Okay so I know lentils are not a favorite for a lot of people, but they can be SO good! And they are quick to cook up, cheap and nutritious. Since we have a big family we make a lot of one pot dishes because they are usually cheaper and quicker than other sorts of meals, and they tend to stretch our meat out better. Also, I told you we eat a lot of Mexican inspired meals and this one is no exception.
I make this for lunch frequently because I can get it on the table fast and it still passes as a proper hot meal for the guys. A bag of lentils will *say* they can be cooked in 30 min but I find that they need to be cooked more like 45 min to an hour to be soft enough for our taste. Still, the ingredients go together in a flash, and all you have to do is make sure the liquid doesn't boil away and they don't burn until they are finished.
Just for the record, even people who think they hate lentils love this meal!
You will need:
1 lb. dry lentils
2 cartons of chicken broth
2 cans of medium rotel
Sugar or natural sweetener
To prepare, dump the dried lentils in a medium sized pot. If all of your ingredients fit nicely in the pot, then it's big enough. Lentils don't swell massively like beans. Add the chicken broth, a big swig of olive oil, a few tablespoons of taco seasoning, and the cans of rotel.
Pro tip: if you have kids who dislike tomato and green chili chunks like we do, give your rotel a whirl in the blender before adding. You get all of the flavor and no discernible chunks.
I will often add just a tablespoon or so of sugar to my pot because it rounds out the flavor nicely. Don't add salt until your lentils are pretty soft and you can judge how much salt they need, as the taco seasoning you use will probably have salt in it and you don't want to add too much.
Once your lentils are soft and getting close to being done, add your canned chicken. How much you put in depends on how meaty you like your food. Our guys like a lot of meat, so I add a big 3lb can of chicken (we get these big cans from Sam's Club). I dont chop it smaller before I add, I just dump it in and use the back of my spoon to break it up as it gets soft and hot. This is one meal where you cannot tell you used canned chicken.
When it's all soft and hot and has a thick gravy/sauce, you can either leave those lentils whole or smash them a bit with a potato masher. Either way they are great. Spoon them into bowls and top with shredded cheese, sour cream and hot sauce if you like it. Scoop it up with corn chips and enjoy like chili! Soooooo yummy!
Let me know if you try it, or if you have any questions! I love hearing from you guys!