Nitrogen fertilizers are a significant source of GHG emissions in agriculture. Pulse crops (which include lentils, peas and dried beans) have a famously small carbon footprint because they have the ability to convert nitrogen in the air into a form of nitrogen that plants can use. Pulse crops have a low water footprint and also produce compounds that feed soil microbes and benefit overall soil health.
Pretty much the ideal low-carbon food, lentils are good for you and the environment! Try out this Persian inspired lentil dish for a warming, satisfying fall meal!
- 2 cups red lentils (look for organic and buy in bulk when possible)
- 4 tbsp oil
- ½ yellow onion, finely diced (or substitute any kind of onion or shallots you have)
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 potato, peeled and finely diced
- 1 ¼ tsp curry powder
- 1 ½ tsp turmeric
- ¼ tsp chilli flakes
- ½ inch piece ginger, finely minced or grated
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ lemon, juiced
Serve with rice or flatbread.
Thoroughly rinse lentils, set aside.
In a large pot or dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onions and garlic and season with salt and pepper, and reduce heat to medium. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant.
Add potato and cook, continuing to stir occasionally, until fork-tender.
Add curry, turmeric, chilli flakes, and ginger and stir, cooking for 30 seconds. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, until everything darkens in colour, 1-2 minutes.
Add lentils and 4 cups of water or vegetable stock, stir to combine, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook covered with lid slightly ajar for 10-20 minutes, or until lentils and potato are cooked to desired tenderness.
Stir in lemon juice, taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
Serve and enjoy!