After the smoothie, the next thing I made from my Whole Foods Market pantry staples was actually a dessert.  But I think I’d rather post this healthy, filling dinner first.  I used the lentils and a can of diced tomatoes from my pantry staples.  It certainly hit the spot during this cold, wintery time of year.  This meal definitely fulfilled my “eat more vegetables” mission.  And I loved that I was able to cook a healthy vegetable & lentil dish where the meat was more of an accent.  I was very worried about Nathan liking it.  When I told him dinner included lentils he said “Lentils, I’m not eating that.”  (He was kidding, for the most part.)  Which is why I changed the flavor profile entirely from the original recipe to a blend of spices I knew he would be more into.  During the meal he commented it was really good!

I was really excited that lentils were a part of the pantry staples I received from Whole Foods Market.  They are something I enjoy eating, but don’t cook often enough.  I’ve really only made this Curried Lentil Soup, Lentil & Couscous Salad, and Red Lentil Vegetable Soup in the past.  That’s my entire lentil repertoire.  So it makes me happy to add another staple dish into my lentil rotation.  The ingredients in this are very similar to the Red Lentil Vegetable Soup I love, but the curry, red pepper flakes, and chicken sausage make it a completely different meal.  It may be the post-holiday health kick, but I find it funny I’m posting a lentil recipe in January, which means now 3 out of 4 lentil dishes on my blog were posted in the month of January!  I hereby proclaim January “Lentil Month”, even if just on Erin’s Food Files.  😉

Sunday is the LAST day to enter my giveaway for a $50 Whole Foods Market gift card, so if you haven’t already, skeedaddle on over there and comment.  But it’s not too late to enter Whole Foods Market’s pantry staples giveaway, you have until January 31st to enter.  Just head on over to their blog for more info!


Indian Spiced Lentils with Chicken Sausage

Yield: 4 servings

I served mine with whole wheat pita bread, but naan would have been awesome as well. I enjoyed having something to "sop up" a bit of the small amount of liquid. Plus it tones down the heat for me, as I can't handle nearly as much heat as Nathan can.


1 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves of minced garlic
3 links fully cooked chicken sausage, sliced (such as Johnsonville Chicken Sausages, which I'm always seeing coupons for)
about 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper (I added nearly a full teaspoon because Nathan likes the heat)
1/2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
salt & pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry lentils
14oz can diced tomatoes
3/4 cup water
5 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped


Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5-8 minutes, until softened. Add garlic, chicken sausage, crushed red pepper, cumin, curry powder, salt & pepper and saute 1-2 minutes more. Add the lentils, canned tomatoes, and water, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 30 minutes. Add spinach and cook 10 minutes more, until spinach is wilted and lentils are tender.

heavily adapted from Cara's Cravings

*DISCLOSURE: Whole Foods Market – Franklin, TN provided me with my pantry staples in exchange for promoting their giveaway.  They also provided me with a $50 gift card to giveaway to one of my readers.*