Ethiopian Lentils and Mixed Veggies: “Good for Runners!”

The Greatest, Fueled by Injera and Lentils

Yes, I get the stamp of approval from the Greatest himself, Haile Gebrselassie. Well, indirectly, of course. There is a brief moment in a TV documentary at the dinner table of him showing the crew injera, that wonderful flat bread, and what I’m sure is yemiser wat, or spicy Ethiopian lentils. Good for runners, he says with that winnng smile. While I can’t gaurantee injera and lentils will make any of us as fast as Gebrslassie, they sure taste good, and make me want to go run.  Sorry, no pictures this time, the kitchen blew up under the strain of two big pots and fresh injera from the Ethiopian market the size of blankets. I also did not really follow recipes. I cooked. I ate. I’m blogging. Now I want to go run.

The Game Plan:

Spicy Lentils

1 C red lentils

3 C water

1/2 onion, chopped

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1-2 T berbere spice blend

28 oz crushed tomatoes


Bring lentils, water, garlic, onions and berbere to a boil and simmer for about 20-25 minutes uncovered until lentils soften. Add water as needed. Add tomatoes, lower heat, cover and continue to simmer 15-20 min.

berbere is a special Ethioipian spice blend.  Many recipes exist to make your own, but I make no recommendation. I buy mine from an Ethiopian grocer. Of course it’s better.

Ethiopian Mixed Vegetables

1/2 onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

2-3 carrots, chopped

4 waxy potatoes, chopped

1/2 head cabbage, chopped

1 handful green beans, cut in 1 inch pieces

1/2 t turmeric

1/2 t ground ginger

salt and pepper, generous



Saute onion and garlic until softened a little. Add spices. Add remaining vegetables and enough water to braise. Cover and cook until veggies are done, about 20-25 minutes. Add water as needed, and check seasoning as you go. I completely winged it on the spices, following my nose like Remy from Ratatouille, which more or less worked. The amounts and proportions of veggies are very flexible. I use the size of my pot, and the urgency of which vegetables must be used right away to determine the dish. Your mileage may vary.

To serve, break off some injera, grab some lentils or veggies and enjoy!

Then hit the track and run like you mean it!

Who can resist that smile? That’s what a good run can do!

About vegpedlr

Plant powered off-road triathlete
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