With the weather bouncing back and forth between warm and cool, I’m taking advantage of the cooler days to use the oven before it really warms up around here. Not that it ever gets that hot in Northern California, I just don’t use the oven much in the summertime. Until then, I’m enjoying these mini savory lentil cupcakes (I’ve also made normal lentil loaves with a regular square pan, if you’re over the whole cupcake thing).
I’ve come a long way with lentils. In the past, I didn’t care much for the little guys, but now, I’m liking them more and more. I haven’t advanced to cooking them myself just yet, so I’ve been using the Trader Joe’s Steamed Lentils for a fairly easy recipe.
The hardest part is mashing the lentils as I don’t have a masher and had been using a dinner fork which wasn’t quite doing the job. Frustrated, I squeeze the bejesus out of those little lentils beans with my bare hands and that actually worked out great.
Mini Savory Lentil Cupcakes
Makes 12 cupcakes
1 small leek, white and some of the green part, chopped
4 fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cups cooked and seasoned lentils
1/8 cup walnuts or almonds, crushed
1/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small carrot, chopped
1/2 cup petite peas (fresh or frozen)
1/2 cup white corn kernels (fresh or frozen)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Heat a wok or sauté pan to hot, add the oil and swirl to coat the wok. Add the leeks and cook until translucent then add the mushrooms. Stir-fry until cooked and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, mash the lentils. Add in the nuts, breadcrumbs, tomato paste and vegetables. Mix well.
In a well-oiled muffin pan, portion out the lentil mixture and pack into the pan, tightly pressing into the bottom. Top with ketchup. Bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until browned and pulling away from the edges. Allow to cool completely before removing from the pan.
While the lentil cupcakes are baking, make the optional mashed potatoes beet frosting. Just add a small beet to your favorite mashed potato or caulipots recipe. Pipe on the mashed potatoes and sprinkle with crushed kale chips.