Monday, February 23, 2015

Braised Lentils and Chickpeas with Kale & White Wine

I love me a good challenge.  It seems like every so often I take a deep breath and do something tremendously brave that both excites and terrifies me, and no doubt keeps my mother awake at night.  Sorry mom!  I've gone and done it again, and fingers crossed I'll land on my feet like I always seem to do.  More on this little shake up in a future blog post when I'm ready to spill the beans, but until then you'll just have to hold your horses.  Speaking of challenges, I've entered a recipe into another Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge and I'm super excited for you to try it.  White wine, paprika, kale, it's a one pot little wonder that will have you licking the pot.  Or wait?  Is that just me?

Lentils.  I love them, and if you peruse the recipe index here you can see how often I love them.  Saskatchewan grows and exports a whole lotta lentils and I'm a proud ambassador of this little nutritional dynamo.  Full of protein and fibre, low in fat and gluten free,  if you have this pulse in your pantry, you've got dinner.  For this recipe I took a look around the refrigerator and saw what needed to be used up.  The last glugs of white wine (I know, this is a rare occurrence and rather than toss it down the gullet I decided to toss it into dinner), a couple of bunches of kale (because I'm a bit of a kale addict), a tiny bit of cream left in the carton, herbs that were close to being past their prime and a little bit of chicken stock.  My cupboards always have chickpeas in case I have an emergency craving for spicy hummus - don't laugh - it happens, and of course lentils of all kinds are stored in pretty glass jars on a shelf above my stove.

This dish comes together quickly - you can pretty much have dinner on the table in under an hour.  Brown rice can slowly simmer away on the back burner while the lentils and chickpeas do simmering of their own in white wine and paprika.  That's right, paprika!  I love the stuff, especially if it's smoked.  The earthy, bright, spicy nuance it brings to the dish really sends it over the top.  Kale is stirred in at the end, and in just 10 minutes it soaks up all of the lovely flavourings like a sponge.  Even if you aren't a kale convert, I think you'll appreciate it when braised with all of these other good things.  A little cream adds a velvet finish and richness, while a teeny bit of maple syrup helps cut the heat and just mellows the whole dish out.  Season well with salt and pepper.  By the time your rice is finished, you'll have a highly aromatic, nutritious, delicious dinner to serve your loved ones. Or if it's just you, your cat and an episode of Downton Abbey, that's all good too.  Just squeeze a little lemon over the braised lentils and serve over piping hot brown rice.   Leftovers are pretty dreamy too, as all of those flavours have had time to mingle and get to know each other a little better. 

Now for the fun part.  Head on over to Pinterest and like or Pin (or both) this recipe on the Lentil Recipe Revelations Challenge Board.  Part of winning criteria is to have your recipe pinned and shared plenty.  So please, pin away this recipe like crazy.  I'd be ever so grateful!  xoxo Renee

Braised Lentils and Chickpeas with Kale & White Wine

3 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp sweet paprika
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth
2 1/2 cups cooked green lentils ***
2 cups cooked chickpeas or one 540 ml can, rinsed
3 sprigs fresh thyme
3 sprigs fresh rosemary
2 bunches of kale, centre rib removed, cut into 1 inch strips
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp maple syrup
Salt and pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Heat oil over medium high heat in a large skillet or braising pan.  Add the onion and saut√© for about 5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.  Stir in smoked and sweet paprika, stirring constantly for about 2 minutes.  Stir in the white wine and cook for 3 minutes, stirring up any brown bits that may be on the bottom.  Add the chicken stock, lentils, chickpeas and herbs.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer partially covered for 20 minutes.  Remove lid, stir in kale, cream, maple syrup and simmer for another 10 minutes uncovered.  Adjust seasonings with salt and pepper.  Squeeze juice of half a lemon over before serving on a bed of steamed brown rice.  Makes 4 servings.  

***  To cook green lentils, rinse and pick through 1 cup dried green lentils.  Add to a medium saucepan and cover with cold water.  Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes until tender.  Drain.  Use in recipe as stated above. 


  1. Is pinterest the only way to vote this year? I was perusing their website and couldn't "get" to the recipes this year. I don't do pinterest so I can't even browse the recipes this year. :( I love lentils!

  2. I love when you post non-sweets! I am not into sweets and cannot eat them for supper. ;) I actually tried to follow this recipe. Unfortunately didn't have kale or paprika or white wine so I ended up with red wine, some cayenne, and swiss chard. Just using up what I had around the kitchen and it turned out pretty good over brown rice. Thanks for the idea I wouldn't have thought to put lentils and chickpeas together in a non-curry format.

  3. Made this just today! Although I subbed garlic powder (my garlic had sprouted and I didn't realize) and just doubled up the smoked paprika instead of buying sweet. It's very good. I was nervous about the maple syrup, but it's not sweet in the dish and balances out the paprika.


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