Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

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maple baked lentils 9961 thumb   Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

Oh, January. Your detoxes, cleanses, juice fasts, diet commercials, and cellulite cream jeans are starting to get on my nerves. Just so you know I’m tuning you out, so don’t bother trying to lure me in with 6 easy payments or strict diet plans. It’s just not my thing. My approach to January – or any other month for that matter – is to eat food that makes me feel good and less of what doesn’t. But this approach doesn’t really sell, does it?

Soup, chili, and casseroles – these are the warm, comfort foods on my mind most days. Today, I’m sharing my take on maple baked beans, using hearty, chewy lentils for a fun twist. Lentils may seem boring to many, but I find them just the opposite. Their subtle flavour can blend into just about any vegan dish. Much like tofu, lentils are a great canvas for many different flavours, spices, and cuisines. I even adore them plain with a dusting of Herbamare and splash of vinegar. It’s a rather homely snack, but I’d devour the entire bowl before noticing.

Adding more fuel to my lentil loving fire – Canada is the world’s largest producer of lentils. It’s in my blood, eh? Their relative proximity, along with being a super cheap protein source, make them a regular staple in my diet. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they are nutritional powerhouses too. One cooked cup provides around 17.86 grams of protein, 6.5 mg iron, and 15.64 grams of fibre (source) making it a stick-to-your-ribs plant food that can go the distance. Pair them with Vitamin C rich sweet potato and you’ll boost your iron absorption even more.

maple baked lentils 9966 thumb   Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato

A bit of apple cider vinegar rounds out the sweetness of the dish and I encourage you to adjust the amounts to your own taste as you may like more or less pop from the vinegar. Serve this over some toasted bread, or even with a salad, and you have yourself a budget-friendly vegan meal during the peak of winter. To save on cook time, make the lentils beforehand and simply mix everything together and pop into the oven.

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Yield: 4-6 servings

2 cups dry green lentils
1 sweet onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 sweet apple, peeled and diced (I used Gala)
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced small*
14-oz can diced tomatoes (about 1.5 cups)
2.5 tbsp pure maple syrup
2 tbsp blackstrap molasses
2 tsp regular mustard
1/2-1 tsp fine grain sea salt + ground pepper, to taste
1-2.5 tbsp apple cider vinegar, to taste

1. Rinse and drain lentils. In a large oven-safe pot or Dutch oven*, add lentils along with 4 cups of water. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low-medium and simmer for about 30 minutes, uncovered, stirring often. Add more water if necessary. Lentils are ready when they are just tender (but not mushy) and most of the water is absorbed.

2. Preheat oven to 375F. Add onion, garlic, apple, sweet potato, tomatoes (with juice), maple syrup, blackstrap molasses, mustard, salt, and pepper to the pot with the lentils. Stir well to combine. Add half of the apple cider vinegar (you’ll add the rest later if desired).

3. Cover with lid (or tin foil in a pinch) and bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, uncover, and stir. Bake for another 8-12 minutes, uncovered, until the sweet potato is tender. Stir in the rest of the apple cider vinegar if desired and season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

4. Serve over toasted bread or with a salad.

Nutritional Info (without bun): based on six and four servings.

Notes: If you don’t have an oven-safe pot or Dutch oven, simply transfer the mixture into a casserole dish and cover with tin foil before baking. 2) Dice the sweet potato small to decrease cook time.

maple baked lentils 9957 thumb   Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

What are your favourite vegan comfort foods?

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{ 243 comments… read them below or add one }

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar January 18, 2013

What a fabulous meal! Yum!

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lea January 18, 2013

Right now…..my go to favourite comfort food can be found right here on OSG…..Glazed Lentil Walnut Apple Loaf revisited……..

http://ohsheglows.com/2012/10/05/glazed-lentil-walnut-apple-loaf-revisited/

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Naomi January 18, 2013

I think the molasses is the brilliant addition in this dish… can we say yummy?? Thanks for posting this… I’ve been looking for some creative lentil dishes.

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Ali January 18, 2013

I agree, cleanses are too extreme for me! I think we need a less drastic and more wholesome approach to food overall. All things on moderation. :)

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Conveniently Natural January 18, 2013

Sounds and looks delicious, thanks for sharing this recipe!

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Nicole January 18, 2013

I’m more interested in the bread! It looks delicious!

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Kerry January 18, 2013

This looks like the perfect comfort food! It combines two of my favorites – lentils and sweet potatoes, so I know I’m going to love it! Another favorite is oatmeal or quinoa porridge. I would be happy eating it for every meal!

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a farmer in the dell January 18, 2013

No juice cleanses happening over here! this sounds delicious Angela. Love the combo of sweet taters and lentils!

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Lacey January 18, 2013

Did you sneak into my kitchen and make a meal of all that remains of my food this week? Because I totally have everything to make this even though I’m running low on food!
Thanks for the recipe, can’t wait to try it!

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Teresa January 18, 2013

Angela, just had to pop in here and thank you for this recipe.
These are two of my favorite foods – not just because they taste so yummy, but also because lentils and sweet potatoes are such rib-stickers. They really help satisfy – great combo choice! Can’t wait to try it.

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Johanna January 18, 2013

The lentils look good… but OH MY GOD that bread– I want that bread!

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kat January 18, 2013

Could I make this with French Lentils? Would it make any dfference?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2013

Those are the smaller black lentils right? I’m not sure….is their flavour very similar? I think they are generally firmer so the dish would have more chew to it.

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Mary January 18, 2013

This looks wonderful. Have all the makings for this….looks like dinner to me!!

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Julia January 18, 2013

You are very good at what you do :) I love dropping in and finding a recipe that’s both exciting and easy to whip up. Thanks much!!

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Danielle January 18, 2013

I made this today it was Delicious. ( I used fancy molasses, it was all I had), this was very simple and easy to make.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 18, 2013

Thanks for reporting back Danielle! Glad you enjoyed it.

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Andrea @ Vegvacious January 18, 2013

I am so excited to have all of the ingredients for this recipe! The flavour combo sounds amazing — totally Canadian and perfect for winter!!

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Mélanie January 18, 2013

I will forever be grateful to my sister for referring me to your site a couple of weeks ago. Your recipe’s are amazing. My boyfriend and I have decided to transition to Vegan and so far none of your recipe’s have failed they are all amazing! Thank you for making our transition so pleasant with great food!
So far would have to say my comfort one is your mushroom gravy…. i was eating it with the ‘miam miam miam’ sounds coming out! My boyfriend thought I was crazy but it was just too good! Had mine with rice but will try it with the millet.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 21, 2013

Hey Mélanie! Thank you so much for your kind words – I`m so happy to hear you are enjoying the recipes! Thanks for reading

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Aimee January 18, 2013

I aspire to take food photos as you do! Congrats on your smoothie book. Very exciting! xo
Aimee

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Jackie January 18, 2013

This looks SO GOOD! gluten free too, right?

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Marianka January 18, 2013

I’m trying to use healthy weight loss diet as much as I can so your recipie is perfect, looks so tasty! thank You:)

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Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat January 18, 2013

More of what feels good and less of what doesn’t –> TOTALLY agree Ange! And I’m also with you on the lentils. I recently made a lentil-based dinner that was totally delicious, and provided the photos actually look half decent on my camera when I transfer them to my computer, it just might be Wednesday’s recipe of the week! Your recipe sounds amazing!

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Anne Marie January 18, 2013

I am on my way home from work on the Metro and was JUST thinking of what new recipe I was going to try this weekend when I refreshed your website on my phone and literally shouted, “OH MY GOSH!!!” out loud on the train. Haha so needless to say I am pretty excited to make this. :)

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Johanna January 18, 2013

I’m in the OMG camp….my kitchen smells great, and, yes, in a baked bean kind of way. I’m going to put it over linguine (more for my guest than for myself). Thank you!!!!

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin January 18, 2013

This looks amazing! Also where did you get the bread? I love how seedy and grainy it looks.

My favourite vegan comfort foods are chili, sweet potato & black bean soup, and ratatouille with tempeh.

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Jannine Murray January 18, 2013

Great site here!! I have heard about you from some of my clients and now I see why you are well loved:) I’m totally making this for dinner, yum!

Jannine

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lysette January 18, 2013

Pinto beans mashed up with avocado and salsa then scooped out with slices of roasted squash is one of my favorite stick to my ribs quick meals.
Also brown rice, avocado and tomato with salt and pepper. We need heartier meals in this Northern winter, save the salads and juices for spring!
Can’t wait for your cookbook!

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Shira January 18, 2013

Gorgeous recipe Angela! I am with you and adore lentils for their amazing versatility. Crazy that Canada does produce so many lentils, even crazier that we export the vast majority to the middle east! Have you ever found a source for buying Canadian lentils? I’d love to get my hands on some!

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Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl January 18, 2013

This recipe combines three of my favorite foods: lentils, sweet potatoes, and apples. It absolutely has to be a winner! :)

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Luv What You Do January 18, 2013

That recipe is so up my alley! I can’t wait to dig in and feel the comfort!

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jodye @ chocolate & chou fleur January 18, 2013

This dish looks amazing! I’m such a fan of all of the star ingredients, so I couldn’t possibly go wrong! Thanks for the great recipe!

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Butterfingers January 18, 2013

Do you this would work with other, say red lentils?
I’d really love to try this recipie…anything with sweet potato is a winner n my books :)

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Addy @ Six-Kick Switch January 18, 2013

Angela, I made your Maple Baked Beans soooo many times last year and they were delicious! I’m so glad to see a new recipe with (it looks like) a similar flavor palate…I’m looking forward to making this!

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Vegan Radhika Sarohia January 19, 2013

This looks delicious, vegan soups in cold weather are so awesome
I need to buy some more of the Blackstrap Molasses and then make this, I have a huge butternut squash waiting to be attacked in the kitchen :-D

My favourite vegan comfort foods are multiple! haha
I like salads on hot days, recently gotten into making huge leafy green plates with dandelion greens, endive, watercress, spinach, kale etc
And then vegan vanilla lattes with dried fruit and nuts is my favourite comfort snack
I also learned to make turnip fries and butternut squash chips, I make a low-fat vegan pesto to go with those with some chopped tomato on top
One of my favourite salty snack comfort foods is roasted seeds from all the squash I buy. I just roast them on the skillet/stove-top with salt and garlic powder and then eat them like I used to eat potato chips and Cheetos [I used to love Cheetos. I wish there was vegan Cheetos haha]

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Vegan Radhika Sarohia January 19, 2013

^ I wish there WERE vegan Cheetos I meant…

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Johanna January 19, 2013

I’m going to turn the leftovers into a burger.

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Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers January 19, 2013

Yum!! What a great dish and the bread with it makes me want it all the more!! Beautiful photos!

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Anita Stephenson January 19, 2013

Thanks Angela for the great recipe. I have to say thank you also for the very helpful nutritional info!! I haven’t noticed it before, but wanted to say how wonderful it is to see…very important info if you happen to be a diabetic. You are amazing!!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 21, 2013

I`m glad you find it helpful…I hope to keep posted it for those who need it.

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Amanda January 19, 2013

I made this for dinner last night right after I saw the post. We loved this dish! The lentils were extremely flavorful and the little bit of broth that was created by the tomato juice was delicious when soaked up with a bun. I will make this again for sure. Thank you!

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kimmythevegan January 19, 2013

This looks *so* good. I can’t wait to make it.
Mmmm maple syrup =)

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Dayna January 19, 2013

I wish your approach worked… people would be a lot happier, I’d imagine!! Unfortunately, instead of listening to their bodies, most people are trained that some highly-calculated, expensive approach sold off of a t.v. will make them happy and healthy!

Anyways, this recipe is totally getting pinned to my health/food board. Hearty food is just what I need right now with the cold Kansas City weather!!

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Lauren January 19, 2013

Yum Angela! Definitely making this tonight ;) I have a random question and I couldn’t find your email to ask you directly… What is the website that you recommend to get bulk from? I know you’ve mentioned it before but I can’t find it. Specifically bulk chia. Thanks for being so amazing!!

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