard, or Thai chili sauce. Or  you can go sauce-less & have your meatloaf naked!

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf ingredients

Step 1: In a large bowl, combine lentils, meat, oats, eggs, and any spices you are using. Optional additions here: diced onion, garlic, or bell peppers.

Mixing in the sweet potatoe

Step 2: Shred your sweet potato , and add that to the mix.

Naked lentil and sweet potato meatloaf

Step 3: Spray a bread pan with cooking oil, and spread the mixture into the pan, smoothing down the top.

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf with sauce

Step 4: In a small bowl or just on top of the loaf, mix the sauce ingredients together and spread evenly over top.

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf ready to bake

Step 5: Bake in a 350 oven for about 75 minutes.

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf

And that’s all there is to it! Slice it up and serve it up. I made some cheesy potatoes and fresh corn on the cob and it was a delightful summertime meal.

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf slice

Of course, with meatloaf leftovers the best thing to do it make meatloaf sandwiches! Add some shredded cheese, maybe some extra sauce, and it has a whole new life. Mmmm-mmm!

Lentil and sweet potato meatloaf sandwich




Split Pea, Lentil, & Potato Soup


As the weather turns foul and temperatures drop, I find myself craving thick, hearty, hot soups. There is nothing quite so cozy as sitting on the couch in slippers and PJs with a steaming bowl of goodness while the wind blows, and perhaps the snow falls.

One of my all-time favorite soup bases is the humble potato. Potatoes are so delicious and go well with just about anything, with no super-strong flavor of their own. I’ve previously shared my addictive Loaded Baked Potato Soup and copycat Zuppa Toscana recipes, both of which are sure to please.

One night, with three baked potatoes in my refrigerator and a small bag of split peas in the pantry I’d picked up on a whim, I decided to make the ultimate cold weather comfort soup.

I didn’t want just split pea soup, mostly because I didn’t have a lot of them and I also didn’t have a ham bone. All the recipes say use a ham bone.

So potatoes were the chosen base. I put on a pot of water, and threw them in first. Then I dumped my little bag of peas in, and it still seemed to need something. One more thing.

I looked over on my counter, where I keep several jars (just like these square glass stackable jars) of bulk ingredients that I buy whenever I’m at sprouts and feel adventurous. I especially love pretty colored things. And there it was, the perfect missing ingredient.

Orange Lentils.

You can of course use brown or green lentils as well. With some kale from the fridge and other spices, this turned into a thick, hearty, dreamy soup.

And as a bonus, it is accidentally vegan! But trust me when I say it is so completely delicious. You may crave it all winter long. You’ve been warned.



  • 3 small baked potatoes
  • 2/3 cup green split peas
  • 1/2 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup torn kale
  • 1 tbsp dried onion
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp garlic salt


Step 1: In a sauce pot, throw in diced baked potato, peas, and lentils. Cover with water, plus about 1 inch. If your potatoes aren’t cooked yet, boil those for 15 minutes before adding the other legumes.


Step 2: After boiling about 10-15 minutes, add in the kale and seasonings. Stir well, and continue to simmer another 10 minutes or so. The longer you simmer the soup, the more the ingredients will fall apart.


If you don’t like chunks, you can certainly use an immersion blender or a regular blender in batches to create a puree. But I liked the slightly chunky potato and the still-detectable little peas and lentils.

This soup is so incredible, I ended up having it three meals in a row.




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Stuffed Bell Peppers – SNAP meal


This is the first dinner I cooked during my week of the SNAP Challenge. I love stuffed bell peppers, and I usually make them with ground beef. Though I have had some success with vegetarian stuffed peppers in the past.

Given the already high and rising cost of meat, I knew I’d have to take a vegetarian route to keep these in budget. Swapping in lentils for the beef keeps this recipe high in protein content, and lowers the fat, while keeping the core tastes and hunger-crushing properties of the meal intact.


  • 2 green bell peppers (use any color)
  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 1/3 cup lentils
  • 1 small can tomato sauce
  • Garlic salt


Step 1: If you have a rice cooker, you can cook the lentils and rice together in it. If not, simmer the rice and lentils in a sauce pot with 2 1/2 cups water for 20 minutes.


Step 2: Mix the cooked rice and lentils with the can of tomato sauce.


Step 3: Cut the top off the pepper and pull out the seeds. Stuff the mixture inside, adding as much garlic salt as you like.


Step 4: Bake the peppers in an oven at 350 for 20-25 minutes, until soft. Alternatively you could microwave each pepper, covered, for 8-10 minutes to soften. Another option is to put the stuffed peppers in a crock pot on low for 1-2 hours.


Serve as a meal, or with a baked potato or salad on the side.


I ended up eating one pepper for dinner, and the other for lunch the next day. They are quite filling, and delicious! Pretty healthy for you as well. Vegan, vegetarian, and you can make it gluten-free if you substitute in quinoa or another gluten-free grain for the rice.


For approximately $0.84 per serving, you can’t do much better!



**UPDATE: All SNAP Meal Recipes listed below:

Lentil soup

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage
This soup was inspired by the place I waitress at for the soup base (which I forget the fancy name of) and a version which adds sausage. Omit it if you want something vegetarian. It is healthy and hearty, perfect for a nippy fall evening. It makes quite a bit, so be prepared to share, store or eat it for every meal for a few days!
1 medium potato, diced
2-3 carrots, diced
1 can diced tomatoes
2-3 mild sausages, sliced (omit for vegetarian)
2 cups lentils
3 cups water or stock of your choice
3 celery ribs
1/2 medium onion
4 sprigs parsley
4 cloves garlic
a handful fresh basil
a few tbsp olive oil
black pepper to taste
1. In a large pot, get the water or stock boiling.
2. While heating the water, in a blender, combine the celery, herbs, onion, garlic and a few tbsp olive oil and liquefy into a paste. This is the base of the soup, and adds an indescribably fresh and delicious flavor!
3. Add the base to the pot, along with all the veggies and 2 cups of lentils.
4. Brown the sausage (loose or sliced, I cut mine into slices) in a pan. Add those to the pot.
5. Let the whole thing simmer at least 1 hour. Alternatively, you can put all the same ingredients into a Crock Pot on high for 4-6 hours.
6. Enjoy! It tastes even better after sitting in the fridge overnight or a few days!

This recipe submitted to the May 2014 “Cooking with Herbs” challenge!

Cooking with Herbs Lavender and Lovage