Vegan BBQ Lentils with Millet Polenta

illuminati lentils // via @thefirstmess

kitchen vibes // via @thefirstmess

shredding shallots // via @thefirstmess

Mark’s and my favourite kind of food to eat is somewhat sloppy stuff on top of starch, and dang if I’m not willing to provide at least that. Curries, pasta, veg ragout/beans on toast, Moroccan-style tagines with couscous and the like eaten out of a big bowl while we catch up on our stories is how the dinner bell rings most nights. Sweatpants, hair up, dog whining for a few scraps, and any number of variations on the rhetorical “This is good, right?” It makes me happier than a beautifully set table ever could.

I unabashedly love baked beans. From scratch, canned, doesn’t matter. When Kristy from Keepin’ It Kind sent me her new cookbook But I Could Never Go Vegan!, my eyes went right to her maple-baked beans + cornbread dish. Deep comfort in a tidy package. But I didn’t have beans and I had used up all of my cornmeal trying to develop a recipe for my own book, so I had to get creative. Having seen a baked beans approach to lentils from another cooking site that I love, and knowing that millet ground for porridge is very corn/polenta-like, I sort of stumbled into a solution. I like Kristy’s book because, in a very fun way, it’s structured around the idea of “no excuses.” She makes brilliant nut-based versions of cheeses to satiate dairy cravings and thoughtful hearty mains to nip the “rabbit food” criticism in the bud.

This dish, with flavours inspired by her recipe, was so cozy and light at the same time. Once the lentils are cooked, it comes together pretty fast too. I’ve been making homemade barbecue sauce since I learned how to cook and I always find it a satisfying process. The recipe I’ve offered here is my go-to quick and dirty version that’s perfect for this little bowl, but it’s also nice for grilled portobellos, crispy tempeh slices, roasted sweet potato wedges etc.

#vegan bbq lentils with millet

#vegan bbq lentils with millet

But I Could Never go Vegan! by Kristy Turner

#vegan bbq lentils with millet

vegan BBQ lentils with millet polenta recipe
print the recipe here!
inspired by Kristy Turner’s maple-baked beans in But I Could Never Go Vegan! // millet polenta technique from Erin Alderson‘s The Homemade Flour Cookbook
serves: 2-3
notes: I cook lentils like pasta. Tons of water in the pot and I just keep checking for doneness. Also, with the liquid components of this barbecue sauce, I like to blend them up for total smoothness prior to adding them to the pot, but this is an optional step. A good thing to note as well: I’ve made this sauce with less than half of the specified maple syrup amount, and loved it just the same. If you’re less excited about the play of sweet flavours in a sauce, you can certainly use less.

quick + dirty vegan barbecue sauce ingredients:
1 tsp olive oil
1 small shallot, peeled + grated on a box grater
1 clove of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp mustard powder
1 tsp chili powder
1 1/2 cups jarred tomato sauce
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari
salt + pepper to taste

everything else:
1 1/4 cups cooked french or black lentils
2 tsp olive oil
1 small cooking onion, small dice
salt + pepper
3 cups vegetable stock
1 cup raw millet, ground into flour/meal
handful of flat leaf parsley, rough chopped
couple stalks of celery, small diced with inner leaves if possible

Make the barbecue sauce. Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the grated shallot and minced garlic to the pan and sauté, stirring frequently, until soft. About 3 minutes. Add the smoked paprika, mustard powder, and chili powder to the pot and stir for 20 seconds or so. Add the tomato sauce, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, and tamari to the pot and stir. Bring the barbecue sauce to a boil and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of sauce for this dish and store the rest covered in your refrigerator.

Combine the cooked lentils and 1 cup of barbecue sauce in a small saucepan and keep very warm. Add a fat pinch of salt and pepper if you like.

Make the polenta. In a medium saucepan/small soup pot, heat the 2 teaspoons of olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté, stirring frequently, until translucent and soft. About 5-7 minutes. Add the vegetable stock to the pot along with a heavy pinch of salt. Bring the stock to a boil and then slowly sprinkle in the ground millet flour while whisking. Keep whisking the ground millet and stock until you have a thick, cooked polenta-like mixture. Remove it from the heat and divide the polenta among two large-ish bowls. Top the polenta with the warm vegan BBQ lentils. In a small bowl, quickly toss the parsley leaves and celery together with some olive oil, salt and pepper. Divide the little salad amongst the two plates and serve.

Show Hide 111 comments

  • valentina | sweet kabocha

    Relationship is often a hard work to do everyday. At the moment mine goes well but my boyfriend work from home, I study from home, we still live with our mums – although I spend half week by him – and I know that our life will be different soon. We’ll go live together, he’ll probably have an office-job and I’ll start to work too. And life will be harder and will makes us more vulnerable.
    By the way, this plate is just perfect for me : mushy and comforting! I want to try it before spring blooms ^_^

  • Jo Busck

    Hi, this looks fabulous. Can I check please, when you say tomato sauce, do you mean ketchup? Or can I use passata? Or do you have your own recipe for this tomato sauce part? Thank you! JoReply

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Jo, I mean tomato sauce as in marinara or what you would put on pasta. I just use a jarred brand (like this one) that I keep on hand 🙂

  • Liz S.

    One habit I would like to work on for spring = I have a bad habit of not eating enough for my activity level. I need to work on getting adequate nourishment.Reply

  • Anna

    this looks scrumptious!! I really need to try it 🙂

  • Courtney

    I would like to work on being more mindful when I eat. And not only when I eat, but more mindful of my hunger cues and not eating “just because”–only when I am hungry.Reply

  • Maggie @ Veg Fiend

    Beautifully written thoughts on your relationship. I can really relate. This spring, I’d like to work on being more go-with-the-flow. I can be rather uptight and rigid with sudden changes of plans.Reply

  • betsy

    What I want to work on this spring is from, responding with kindness. Kindness, open hand, listen, from the heart, honest. A choice, kindness.Reply

  • Jessica @ BAKECETERA

    What a creative take on polenta – I love the idea! The spring I really want to cut down on desserts… having a treat now and again is great, but I feel like winter has made me a complete cookie monster!Reply

  • lynsey | lynseylovesfood

    you words as much as your photos always make my heart swell. You capture the beauty (and crazy) that is life just as well as the light that flows through your lens. xoReply

  • Jennifer

    I also love bowls – and have recently been wanting to experiment with polenta so maybe I will make this and try my hand at polenta. One of my goals as we crawl out of the winter slumber is to make better use of my time. I am a dawdler. I have too many days off where the only accountable thing I’ve done is try making a new or favorite recipe. Cooking is always a favorite way to spend my time but what about the countless hours leading up to dinner? Where do they go?! I need to focus more and use my time more wisely.

    Happy Spring, Laura!Reply

  • Cheryl

    I always feel inspired after reading your posts. Thank you. This spring I am working especially hard on my “fear factor” and embracing the “what’s the worst that can happen” mantra. I’m giving gardening a proper try this year, so perfection is out of the question!.Reply

  • Anagha Bharadwaj

    I want a truer relationship with food.

    I’m a vegan at heart, but not in body, and while there are plenty of real reasons for it, they feel more and more like excuses lately. This spring, I want to stop eating all animal products except yogurt (I’m in India for a couple months, and I’m not able to find much in the way of probiotics other than yogurt). As soon as I return home to the U.S., I’ll give up yogurt as well!Reply

  • Erin

    I think one of the hardest things in life is finding the right balance in a relationship and making it work. We went from not even being together, to engaged/married, to now in the midst of chaos with a child on the way in a relatively short time. Some days I’m reminded just how hard we have to work to keep our relationship in that balance. Lovely post, Laura.

    Also, love the use of the millet polenta with Kristy’s lentils- what a perfect combination!Reply

  • Amanda

    Oh awesome! Love the looksof this recipe. Totally going to try this at ! Our guests will love it! ( I work at an Ashram/Yoga study centre)

    One thing I want to work on? Well right now I am upping my fitness levels. Walking to work, getting up early to stretch. That sorta thing. With springin the air (at least here in BC 🙂 my body is gearing up for more movement!!Reply

  • Danielle

    I love this recipe! Can’t wait to try it. I also love Kristi and would love her book! I helped her review it, so I definitely need to get my hands on a copy! 🙂 This spring I’ve started my exercise regiment again and I want to stick to it!Reply

  • Adrienne J

    Wow, I can’t wait to try this!! My one habit I’ve really be trying to attempt to get back into is waking up with the dogs/cat (i.e. super early at 5:30). There’s so much peace and quiet at that time and when I stick to it my other healthy habits – like eating healthy and practicing yoga – fall easily into place.Reply

  • Jo Busck

    Thanks for the sauce recc. Laura. You wooed me so quickly with the recipe that my first thoughts were only of food! But I also wanted to say that, yes, your post was amazing, and wonderfully honest. (I read so much of myself in there!) There is no such thing as a perfect relationship. But nurturing and building something together, and being brave enough to love, and let someone love you back, that is worth the journey. Blessings to you and yours. And ANAGHA BHARADWAJ, check this out the best vegan ‘yoghurt’ in the UNIVERSE! Not sure if they have it in the US. Mango is the business 🙂 xxxReply

  • Jacky

    Your post is thought-provoking… maybe I could work on being a little less selfish when my SO wants to play a mindless iPhone game after a long day at work. I’d love to try the recipes in this book!Reply

  • Sheila L

    In spring, a time of renewal, I would like to ensure 95% of things I saw to my family I know make them feel good or have a positive intention. Somedays, if I am honest with myself, I think my stats can be closer to 50%…I am not choosing 100% due to PMS.Reply

  • Chelsea (@TheWholeBite)

    This looks so delicious! And stunning photos as always! One thing I would like to do more of this spring is read. It sounds so simple but it’s something that I love to do and yet I always find myself giving other things higher priority. Beautiful post as always!Reply

  • Eunice Price

    The recipe sounds delicious – I may give it a try this weekend. My change for this spring? I plan to slow down and savor the moments with my children (teenagers) every single day as every single day disappears in a flash.Reply

  • Ingrid

    Hi Laura,

    I see you already have many sweet comments to your story. All I can tell is that everyone who is in a long relationship has been in your position. It’s normal. I see it in my own life. Balancing your own needs, his needs, your common needs. It is not easy at all. The cliche is true. A good relationship is hard work. And we don’t always feel like working hard. Those evenings with comfort food help getting through the day. And the same goes for other rituals. Cherish it. 🙂 Love, IngridReply

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well

    I love your honest, true words in this post. As a young married person too I understand this balance and the effort it takes. Way to go embracing it and stepping up to the relationship-for-life challenge. It’s a beautiful, wonderful, humbling piece of work. Plus, your take on this recipe is just fantastic. I’ve been looking for a good simple BBQ sauce and cannot wait to give yours a try! Hope you have a great rest of your week/weekend Laura! <3Reply

  • Abby

    Laura!! These photos!! They’re totally stunning. And your writing is lovely, as always.

    This spring I’m going to work on eating more veggies… I tend to avoid them, but they’re an important part of a balanced diet. So, yes. I’ma eat my veggies everyday for the next few months. 🙂Reply

  • Kathryne

    As a single person, it’s always good to be reminded that relationships are tough! I totally agree that it’s important to always try to be your best self, which can be especially challenging when you feel super comfortable around someone. I kinda failed at that when I was home with my family a couple of weeks ago. This recipe sounds killer, which you could send a bowl my way for lunch!Reply

  • Teresa Cochran

    One thing that I would like to work on this spring; finishing my “To do, list” painting, cleaning out and reorganizing the kids toys and fixing up our deck.Reply

  • jaime : the briny

    Your honest and thoughtful writing is a fresh of breath air always.

    I want to work on so many things. I want to settle into a groove of blogging/documenting/sharing without compromising the moments. It’s hard sometimes, thinking with sharing (and not just living) in mind. That. I’d also like to grow more comfortable doing my own thing. I self-censor and self-edit constantly. I don’t want to come across as rude or antagonistic or overly snarky, but sometimes I just want to share my thoughts and the constant habit of checking and silencing starts to weigh heavily on me. So all that.

    I really like what you did with the millet here! I made a simple, soaked millet porridge the other day and its grainy, cornyricey taste blew me away. Polenta (or any hot grain in a bowl, smothered in savories) is such a comfort to me. I’d like to experiment with other non-corns grains, too… Whole teff grains are next on my list!


  • genevieve @ gratitude & greens

    What you wrote about relationships is so relatable. There are times when I “forget” that relationships require lots of hard work, no matter how comfortable you get. Something I’m working on and want to continue working on is being present- recognizing that something that isn’t life or death isn’t a big deal and stopping to savour all the beautiful moments in my life. I, too, am a fan of baked beans! I prefer my beans less sweet- more like British style canned baked beans (lol). This sounds so delicious and I can’t wait to make it.Reply

  • Leah M @ love me, feed me

    First of all – THESE PHOTOS! So gorgeous. As usual. I swear I could look through your pictures for hours.
    This spring I’m working on being kinder, especially to myself.Reply

  • cori

    I’d like to work on being easier on myself!Reply

  • Daria

    It’s been over 6 months since I started practicing ashtanga yoga daily, which means getting up a little after 5, trying to go to bed not later than 10 and eating very very mindfully to have a good morning practice. During this time I learned what it actually means “to listen to your body” and it binds everything: eating, sleeping, being in discomfort (physical and emotional), being completely balanced or knowing what is not balanced. Surprisingly, mat opens a lot of doors. As I truly enjoyed the changes that happened to me, for the nearest future I’d like to focus more on emotional part and getting better in letting go things, being less judgemental and more accepting, finding the healthy balance between my practice and my family and things like that. Spring comes with new sensations all over so I’m excited to see how it will affect me and my newly developed perceptions.Reply

  • Jamie G

    Laura – this post really hit home with me. The rabbit-hole of deep, dark, comfortable love can be so challenging at times yet so rewarding. There is no reason not to appreciate everything about it – albeit that can be difficult at times. I love a mindfulness based approach to life – recognizing how you feel and why you feel it, knowing it is ok to feel that way, but understanding that it’s less about what you are feeling and more about what you choose to do with those feelings. This year I’ve been working more on appreciation. For every negative perception of mine, I try to think of 2 positives. That way I’m always in a positive balance. I fill out a daily schedule and on each day there is a space to write out my daily gratitude. This is so grounding for me. Thank you for this post 🙂Reply

  • Megan Gordon

    Oh YES. This is right up my alley. Millet is my favorite grain … love doing it creamy style. And these lentils look bomb. Thanks for the inspiration.Reply

  • Christine // my natural kitchen

    I love baked beans too, but have never attempted them on my own. Making them with lentils is such a good idea! I’ll have to try your lentil cooking method – do you soak them first? I tried cooking black lentils the other day after soaking them, and they quickly turned to a gross mush.

    Actually, this whole meal is really exciting. Ever since I read your millet porridge post, where you mentioned that ground millet has a polenta vibe, I have been meaning to try it that way. So happy to see this whole bowl with such good flavours!

    Also – it’s funny how even our own personal experiences in relationship can have such a universal vibe — so much of what you’ve shared hits a chord with me too. My intention for Spring is to focus wholeheartedly on self-care in a way that helps me get to my best, which I know will help me be my best in my marriage too.

    I love everything about this, Laura. Have a wonderful week!Reply

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Christine, I never soak lentils–not even the french or black ones. I usually give them a little rinse and pick through to make sure there’s no “extras” in the mix, but that’s the extent of it. Hope you have a better experience with them next time! 🙂

    • Victoria

      Hi Christine!
      I read your comment and thought I could help as I do soak the lentils before cooking them. I soak them from 4 hours up to 12, rinse them and cook them with plenty of water for something like 10 minutes. They cook reaaally fast after soaking! If you cook them for longer they turn mushy, so that’s what I guess happened to you.

  • Alissa

    Thank you for your honest and thoughtful words. This is so relevant for me right now. Our relationship will be 10 years this December and I often feel like I need to be bringing my better self to the table. It is hard work and it’s the type of hard work that is often over-looked and forgotten but our relationship is valuable beyond measure. Thanks for posting this as it reminds me that we are all working on bettering ourselves and our relationships.Reply

  • Michelle @ Hummingbird High

    Dude, I hear you about being in a long term relationship. It’s easy not to appreciate each other and take each other for granted, but hey — from your post, it seems like you’re well aware of that and that’s a lot more than most people can say. Self awareness is key. This is something I constantly struggle with in my relationship too.

    On a lighter note, this recipe? Gorgeous.Reply

  • Lauren

    I want to work on being more mindful when I eat. I don’t want to eat just because it is a mealtime, I am bored, sad etc. I want to eat when I am hungry and work on stopping when I am full!Reply

  • Jana Stevenson

    I am working on being more mindful with my kids. It’s so easy to get caught up in making meals and doing dishes and forgetting to really get into that bucket of lego or painting all over the table or whatever insanity making mess they love to make.

    Letting the mess sit a while longer isn’t going to kill me. As much as it drives me crazy!

    And a little more yoga for me!Reply

  • Lu | Super Nummy Yo!

    Love that you just whipped up this recipe from what you had in stock in the kitchen. So creative and practical at the same time!

    I gotta kick my night owl habit! Getting enough sleep is so important 🙂Reply

  • Maggie

    Those lentils look amazing. I can relate to the struggle to find that balance between what you want/need and what your man wants/needs… but when it comes down to it you wouldn’t want to be working towards finding it with anyone else.

    My fiancé and I are relocating for him to get his PhD starting this August. Our lease is up in May and we still don’t know exactly where we are headed, still waiting on a few more schools. I was freaking out about having to pick up our lives and head somewhere new, but I’ve resolved to try to keep my stress level in check, embrace the change, and look at this as the amazing opportunity that it is… We get to start fresh and travel this summer, plus there is no one I’d rather start over with.Reply

  • kelsey

    This looks oh so satisfying! I am working on the delicate balancing act of managing simultaneous feelings of being pissed and understanding. Great words today!Reply

  • Jeni

    I absolutely loooove polenta! I am dying to try your recipe out! Delish!Reply

  • Erin

    I love your thoughts on maintaining gratitude and grace in a long term relationship… my husband and I have been together for six years, since we were 18, and have both changed a lot over those years! It takes a lot of constant attention and growth to re-learn each other, but it is so, so worth it. 🙂

    One habit I’d like to work on this spring and year is hospitality. I am naturally very shy and like to be at home with my little family, book or whisk in hand, but I would like to open up our home more and be more giving with my time.Reply

  • Dayl

    I think I need to work on being more giving this spring – giving towards my partner!Reply

  • Ashley

    The comment you make about “hobos” “always eating beans” is fairly offensive to homeless and poor communities. Just FYI.Reply

    • Laura Wright

      Hi Ashley,
      This is, albeit a very ambiguous expression of, a reference to a TV show I like. I really did intend for the mention to be more on the end of humour–in light of the Yahoo Answers page (of all places) actually referencing this instance. This is beside the point though and proves that the reference might have been a little too niche/inside. I honestly meant no harm by it and agree that it could easily be taken in bad taste/an offensive context. If you’ve read my blog before, you’ll know that discussions of accessibility, in particular that relating to food, are something I’m always up for engaging. I’ve done some work in this field and agree that these issues are not improved upon by becoming the subject of jest, in any degree. I’ve removed the comment and hope this doesn’t deter you from returning to this space.
      My apologies and thanks,

  • Kerianne Taves

    Beautiful writing and such truth for me as well. I’d love to start creating healthy rituals and creative endeavors this spring/summer. Thanks for the giveaway!Reply

  • hannon

    My habit that I need to work on is minimizing my life- too many clothes, too many nick knacks, too many responsibilities. I need to let go.Reply

  • Lauren

    I LOVE your honesty about the heavy lifting in relationships. And your meals satisfy both the tastebuds and the soul. When can we buy YOUR book!! One thing I relate to is not letting my own stress be projected onto the people I love the most. If my boyfriend wants to come home from a long day at work and play Mario Kart, then by all means he should 😉 Your blog is so inspiring. XOReply

  • Brittany

    Lovely post, and that dish looks divine. My goal for spring is to say “yes” more, and invite change. I tend to get stuck in my habits and resist anything unfamiliar, but when I do, I’m often pleasantly surprised. I think having more of an open mind could be liberating.Reply

  • J.S. @ Sun Diego Eats

    Love that you used lentils here, I’m not a big baked beans person. Growing up in Brazil beans were always savoury so I just can’t get used to the idea of eating sweet beans with food. Strangely ok with azuki beans in desserts though (prob the half-Chinese side).

    I want bake more bread. And especially try to tackle some more things from the Tartine Bakery cookbook.Reply

  • Siobain

    Loved your post !
    There’s a lot of maturity there, it took me a long time to get to that place of ‘loving a good man who is strong enough to love me back’, but I’m glad I did.
    But why can’t we Europeans get the swag ?
    We’re prepared to pay the postage girl !! Come on ! xxReply

  • Andrea

    Eating more and more and more vegan food in general!Reply

  • Emily

    I’m trying to eat less refined sugar, ever since I found our it’s processed with bone char. I recently fell in love with your site and bookmarked a gazillion recipes, so that should help me out!Reply

  • Milica Loncar

    One habit/life-y change I’d like to work on this spring is to turn social media off at 9pm, get to bed by 10pm and wake up after a deep and refreshing sleep at 7am, instead of my current life long ‘habit’ of staying plugged in until midnight, taking over an hour to fall asleep and then having a tossy, restless night until finally getting up after 8am and straight back onto social media. this is nuts! i have to break this cycle and winning this prize will give me the sweet joyful impetus to do so 🙂Reply

  • Arlene

    Love this post about all the frustrations! Yes, wait until you add children to this (but it’s amazing how we parents make it work). I started watching my 2 grandbabies again (mom back to work until summer, she’s a teacher). I need to plan out these two days better especially cooking! This meal will be a good one to make the day ahead, even my meat eating husband will love it.Reply

  • Chelsea @ Chelsea’s Healthy Kitchen

    Something I want to work on this spring is being more intentional with my time. Sometimes when I have blog posts to write, pictures to edit, photos to take, I’ll find myself wasting so much time on social media! I need to start blocking out my time and being intentional about how I spend it.

    This looks seriously delicious. I had no idea you could grind millet to make a polenta like dish. So neat!Reply

  • Stephanie

    This spring is all about self-reflection for me! In all aspects of my life.Reply

  • Jessica DeMarra

    It is so funny to read this post-existential crisis. I have spent the last year of my life preparing to major in Nutritional Science at a prestigious university but after auditing a few classes and really questioning why I decided to pursue it in the first place, I have decided to simply not to do it. Not that it isn’t a valid or admirable profession to strive for but to me cooking/blogging has always been about the food, what it tastes like, the memories it can create or the conversations around the dining table and not carbon bonds or glycolysis reaction.
    So after many tears of panick, laughs and then more tears I have decided to give food writing my all and treat it like it is my passion because it is and there is nothing embarrassing about that. I have decided to enjoy the now and stop worrying too much about the next 10 years. They are going to pass no matter what and I may as well be happy!Reply

    • Jessica DeMarra

      And by panick, I mean panic. I wrote my comment from my phone on the bus, “Your fingers are too fat to complete this call…” How silly of me!Reply

  • Abby

    This spring I need to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables. I feel like I say that every year, but trying to eat seasonally in the winter gets pretty tough in Michigan! Spring always reminds me of new greens and other young vegetables. I cannot wait for fresh produce.Reply

  • Grace

    This is beautifully written. I’ve been going through similar feelings lately. Having to dig deep to do the work that takes your relationship to the next level, wherein you have to reveal more about yourself and fully accept your other half. It’s the good stuff, but it’s not easy.Reply

  • Ella Weed

    Thank you for your post! I check your blog everyyy day with hopes that it’ll be a good one and you’ll have posted something new 🙂
    I am going through finals here at college and I appreciate getting to take a break and read your always lovely and so inspiringly delicious recipes.
    I hope to be less controlling, especially of my boyfriend. I want him to eat more healthy sooo badly and so I push fruits and veggies on him and ask him to work out when he isn’t always interested in those things. I want to work on accepting and loving him for just who HE IS, not the “perfect” him I want him to be.
    I appreciate you so much Laura! Thank you for your brightness.Reply

  • Jodi

    Being with someone for the long haul is hard work. Especially because they begin to know you almost better than you know yourself and call you out on our shit in those moments when you could reaaally just use a pity-party. I get it. And coffee totally helps. My husband challenges the hell out of me, but committing to him and life together has been the best decision I’ve ever made. Stew-y things on starch and a quiet dinner in sweatpants, it’s a similar scene over here most nights and l love what you’ve gone and done with these quick +dirty lentils. Thanks Laura, always a good read over here xoReply

  • jennfier

    Wow, gorgeous pictures and love the recipe! Can’t wait to try this – thanks for the cookbook recommendation.Reply

  • Linzy

    If I had to pick one thing to work on this spring, it would be to cut back on the sugar a bit. I’ve noticed that I’ve just been craving it like crazy, and it never does me any favors.Reply

  • Riley

    I’m actually going through a very similar situation with my significant other and I know how tough it is to not take stress home after a long day. The change that I want to make this spring regards my self-love; there certainly isn’t enough of it but it’s getting better! Cheers to you, Laura.Reply

  • Sara

    Totally loving the little parsley and celery salad on top. Such awesome contrast. Also, your comment on sweatpants, hair up and the rhetorical “this is good, right?” just rings through so authentically for me.Reply

  • Zanna F

    Ok, that third paragraph really speaks to me. Thank you! I made a screenshot and then read it again, and it’s such a great reminder to stay open and not take people for granted when it’s comfortable to do so. Also, super excited to try this recipe! 🙂Reply

  • Millie | Add A Little

    Gorgeous words Laura – I definitely want to start get on the exercise band wagon – not to lose weight but to get those endorphins running around my body!! Also, super into making way more vegan meals!Reply

  • Casey

    One habit I’d like to kick to the curb is watching TV (or rather shows on my laptop) up until going to sleep. I know it’s stupid but it’s such a comfortable habit. Though I suppose that’s the nature of habits…Reply

  • Tiffany

    Can’t wait to try this! My spring goal is to work on adopting a healthier lifestyle, primarily through learning basic cooking techniques as I make healthy home-cooked meals. Your recipes inspire me to cook! Thanks! 🙂Reply

  • Neko

    This was a simply beautiful post.Reply

  • Kristin

    This post and your description of how we might find ourselves behaving in comfortable partnerships really resonated with me at this point in my life, thank you! In addition to working on that, I’ve been thinking of trying to replace my morning routine of coffee/internet consumption with something a bit healthier/proactive to start the day.Reply

  • Zanna F

    I just saw you’re running a little contest for the cookbook, so I’d also like to share a life change I’m implementing this year. (I started yesterday, actually.) I’ve decided to start writing down my thoughts: interesting things I read about or hear on the radio, things or words or ideas I learned, self realizations. Anything that matters, really. So that it doesn’t only matter for a split second, but maybe a little longer. And maybe it ends up making a greater impact in my life..Reply

  • Chris

    I could never go vegan. Actually, I could go. But it’s always a visit. Like vacation. Like that week I used to spend at Grandma’s in the summer. There is so much to appreciate about the vegan approach. I’ve been nearly-vegan. And Paleo and “Clean” and free-of-added-sugar. All at different times. Currently I’m exploring the bottom of the barrel in terms of diets. Sparsely populated with vegetation at all. I think it’s called the American diet and my particular version involves quite a bit of coffee and often something that’s been baked or fried. I needed this post. My poor diet is affecting every aspect of my life and the sad, sad truth is that I KNOW this. I’ve done the hard work of planning menus, shopping the perimeter of the grocery store, and lovingly making meals. But I’m not sure how I’ve fallen off the wagon so thoroughly. In reading this post it’s nice to know there are people, albeit out there in the internets, dealing with the same struggle around the sustainability of eating for health. Yes, being mindful. Cooking with intention. This serendipitous post is my wake-up. This will be my dusting off. Thanks for the hand.Reply

  • Alissa

    this spring i would like to focus on being more present in all facets of my lifeReply

  • Brigitte

    I absolutely love legumes!! any bean !! My wife is Mexican and opened my eyes to beans and cooking from scratch with chillis , spices and all!! Anxious to try this one!!! We recently moved into our first home and she is starting school full time. I work in a hospital..evening/nights…I want to be able to organize my time. Be able to spend time with her as much as possible. Also to be able to get out of this rut and get more active, exercise going to the gym and being healthier!! Lots of changes coming in spring and Hopefully we will be able to sprout new roots together in our new home and and grow strong and healthy together in this chaotic time ahead of us!!Reply

  • Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health

    this post really hits home about is supposed to be selfless but i feel im way more selfish than my boyfriend..and we often talk about it. its amazing how relationship, or love in general has a power to change you, make you powerful. absolutely love your words.Reply

  • Laurén

    What a coincedance that I read this today. I woke up this morning with an over all sense of “bleh”. Just the general humm and grind of life and responsibilities, and a husband whom I love more than anything, but as hard as he tries he just CANNOT manage to adequately clean the sink out after he shaves. And the only vegetable he likes is broccoli. Other than that, it’s meat and ice cream haha. Maybe I’m being selfish, but I honestly have these stupid little freak out moments in my head of “Oh my gosh what if he doesn’t live as long as I do?!” And the total hippie within me is dead set on shoving vegetables down his throat because dang it he’s going to get nutrients and live a long life with me. As if clean eating is the only variable. As if I don’t eat more ice cream than him.
    The point of all that is to say thank you. Thank you for the comfort food recipe and the true writing about love and relationships. Thank you for reminding me there are a million ways to say “I love you”, and if cleaning out the sink after him is one of them then I’ll do it forever.Reply

  • Jane

    Two things. One, I want to learn more about combining flavors and cooking techniques by actually following recipes. Two, I want to eat each dish I make along with those from restaurants I hope to visit with gusto!Reply

  • Lori

    I have three kids, and it’s busy all the time! I always have a chore to do, and planning how to the next one. I feel I am missing how much fun my kids are! This spring, I want to enjoy them more without stressing about the mundane.
    Lentils on the weeks list!Reply

  • thefolia

    This is my kind of meal in a bowl…I love the mushy component with my favorite lentils…black. Would love if everyone in my nest would agree so that I can make this as a meal instead of optional side…cheers to working on my patience! Happy Nesting.Reply

  • Sarah Nikolovska

    Hi! I tried this recipe the other day with a few modifications because of food allergies, and it was still delicious!!! I’m allergic to garlic and onions so recipes that involve BBQ are usually a no go, but I just used canned whole tomatoes, left out the garlic and onion, and added a teaspoon of chinese 5 spice powder to replace the smoke (only had regular paprika). As I said, simple delicious! Thank you for sharing 🙂Reply

  • Kate

    BBQ lentils are the best!!! I’m dipping my toe into the millet bucket, I’ve only tried like a salad, but this looks super good and I can’t wait to give it a try!Reply

  • dedietrich

    I really like lentils and always look for new recipes. This one I’ll definitely try in the nearest future.Reply

  • John

    1. Healthy. 2. Delicious. 3. Amazing to look at. I already love lentils and scrolling through the recipe know this is gonna be killer. But I would like to comment about the beauty of your photographs throughout the blog. Just that. Beauty!Reply

  • kristie {birch and wild}

    I love coming to your blog because I always come away having learned a new technique, or I find I appreciate an ingredient in a new way after seeing how you use it (celery leaves!). I recently found out I am allergic to corn, so it is good to see that there is another way to get my polenta fill (which I have always loved). Gorgeous photos here, too 🙂Reply

  • olly

    i made this the other day and it turned out great, and i too, like sloppy stuff on starch. it is absolute comfort food. i will without a doubt be making this again 🙂Reply

  • Elena

    This was freaking DELICIOUS. I loved the creamy millet. I don’t have a vitamix and my food processor didn’t do the best job grinding the millet but that was okay, it had a great texture. I cheated and added some parmesan to the millet too! And the celery leaves were so surprisingly good on this – would’ve never thought of that. Thank you these were awesome – will be a household staple for us and so glad to have a good and easy homemade bbq recipe!Reply

  • Sus ||

    Laura, this post, is so on point to my current situation is unreal! What a great, honest post. I get so stressed sometimes and am constantly being told to ‘not get stressed’ which drives me mad but maybe he’s right!

    This recipe looks like the ultimate comfort food, Ima cook it for my man tomorrow!

    Keep up the great work girl.


  • Kari

    Lentils are my favorite beans to cook with. These look delicious!

  • Jordan

    This looks delish! I’ve been trying to find more things to do with lentils, since they’re pretty easy to get. I’ll definitely have to try this out!Reply

  • Renee

    Love this comfort-y looking bowl of deliciousness!Reply

  • Leo Sigh

    Definitely going to try this. Just going back to being vegan so need all the help I can get 🙂 And, like you, I love sloppy stuff on top of starch. Got you bookmarked and will definitely be back. Like I said – need help 🙂Reply

  • krystal

    I am currently eating this sauce with a spoon and trying to save some for the lentils. I am mad excited for your cookbook. I’m gonna Julie and Julia the shiz out of that thing.Reply

  • lydia

    oh yum! so so good with roasted pumpkin and topped with fresh avocadoReply

  • Karen

    Laura, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts/struggles with long-term partnership!(Here and in the Jessica Murane podcast) It is so incredibly helpful to know that I’m not the only one struggling with those same issues. It is so f#$%#ing hard to silence that little voice that creates resentment and anger and then unnecessary conflict in our relationships. So in the spirit of sharing- I’ve been reading a lot about the destructive nature of victim-hood and came up with a list of affirmations. Who knows, maybe you’ll find them helpful 🙂

    –“The victim surrenders power over their life to others, their life is driven by their environment.”–
    I choose not to give my power away.
    I take responsibility for controlling myself.
    I choose not to take things personally.
    I choose not to make assumptions
    I choose to approach all situations with kindness and empathy.
    I choose to act from a place of love, not anger or fear.Reply

    • Laura

      Thank you for this thoughtful comment, Karen! I’m so glad you liked the podcast too. It’s always a relief to read wonderful feedback like this when you put some non-sunshine-and-rainbows topics out there. These affirmations are wonderful. Thanks again! 🙂

  • Theresa

    Just made this and I really enjoyed it! My husband liked it too and that’s always a plus. This will be a repeat.Reply

  • Marry

    Made the BBQ Lentil part of this tonight and served it over traditional polenta. The sauce was too sweet for me and I love sweet. I added more vinegar which helped. Maybe my maple is sweeter?Reply

    • Laura

      Hi Marry,
      I actually made this sauce for some beans the other night (just roughly without measuring), and used at least 1/2 the amount of maple syrup. I liked it just the same and I tend to like sweet things as well. Although I liked the original formulation, too. The only thing I can think of: did your jarred tomato sauce have any added sweetness in the ingredients? Or you really cooked the sweetness out of the shallot? I’m a little stumped on this one. I’m going to make a note on the recipe though.

    • Marry

      Made this again tonight with the millet this time and loved it! I used 1 1/2 Tablespoon of maple only and served it topped with sauteed dandelion greens. I was in taste bud alley!Reply

  • Erin Jenkins

    This bbq sauce was crazy delicious! my 5 year old gobbled it up like mad. We put it over quinoa and it was great. thanks for the recipes here.Reply

  • Sarah

    I made this last night for dinner because I had millet I wasn’t sure what to do with… I am SO happy I found your recipe! It was scrumptious and very filling. I used standard green lentils and halved the sugar in the bbq sauce recipe and it came out beautifully. This is going to be a staple and has been added to the rotation list! Thanks for posting it 🙂Reply

  • Carol Diamond

    I only prepared the millet polenta. Since my food processor did not really grind the grain very well, after the “polenta” had cooked about halfway, I used my immersion blender to further grind it up, and it worked beautifully, thickening up the grains just right! It’s delicious, as I miss corn (which I would not eat any longer). Next time I will make the lentils. This time, having beans with the polenta, tomorrow, a fried egg!Reply

  • Alex

    SO delicious!! This is the first recipe of yours I have tried and it was amazing! I can’t wait to try more. Thank you so much for your work!!Reply

  • Alex

    PSA – I didn’t have any tamari on hand so I used a couple dashes of the Maldon smoked salt in the sauce and it was insaaaaaaanely good. Can’t believe how deep and flavourful the sauce is and with so few ingredients! This is going to be a new staple recipe for quick lunches/dinners for sure.Reply

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