Maple Baked Lentils with Sweet Potato – Healthy Comfort Food

244 comments

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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{ 244 comments… read them below or add one }

Weezie January 19, 2013

Hi Angela!

Should the diced tomatoes be drained?

Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 21, 2013

Nope – it says in the directions to add the juice along with the tomatoes. Hope this helps!

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Gwen January 19, 2013

Made this today it’s yummy! Had to bake it twice as long as the recipe states to get the sweet potatoes soft. Delish!!!

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Dana January 19, 2013

This looks aaaammmmmazing!! Getting my ingredients and making this ASAP

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LD January 20, 2013

Hello, I have purchased dry green lentils to make this dish, the packet says I need to soak them for 12 hours or overnight, but your recipe says to just simmer them for 30mins. Do I still need to soak them prior to making this? Thanks.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 21, 2013

Generally lentils do not need to be soaked before hand, although you are welcome to if you`d like!

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Alex @ Raw Recovery January 20, 2013

To me this looks like it would make a great breakfast burrito, with a good mixture of carbs and protein. Oh please bring on the healthy comfort food dishes!! I’ll start a fan club for you :) Have a great Sunday, Angela!

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Anna January 20, 2013

So, I made this up and then proceeded to eat it by my self for lunch and dinner two days in a row. We were sitting at McDonald’s where the rest of my family was having their dinner and I said hurry up and finish your meal so I can go home and eat my lentils!!! A recipe I will definitely be making again, thank you!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 21, 2013

hah that`s awesome :)

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Jennifer January 20, 2013

Hi Angela! I’m a long time follower, and first time commenter. You have essentially taught me to cook with your excellent recipes, so thank you for teaching me that there is no bad vegetable, just lots of badly cooked veggies. Anyway, I’ve recently found out that I am sensitive to dairy, eggs, peanuts, and mustard. This recipe looks fabulous, but what would you recommend as a substitute for the mustard? Or, do you think it would be delicious without it? Also, what substitution do you think would work for your cheeze sauce (since I’m sure cheese will be the hardest part of this)? Thanks for your advice, and I can’t wait for your cookbook.

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KelseyB January 20, 2013

Just made this tonight and it was AWESOME. Seriously delicious and wonderful comfort food for a cozy Sunday indoors. Thanks so much for posting such wonderful recipes.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 21, 2013

so glad to hear that Kelsey!

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Alicia @bakeaholic January 20, 2013

This looks delicious! I am currently loving veggie chili with pumpkin puree!

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Kristen January 20, 2013

Made this tonight but subbed in some butternut squash instead of sweet potatoes because that is what I had. Cooking time increased quite a bit but it turned out amazing! Thanksagain!!

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Paula January 21, 2013

Looks amazing! I will definitely try it!

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Essebella January 21, 2013

This was truly scrumptious to have on a Sunday evening snowed in in London. Really easy too – looking forward to seconds tonight!

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Wei Jun January 21, 2013

This is absolutely the kind of recipe I hope you’d keep posting more frequently!!!

Simple, easily accessed ingredient, uncomplicated cooking method, healthy and tasty.

I really look forward to making it and for more of such posts to appear on this blog!

Just a feedback and suggestion though, no pressure :)

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Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets January 21, 2013

This looks so delicious and satisfying. I love it and can’t wait to make it. I’m pinning this one for sure.

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Jessi January 21, 2013

This looks so yummy, I will be trying it ASAP. I hear you on the juice cleanse. I love juice, I am a huge supporter of it, and I drink one everyday, but spring is a much better time of year to cleanse. I actually tried to host a January cleanse, just to try to get people on board with juice and healthy eating, but we had to postpone it (luckily!) until March. Root veggies, and warm spices are perfect for this time of year! Super warming and awesomely delicious. And right in tune with nature :)

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Emma January 21, 2013

Made a double batch of this last night for my college house. SO SO good. We didn’t have molasses so we just added more maple syrup, and it still turned out great! We also added some cinnamon and nutmeg, which really took it to the next level.

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Dee January 21, 2013

Fantastic recipe! I didn’t have sweet potato in the house, and didn’t want to venture out in the snow, so I subbed about 1/3 of a large rutabaga. (Seriously, I can’t get enough rutabaga lately! I just recently discovered it, and can’t believe I went so long without it!) Added about 1/4 tsp of cayenne, but otherwise stuck true to the recipe. Once cooled down for a few minutes I wrapped in some lettuce and ate up!

Your website is fantastic, and I really appreciate what you do for us! I am trying to switch from a vegetarian to vegan diet, and your website provides so much inspiration. Thank you.

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ELLE B January 21, 2013

oooh… i have never tried a rutabaga! what do you normally use it for? can you eat it cooked or raw? any recipe or suggestions for how to use it? thanks!

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Dee January 22, 2013

I have never eaten rutabaga raw, but it looks like you can based off of a google search. My favorite way to eat it is cubed up tossed with a little olive oil, salt, pepper and onions, and then roasted at 425F until cooked through, kind of like you would make roasted potatoes. It’s sweeter than a white potato, but kind of has the hint of a brussel sprout flavor in the background. Next I think I will try it whipped up like mashed potatoes!

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Tasha January 21, 2013

I’m thankful for coming across your blog. I am slowly but faster transitioning to a vegan diet for health reasons-nothing as of yet but a strong family history of cardiovascular disease. With so many resources available, it was rather overwhelming but then found your blog on a random google search for a vegan lunch ideas only to find that you started the new year talking about your transition. Thank you!!

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ELLE B January 21, 2013

hi! first time commenter here, but i love love love you and your website. thank you for everything you do!

i made this recipe tonight, but something was off for me… i thought maybe it was the vinegar in the recipe, but now i am thinking it is the apple & vinegar combo. (i made sauerkraut with apples a few weeks ago, and that recipe had the same taste…) anyway, i added some cinnamon, and it seemed to help by cutting out the weird sour flavor! any other ideas or suggestions?? can i ask why you added the vinegar/what the purpose of that ingredient is? i am not complaining at all! i love your recipes, it might just be my personal taste like i said. next time i might leave out the apple and see what that does to the flavor…maybe i just don’t like baked apples in savory dishes!

either way, thanks for everything you are and everything you do. you’re an inspiration <3

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 22, 2013

Hi Elle, Thanks for your feedback! It could’ve been the ACV that threw you off, I added it to add some brightness to the dish. I love a bit of vinegar to round out the sweetness of the other flavours. Glad that your tweaks improved the flavour to you! I will have to try it with cinnamon next time.

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Lily - Lirio Style January 22, 2013

Hi Angela – I’m a long time reader but don’t comment too often. I love lentils (and bread) – haven’t cooked lentils in a while, its time to try this recipe soon! :)

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 22, 2013

Hi Lily, Thanks for your comment! Hope you enjoy the recipe :)

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Bonnie January 22, 2013

can’t find the lentil recipe when i click on it/ please help me learn to navigate this new confusing format thx

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 22, 2013

Hi Bonnie, I’m sorry we had a technical issue last night – the site should be back to normal now!

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Sarah January 22, 2013

I’m not even finished cooking this and I already love it!

I live overseas without an oven so I made this recipe on the stove top. Instead of throwing everything into the pot and baking it, I blended the onions, garlic, molasses, syrup, apple cider vinegar, and some cooked butternut squash in a blender.

Oh man, SO GOOD.

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Erin January 22, 2013

I am just curious… the sweet potato looks so orange in the pics… is there a specific type of sweet potato that you use?

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allison January 22, 2013

i made this in the crockpot and it was meh. Really not impressed. Just seemed blah. But I know it’s good for me so I ate it. Probably better in the oven. Lentils and some potatoes seemed crunchy still after 10 hours of cooking…

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Angela January 22, 2013

I made this recipe last night and adored it! (except that I had mommy brain when I read the temperature and tried to cook it at 325 so it took closer to an hour OOPS)
I went Vegan about 2 weeks ago and am living off your blog :)
My husband loves meat so I am simply cooking him meatless Mondays and Fish Fridays to try and reduce his intake. He enjoyed the flavor of this meal but apparently hates the texture of Lentils….WHO KNEW!?
My question is what bean would you use to get this closer to the texture of canned maple beans so I can try it on him next time?
How did you convince Erik to join you in this journey towards a vegan lifestyle? I get alot eye rolling from mine. :P

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Ann January 22, 2013

Hi Angela,
I just came across your blog and am really liking what I see :) I was wondering – what would you replace lentils with? I have IBS and my intestines are at war with various foods. I love lentils but…. my body doesn’t! I’d love to try this recipe but can’t think of what to replace the lentils with!

A

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Katie January 22, 2013

I skimmed through the comments to see if anyone had asked this yet, and didn’t see anything so..The mustard- just regular yellow mustard?

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 22, 2013

yup just regular :) although Dijon might be nice too…

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Tania @ Run To Radiance January 22, 2013

Oh my gosh!!! This looks amazing…seriously- stomach is growling. I am loving maple syrup in everything lately…kind of like Elf. ;-/

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Lisa January 22, 2013

All favorites of mine! And I have to be honest, beautiful grainy bread like that makes the world a better place!

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Jessie January 22, 2013

Hi Angela,

This looks amazing and I can’t wait to try it! I read you bought this bread a a bakery… WHICH ONE? I live in Toronto and am willing to travel for bread that looks this yummy!

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Britt Avery January 22, 2013

Since becoming vegan, this is the first dish my husband and I didnt like. BUT, that is not to say others wont! I think I should have added more maple syrup because the apple cider vin was a little too much for my taste. Also, when Angela says that cutting the potatoes smalled to shorten cook time, she means it! Mine were diced about 1/2 in and they were still hard after the recc. cook time. I think the flavors were there, but just some feed back which I know I appreciate. I think I’ll take a whack at it again sometime.

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Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning January 22, 2013

“snobby joes” (vegan sloppy joes) are probably my favorite comfort food. I could eat them every night- especially when it’s SO cold out like it’s been lately!!
Sorry if someone already asked this- but could you use red lentils? And just cook them for a shorter amount of time?(I’m only asking because I have some in my pantry and want to make this asap!)

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Becky January 22, 2013

I can’t wait to make this! If I’m using lentils that are already fully cooked, how much should I use? Thanks!

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 23, 2013

I think 1 cup dry lentils makes about 2-2.5 cups, so I would say you’d need 4-5 cups cooked. enjoy!

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Misti Stephens January 22, 2013

I made this tonight and it was amazing! I always thought I was a good cook, but I had no idea what I was missing until my fiance and I began eating plant based. I was overrelying on cheese and other dairy products, and completely missing out on amazing flavors like these. Such a great recipe that we will certainly make again.

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india January 22, 2013

This is the most impressive and delicious meal I have made. This website has been very helpful in teaching me to cook vegan. Thank you!

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Caddie January 23, 2013

Lol “cellulite cream jeans”! This looks scrumptious, will definitely add to my to do list! :)

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Natalie @ FreshLifeFindings January 23, 2013

Yum! These looks amazing! I’ve never mixed sweet potatos & lentils so I need to try this mix :)

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Eloïse January 23, 2013

I wanted to like this so much cause the pictures are so pretty and it looks delicious, but I was disappointed. I have to say I used agave sirop cause I didn’t have maple sirop.. And it turned out way to sweet. I also used half of the vinaigre put it was still to much to my taste… And jeez it took forever to cook! But on a positive note, my meat lover hubby liked it! Might have to try this again with maple and less vinaigre see if I like it better.. It did smell fantastic tho!

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Eloïse January 23, 2013

I realize I did not use enough lentils cause they were already cooked.. Hat might explain why it was to sweet and to much vinaiger… I use one can and should have used 2… Will have to try this again!

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Elizabeth January 23, 2013

I made this last night and just ate it for lunch with a flax lavash wrap and chopped up cukes. It was good, maybe not great, but good and hearty and easy. My sweet potatoes did not cook in the allotted time so I had to microwave them at the office today before eating them. Feeling full and healthy!

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Wendy January 23, 2013

This looks amazing and I plan on making it this week. What is “regular” mustard… The yellow stuff? I am not a fan of that kind.

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Angela (Oh She Glows) January 23, 2013

yup

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