Spicy Vegan Lentils and Wild Willow Farm Potluck!

About once a month in Spring and Summer Wild Willow Farm, a local farm here in San Diego county hosts an open house and potluck. I had the pleasure of attending my first potluck last year and have been anxiously waiting for them to host another. It is such a cool event, I almost don’t want to share it with anyone so it can be my little secret. :) JK, I will.

Their open house consists of farm tours, potluck, live music, and a really awesome bonfire, oh and I almost forgot, they also serve really tasty wood fired pizzas with ingredients fresh from the farm!! Last time I made a dish with cheese…. Turns out quite a few people are vegan, so that was a bit of a fail. Selfishly, I love to cook and wanted to share that with everyone, so I wanted to make something that everyone would be able to eat. And that is how the idea of Spicy Vegan Lentils was born :)

Let’s face, it at some point we have all been faced with the impossible question, what to make for a potluck? I’m hoping you guys quickly dismissed the idea of something store bought. Don't do it!

In all seriousness, it can be a somewhat daunting question, you want to find the right balance of something that is relatively simple to make, tasty, appropriate for your audience, and somewhat budget friendly, amiright?

I had this whole discussion with myself and thought a vegan dish would be great, something with a flavor complexity, and something warm and hearty. So, next time you’re in that boat, look no further, I’ve got you covered!

Let’s talk about lentils for a second shall we? Growing up, my mom would make these funky bland lentils and we would add apple cider vinegar to them and they weren’t very good (sorry Mom). Well, this dish is NOT like that, they’re full of flavor, spicy, savory, and oh-so-satisfying. Hold the apple cider vinegar. These lentils are actually really addicting, and judging by how quickly this dish went at the potluck, I’d say everyone else thought so too!

Just a disclaimer, this recipe makes A LOT, I made enough for the potluck and some leftovers for lunch. Feel free to scale it down for your needs.


3 Tbsp Coconut Oil

1 Whole Onion Diced

4 Tsp Garam Masala

1 Tbsp Red Chili Powder (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1 ½ Tsp Tumeric

1 ½ Tsp Salt

1” Piece of Ginger

4 Cloves of Garlic

8 Cups of Water

4 Small Potatoes

1 Can Chick Peas

4 Cups of Green Lentils


In a large pot add water and bring to a boil.

In a large-extra large pan heat coconut oil and add onions, sautee for 3-4 minutes.

Add spices and salt, cook for 5 minutes.

Add potatoes and chickpeas and cook for an additional 7-8 minutes.

Add ginger cook for 3-4 minutes.

Add garlic and cook for 3-4 minutes.

By this time your water should be boiling, add your lentils to your pot of water and let cook for 5 minutes.

Add potato spice mixture to lentils, cover with a lid and cook on low heat until all of the water has been absorbed and lentils are tender.

Here's a few photos from the event!

Just a small portion of the incredible produce growing on the impressive Wild Willow Farm!

They have their own wood fired pizza oven that creates the most amazing pizzas with dough made from scratch using their very own sour dough starter.

Some gorgeous sunflowers!

Some students had created an artistic experiment by artfully creating these wood stands that were covered with tin foil one side that was aimed at a large pot in the center of the circle, the heat that was reflected from each of these was used to cook a pot of vegetarian chili! Yum!

A fire pit surrounded with the most comfy benches made from straw and some sort of clay, one of the really cool DIY things around Wild Willow.

There was such a great turnout! I brought a bottle of local wine from Blue Door Winery to enjoy with friends!

Annnddd.... just so you can feel like you were really there, here's my plate! So much yummy goodness!

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