Sweet and Savory Brown Sugar Lentils

Good morning and Happy Saturday! I’m feeling so much more sane after some technology-free time after work on Friday. Even though I worked on some assignments after I left the office, I still got to enjoy a nice, relaxing dinner with The Coach and some mutual friends at Orlando’s Bikkuri Sushi. The quality was average, but we certainly got our fill the for the price!

Yesterday I left you with a teaser for “the most incredible lentil dish I’ve ever made.”

sweet and savory lentils

I still stand behind my claim.

brown sugar lentils

Did I mention that it also qualifies for Vegetarian on a Budget, costing just $1.38 per serving?

This dish was a warm, comforting blend of sweetness and subtle spices with just a touch of complexity to keep my taste buds on edge.

red lentils with vegetables

I certainly didn’t walk away complaining about the 27 grams of vegan, plant-based protein either!

Sweet and Savory Brown Sugar Lentils

Vegan, Serves Two


  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup (raw) spinach
  • 2/3 cup (dry) red lentils
  • 1/2 cup shredded baby carrots
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 4 tbsp light brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan butter (I used Smart Balance Light)
  • 1 tbsp curry powder
  • 2 tsp salt


  • In a small saucepan, bring water to a rolling boil. Add lentils, cover, reduce heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • While the lentils simmer, crush and chop your garlic. Did you know that the bulb has anti-cancer properties that are released by chemical reactions that occur after the bulb is damaged? If you cook the garlic before the chemical reaction is finished, though, the enzymes aren’t released. If you’re in the mood for more biochemical geekiness, feel free to read more about it in the article I wrote for work!
  • Add carrots and spinach to the pot, cover again and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  • Stir in butter and seasonings. Serve warm!

vegetarian lentil dinner

If you happen to be a more patient soul than I am, when the flavors have time to mellow together, the dish becomes even more flavorful; however, for those (like me!) who have the self-restraint of a two year old, it tastes equally phenomenal straight from the pot!

lentils with veggies

Ingredient Cost
Organic Red Lentils ($4/1 lb bag) $0.50
Organic Spinach ($4/16 oz bag) $1.00
Shredded Carrots (single serving from Whole Foods salad Bar) $0.75
Smart Balance Light ($3/15 oz) $0.20
Brown Sugar ($1.25/1 lb bag) $0.10
Curry Powder $0.10
Salt $0.10
Total Budget Breakdown $2.75/2 servings (1.38 per serving)

Have a wonderful weekend!


10 Comments on “Sweet and Savory Brown Sugar Lentils”

  1. Yuuuuuuum that looks awesome!!!!! Brown sugar + curry powder= delicious flavor!
    Hope you have an awesome weekend!

  2. You already did post the recipe!!!! Sweet!!! Thanks 🙂 They sound great!

  3. That looks great! I love it when someone posts a recipe and I actually have all of the ingredients to make it 🙂
    And can’t beat that price either!

  4. Wow, what a creative recipe! I never would have thought to make something like that.

  5. This sounds perfect for a rainy evening in…and I actually have all of the ingredients! Well, except for spinach…but I have kale and Swiss chard…one of those should work…

  6. Shannon says:

    this is a great reminder that i need to make lentils soon, it’s been too long! looks delicious 🙂

    ps- that mac n cheese is pretty fool-proof, i’d give it a shot!!

  7. These sound perfect! I’m all for sweet and savory anything 😀

  8. That looks seriously yummy! Can I ask how your lover liked this? My boyfriend is iffy on dishes without meat so I’m wondering how I’d entice him into eating this…

  9. It looks so sticky and delicious! It’s still pretty cold here, so something like this would be perfect! I need to get in the habit of calculating how much a recipe costs me. I used to and found it useful to know how much I was eating and what changes I could make to decrease cost without sacrificing health/ingredients.

  10. wow – what a great mix of flavors! I’m going to have to try this.

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