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When I made this dish I originally had a run-of-the-mill stewed lentil thing in mind. Then I just let my imagination run wild, grabbing whatever sounded good from my fridge and pantry. With ingredients like pomegranate molasses, cumin, smoked paprika, and fresh mint, it ended up tasting like a Middle Eastern version of baked beans. Savory, smoky, and complex-flavored with an underlying hint of sweetness, the sauce is killer.
1. Heat the oil in a large lidded pot over medium-high heat; add the turkey and cook until starting to brown, about 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Add the stock, diced tomato, onion, carrot, celery, garlic, lentils, tomato paste, pomegranate molasses, cumin, paprika, salt, and pepper.
3. Bring up to a boil over high heat, then cover the pot, turn the heat down to simmer, and cook until the veggies and lentils are tender, about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally. (To let the dish thicken a bit, remove the lid during the last 10 minutes and cook uncovered.)
4. Turn off the heat and add in the pomegranate vinegar to taste (see note below).
5. Serve with the fresh mint sprinkled on top.
Pomegranate vinegar: A bit of acid (such as vinegar or lemon juice) really brightens up a slow-cooked dish like this. Add the vinegar 1 tablespoon at a time, since the total amount you use will depend on the particular brand’s level of sweet/tart flavor; I ended up using 4 tablespoons of a good-quality pomegranate vinegar. Pomegranate vinegar can be purchased at gourmet or specialty food stores; if you can’t find it, you can look for another mildly sweet, fruity vinegar to substitute. A good quality red wine vinegar will also work well in this dish.
Vegan option: Omit the smoked turkey and increase the smoked paprika to 2 teaspoons. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken.
Serving suggestion: We like to eat this dish with a kind of Middle Eastern flatbread called taboon; it’s quite similar to Indian naan, so this makes a good substitute if you can’t find taboon.
This is a stick-to-your-ribs, warm-you-up, side dish. This is not the conventional creamed spinach recipe that calls for tons of butter and cheese, it is low-fat and delicious. What is also great about this recipe is that it is a total “pantry” dish that is a quick go-to on a busy day.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!