Linguini with lentils and walnuts …. when condiments get saucy


It’s amazing what very everyday condiments can become with a little coaxing.

I found the original version of this recipe on the Oh She Glows blog. She writes that she made the dish late one night using whatever was in the pantry. My slightly altered version of the recipe adds a few staple ingredients and adjusts some of the measurements. I also used fresh rather than canned lentils.

Beluga or black lentils are much smaller than other lentils so they cook up quickly. You can have a fresh pot of beluga lentils in just 15 minutes and they are nutty and chewy and just generally delightful.

This whole recipe can be ready in 20 minutes – less time than it takes to order in and waaaaay better for you and your wallet!


10 oz linguine or other pasta

½ cup walnut pieces toasted

¼ cup tomato-based salsa of choice

3 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp garlic powder

3 Tbsp ketchup

5 Tbsp nutritional yeast

½ tsp ground pepper

1 tsp salt

1 cup fresh chopped spinach

½ cup fresh or frozen green peas. If using frozen (I did), thaw them or give them a quick zap in the microwave.

½ cups beluga (black) lentils (or 1 cup of canned lentils drained and rinsed)

½ red pepper diced (optional)

Handful of fresh basil chopped (about ¼ cup)


Place your lentils in a small saucepan with 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15 minutes with the lid on. Remove from heat and let the lentils sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients. You may have some liquid left in the pot, so just drain that off.

Cook the pasta according to package directions.

Place the peas, spinach, diced red pepper, toasted walnuts, lentils and linguine in a large bowl.

Put the olive oil, ketchup, salsa, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper and garlic powder in a small saucepan. I used the same pan I had cooked the lentils in (less dishes!). Heat the ingredients through and stir them until they are blended. Pour over the bowl of pasta, lentils etc. and toss together. Serve up and enjoy.

This recipe makes 3 very generous portions.

How to toast walnuts

Toast the walnuts by spreading them on a baking pan and baking for 5 minutes at 400 degrees. Know thy oven and watch those nuts – they can burn quickly. I use a toaster oven for minimal power usage (I can still hear my cost-conscious mother moaning every time someone wanted to fire up the “whole oven” for one item).


Seize her salad….and eat it yourself


If you like creamy, garlicky Caesar salad dressing, pay attention.

This recipe comes from Esther’s Kitchen Esther being the wonder pig. My embellishments are the kale, chickpea croutons and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast. Get out your blender and let’s get started.


One head romaine lettuce – washed and torn into bite sized pieces

TIP – check prices. It’s December in Canada and a big head of local, organic kale costs less than the imported romaine so this salad is got the nutrition boost of kale. Mmm.

½ cup water

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup raw shelled sunflower seeds

Juice of one lemon (about ¼ cup)

1 tsp miso

2-3 cloves garlic

1 medjool date, stone removed

Salt and pepper to taste. I used about ¼ teaspoon each.


Put everything but your salad greens into the blender and blend until creamy. You will have a thick dressing, but it should not be a paste. If it is, add a bit more water and keep blending.

Put your greens in a large bowl. Pour the dressing over top and toss well. I added roasted chickpeas (see recipe below) and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast.

Roasted chickpeas

½ cup cooked chickpeas patted dry

1 tsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp each of black pepper, smoky paprika, garlic powder

Toss all the ingredients together in a cup or small bowl. Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes. Let cool before eating. When they are done the chickpeas will be almost melt-in-your-mouth crunchy; they won’t have any chewiness/moisture to them. If they don’t have that texture, roast the chickpeas for another 5-10 minutes.