Lentils take less time to cook than other dried beans and therefore make a fine candidate for the slow cooker. They are, however, bland, so it is your job to doctor them up with smoked sausage, cumin, a cinnamon stick, and so on. Then, when this heady stew emerges from the cooker, the lentils will have taken on an exotic new flavor. An added benefit of the slow cooker is that you arrive home from a long day to find dinner waiting and your kitchen fragrant. That's something you will never get from a zapped frozen dinner.
1 medium-size onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (14.5 ounces ) can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped pre-peeled baby carrots
4 cups canned low-sodium chicken broth or water
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 bay leaf
1 cinnamon stick (about 3-inches)
1/2 pound reduced-fat smoked pork or beef sausage, cut into 2-inch pieces
Ease of Preparation: Easy
Preparation Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 8 hr
Recipe By: Anne Byrn
From: The Dinner Doctor
Used with permission of Workman Publishing Company
Chicken broth gives this recipe more body than mere water, so even if you don't have the full four cups, add as much as you can and make up the difference with water.
You can omit the sausage or add a cup of chopped cooked ham instead.