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The Montana Lentil Table Holiday Celebration

Updated: Dec 27, 2022

On December 5, 2022, we gathered at the Eagle Mount Community Room to celebrate Christmas, Navidad, Hannukah, and Kwanza. One hundred twenty lentil fans attended, making the mood festive and fun.

Six lentil-loving kids shared their favorite holiday experiences and led the entire room to join them in a conga line dance.

For the first time in our Lentil Table history, we welcomed volunteers in the kitchen, including Erik Walnum of unwaffle, a Bozeman-based organic, plant-based waffle whose second ingredient is lentils from our friends at Timeless Food. We are also grateful to our volunteers who helped in the kitchen. We couldn't have pulled it together without you.

Our menu honoring the various holidays included Latkes for Hann

ukah, Bob Marley Patties for Kwanza, Citrus and Root Salad, Mole Lentil and Beef Enchiladas, and Gingerbread unwaffle with cream cheese buttercream and peppermint.

Here are a few of our recipes so you can make them at home and enjoy them in good company during the holidays and every day of the year.

Latkes- These potato pancakes are especially good if you use russet potatoes from our neighbors in Manhattan or Churchill, though they are just as good with potatoes from the market.


4 russet potatoes, peeled

1 white onion, grated

1/2 a cup of potato flakes

Salt and Pepper

Sour Cream for dipping

Apple Sauce for dipping


  1. Grate potatoes in a food processor or by hand on the larger hole side of a box grater and place in a large bowl filled with cold water. This will help remove the starches so that it fries to a crisp.

  2. Grate onions using the same process as the potatoes. Place onions in a smaller bowl.

  3. Lift potatoes, squeeze their water over the cold water bowl, and transfer dry potatoes to a second bowl or colander. Let the starch settle at the bottom of the water bath bowl, pour off the water, and scoop the starch into a fresh bowl with the potatoes and the onion mixture.

  4. Mix with hands and form small palm-fulls of the potato strands into a little tight tangle of a latke, pressing out as much liquid as possible before sliding the latke into the pan of hot oil. Cook until crisp on both sides, and drain on a paper towel-lined tray. Top with kosher salt.

  5. Place on a serving plate accompanied by apple sauce and sour cream.

Bob Marley Lentil Patties- These delicious morsels are dedicated to one of my favorite singers, Bob Marley, who is said to have been "vegan." We used Timeless Food crimson lentils, cooked and mashed them with sweet potatoes and some Jamaican spice blends. Ya Mon!

For the Pastry Dough

2 cups flour ( If you are GF, substitute with Bob Red Mills GF flour 1:1)

2 teaspoons yellow curry

1 teaspoon turmeric

2 teaspoon Kosher salt

1/4 coconut oil, melted

4 TBSP of butter, soften at room temperature

1/2 cup ice water

For the Filling

2 TBSP olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

3 garlic cloves, mashed

1/2 red bell pepper, diced

1/2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon gamma masala

pinch of turmeric

1 TBSP curry powder

3 TBSP chopped tomatoes

1 1/2 to 2 cups of water

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2 x 1/2 inch

1/2 cup of Timeless crimson lentils

Directions for the Dough

  1. Combine the flour, curry, turmeric, and salt in a medium bowl and mix.

  2. Add the melted coconut oil and the butter, and mash up with your hands.

  3. Slowly incorporate the ice-cold water and blend. The mixture shouldn't be sticky.

  4. Roll into a large ball and place in the same bowl. Cover with Saran-Wrap and place in the fridge for at least an hour.

Directions for the Filling

  1. Add olive oil over medium heat in a 2-quart Dutch oven. Add the onions when the OO is hot and cook for about 1-2 minutes. Add the garlic, the spices, and 1 teaspoon of salt.

  2. Add the tomatoes, and blend.

  3. Add the water, the sweet potatoes, and the lentils.

  4. Lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for about 20 minutes. Add more water if the mixture dries up.

  5. Add more salt to taste as needed.

Directions to Assemble the patties

  1. Remove the dough from the fridge.

  2. On a floured surface, cut the disk in half.

  3. Scoop dough with a 1 1/2 TBSP cookie scoop

  4. Line a tortilla press with a sandwich baggie cut around its perimeter, save for the bottom end. If you don't have a tortilla press, use the baggie and mash with a heavy saucer.

  5. Place the dough ball in the middle of the press or baggie, and press to a 1/4 inch circle.

  6. Take a heaping teaspoon or a 1 TBSP cookie scoop with lentil mixture and place on one half of each round. Lift with your fingers and press the edges, so they seal. You can also use a fork and lightly press over the edges.

  7. Place the finished patties on a parchment-lined cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.

  8. Preheat oven to 400.

  9. Brush the patties with sweet chili glaze or maple syrup.

  10. Bake for at least 30 minutes or until golden.

  11. Enjoy with your favorite chutney; we LOVE our Samba mango chutney in good company and with Marley singing through your speakers.

The Montana-Oaxacan Mole Enchilada- I'm dreaming of the day I am in a small restaurante in Oaxaca, savoring a smoky mezcal while anxiously waiting for Milagros to bring me a loaded enchilada topped with the darkest of moles. While I wait for the dream to come to fruition, I make my mole in Bozeman, Montana. In my light and airy kitchen, listening to podcasts narrated in English by chefs or foodies who visited this unique area of Mexico. This is a labor of love recipe, so make sure you have some love in that heart of yours and hours to prepare this dish.

Ingredients for the Coloradito Mole- This mole is the best choice when beginning the savoring of moles. It is less complex than the darker moles and gets its sienna color from tomatoes and pasilla chiles.

6 guajillo or pasilla dried chiles, stems and seeds removed

1/2 cup of white sesame seeds

2 TBSP ground cinnamon

1/4 cup breadcrumbs or Panko

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon Mexican oregano

6 whole cloves

1/4 cup raisins

1 small onion, quartered

1/4 cup of garlic cloves

1/2 cup of blanched almonds

6 ounces dark chocolate 70-80% cacao

3 TBS neutral oil

5 cups of Roma tomatoes, about 10 large ones, diced

3/4 cup of water

3 cups water with 1 TBSP white miso ( they use chicken broth)

18-20 corn tortillas

1 wheel of Queso Fresco, Crumbled


  1. Place all seeded, stemmed chiles in a 2-3 quart pot.

  2. Cover with water and boil. Remove from the stove and allow the chiles to rehydrate for at least 30 minutes. Once rehydrated, save two cups of water. They will be used in the spice mixture and for cooking the tomatoes.

  3. Meanwhile, toast the sesame seeds, spices, herbs, and breadcrumbs.

  4. Once toasted, grind the mixture in a spice grinder or in a mortar and pestle.

  5. In a blender, combine the chiles, raisins, almonds, onion, garlic, chocolate, and 1 cup of the reserved water from soaking the chiles. Blend until smooth.

  6. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat.

  7. Add the chile mixture and heat through.

  8. Add the second cup of water and simmer for about 10 minutes,

  9. Add the tomatoes and the chocolate, and allow the ingredients to blend and thicken.

  10. Once the potion is warm and thick, add the 3 cups of miso broth and cook for another 10 minutes.

For the Beef Filling



2# of ground chuck

1 cup of white onions, chopped, about one medium-sized

2 garlic cloves, crushed

2 TBSP Cowboy Rub ( You can buy at Root Cellar Foods)

1 TBSP cacao

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground clove

2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 14-ounce can of roasted diced tomatoes

1/2 cup of chopped cilantro


  1. In a 12-inch skillet or a 4-quart Dutch oven, add the OO. Saute the onions for about five minutes, then add the garlic. When the onion becomes translucent, add the spices and rub.

  2. Add the beef and brown for about 10 minutes. Season with more salt if needed.

  3. Add the tomatoes and allow the meat to cook for about 10-12 minutes. If the beef is too dry, add 1/4 cup of water.

  4. Allow beef to cool off and add the cilantro.

To Assemble-

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. In a 10x15 Pyrex, pour 1 cup or more as needed Coloradito Mole sauce.

  3. Layer with tortillas. It could take 6-8 tortillas on each layer.

  4. Add a layer of meat sauce/picadillo.

  5. Add the crumbled queso to the layer.

  6. Top with another layer of tortillas.

  7. Add a layer of the sauce, followed by another layer of the beef and cheese.

  8. Top with another layer of tortillas, more sauce, and queso.

  9. Cover with foil and bake for 35 minutes. Remove foil and bake uncovered for 10mmore minutes.

  10. Remove from heat and top with more chopped cilantro.

  11. Allow for it to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before serving.

  12. Enjoy with rice and black beans.


Happy Holidays

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