As many of you probably know, February is Go Red for Women time. Red Gold Tomatoes reached out to me to come up with a healthy recipe using their products, which is awesome! Heart disease is still the number one killer of women in the United States, and just overall a really serious and unpleasant situation. However, eating right and getting exercise can help ward it off. So I designed a vegan recipe with LOTS of flavor and lots of nutritional value using Red Gold products. Red Gold, based out of Indiana, has been producing tomato products since 1942 and their company participated in Wear Red this month, so they really practice what they preach!
What I came up with was a blend of sage spiced quinoa and black beluga lentils with a tomato sauce filled with lots of garlic (prevents heart disease!!) and herbs, topped with a basil and celery leaf blend. This is super low calorie, very pretty, and has a nice earthy flavor. Combining the lentils and the quinoa makes this an incredible source of protein and a great meal for people who are doing a lot of working out. It is also gluten-free, so any of you that suffer from celiac or gluten intolerance that have a yen for spaghetti, this is a great option.
I used black beluga lentils because they are my super favorite. They are an heirloom variety and are so named because when you get them wet or toss them in oil, they look like beluga caviar!
They also just stand up really well to cooking and have a thicker consistency than say a red lentil or green lentil – they don’t turn to paste if you cook them right and are more “beany” than mushy.
Thanks to Red Gold Tomatoes for sending me the product – the flavors are spectacular!
Quinoa & Lentil Marinara
1 C quinoa, rinsed & cooked to package directions
1 C black beluga lentils (or other varieties if you can’t find them)
1 tsp rubbed sage
2 or 3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 yellow onion, small dice
2 celery stalks, small dice
1 T tomato paste
1 can Red Gold Diced Tomatoes, Oregano Basil & Garlic Flavor
1 can Red Gold Tomato Sauce
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 T fresh oregano leaves
2 T fresh basil, chiffonade, plus more for garnish
Chopped celery leaves for garnish
Toss the cooked quinoa with some olive oil, a little salt, and the rubbed sage. Set aside & keep warm.
In a pot, warm 1 T of olive oil. Toss in the lentils and stir. Add 4 cups of water and bring to a simmer. Cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes, or until desired consistency. (I like them a little past al dente). Drain and set aside.
While the lentils are cooking, warm another couple of tablespoons of olive oil in a sauce pan. Add the onions, garlic, and celery and sweat (meaning, cook but don’t brown them) for about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and saute about 1 minute. Add in the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, paprika, basil, and oregano. Let simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Season to taste. Serve on top of a bed of quinoa and lentils, topped with more basil and celery leaves.