I have a confession to make: I love leftovers! Absolutely love them. First of all, they allow me to get creative in the kitchen, which — you guessed it — I love. More than that, though, it’s great to know that I’m using up all of my food because ain’t nobody got time for wasted food.
So when I recently made Chicken Cacciatore and had leftover black beluga lentils and the delicious tomato-y sauce that the chicken was cooked in, I figured — ‘hey, I can make something DELICIOUS with that!’ Combined with a recent discovery of lentil loaf (thanks to my friend/master chef Pam), lentil muffins seemed like a natural choice.
Did I mention these are incredibly easy to make? And that you can cook up a whole batch and then freeze them for later use? Leftovers of leftovers? Getting crazy here!
Recipe: Italian Black Lentil Muffins
Black beluga lentils can be found at most grocery stores. They are full of protein and fiber as well as anthocyanins (powerful antioxidant compounds). Nutritional yeast lends a cheesy, savory flavor along with protein and B vitamins. Find it at Whole Foods or a health foods store.
- 3 cups cooked lentils (left over from the night before)
- 1 cup tomato-based sauce (also leftover from the night before)*
- If you don’t have leftover sauce, use either pre-made pasta sauce or whip up a quick batch: 1 can no salt added organic diced tomatoes, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves garlic – minced, 1 tablespoon dried basil, 1 teaspoon black pepper)
- 2 cups organic arugula
- Approximately 8 Kalamata olives, chopped
- 2 tablespoons juice from jarred Kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 egg
- pinch red pepper flakes (about 1/2 teaspoon or to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In large bowl, mix all ingredients
- Coat muffin pan (for one dozen) with cooking spray. Evenly distribute lentil mixture throughout pan
- Bake for 20-30 minutes (until top is crunchy)
*Please note that due to the use of leftover tomato sauce in which chicken was cooked, this recipe is NOT vegetarian. However, if you use pre-made pasta sauce or make your own, you can keep it vegetarian.
Enjoy warm or cold, over salad, with eggs or by themselves. These are delicious dipped in hummus as well!