Vegan Lentils with Soy Chorizo, Orange Tomato, Caramelized Onion, and Kale

Yield: 4 servings

So simple, so satisfying, so colorful, and so nutritious…this dish is fabulously tasty warm, room temperature or even chilled.

I use Trader Joe’s brand soy chorizo and it is mighty spicy.  I find that the sweetness of the tomato helps temper the heat of the chorizo, as does this particular selection and proportion of additional ingredients.

Though it doesn’t need it for flavor, I top the mixture with a little cashew cream for color contrast and sprinkle with just a few roasted and lightly salted pepitas (also from Trader Joe’s) for texture contrast.

It’s the ultimate one-dish wonder!


3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium yellow onion, halved and slivered

Pinch sea salt

1-2 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon natural sugar

1-12 ounce package Soy Chorizo (I like Trader Joe’s brand)

4 lightly packed cups chopped fresh kale

Approximately 18 ounces steamed lentils (I purchase Trader Joe’s in the produce department)

1 fresh very large orange tomato or 2 medium, cut into 1/4-inch dice (any color will do; I just think orange is especially pretty in this dish)

Juice of one medium  lime

Optional garnish: cashew cream and roasted and lightly salted pepitas

In a large cast iron skillet over medium high, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil.  Add onion and caramelize, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes.  After about 5 minutes, add water and natural sugar.  Reduce heat if necessary to prevent scorching, but you want the onions to be a deep golden brown.  Transfer onions to a medium bowl.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil, break up chorizo into the skillet and saute until lightly browned and heated through.  Add kale, and continue sauteing just until kale is almost tender; it should still be bright green.  Add lentils and continue cooking until kale is tender and lentils are heated through.  Transfer to bowl with onions, add tomato, sprinkle with lime juice, and toss all together.

Serve warm, room temperature or chilled with a dollop of cashew cream and a sprinkling of pepitas.

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