Archive for the ‘Lentils’ Category

French Lentil Salad

I’m not sure I have a whimsical anecdote to go along with this post, but lets see what I can manage…

I’m tired in the evenings when we get home from the gym, and if Jake isn’t around to wrangle Gemma while I cook something up, my dinnertime ends up being somewhere around 9:30pm.  That’s usually about the time I decide that a bowl of cheese puffs and a big glass of wine will do because who the hell wants to cook right before they go to bed??  Not me.  It has been getting warmer here in the ABQ, which makes cooking even less palatable.  (Jake made a pizza on Monday night and having the oven on made me feel like I was back in my Bikram Yoga days.  Seriously.  Sweating.  To.  Death.)  I’ve been playing around with different kinds of cold salads that I can prepare earlier in the day (hopefully during a 3 hour nap) and have waiting for me in the fridge after the gym and after I’ve gotten my Schizophrenic Toddler Terrorist down for the night.  This is one of those salads.

French Lentil Salad

Adapted from French Vegetarian Cooking:  A Step By Step Guide

Ingredients:

*1 1/2 cups Le Puy lentils (you can always use another brown or green lentil, but the Le Puy have a great flavor!)

*2 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed (still essentially whole)

*Champagne Vinaigrette (Combine 1 heaping tbsp of mustard with about 3 tbsp champagne vinegar.  Stream 1/4 of olive oil into the mixture while whisking steadily.  Salt and pepper to taste.)

*Several sprigs of fresh flat leaf parsley, minced

To Make:

*Simmer the lentils and the garlic cloves in a large, uncovered pot of water for 25-35 minutes (until the lentils are tender).

*Remove the garlic cloves after about 15 minutes.

*Prepare the Champagne Vinaigrette in a large serving bowl.

*Add the parsley to the vinaigrette.

*When the lentils are ready, drain off the liquid and add them to the vinaigrette.

*Gently incorporate the lentils with the vinaigrette and parsley and adjust seasonings to your taste.

*Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Survey Says:

This is incredibly easy and incredibly good!  Gemma ate it for dinner last night with her beloved tomatoes (the dish pictured above is hers) and loved it.  Just give it a try.  You’ll like it.  I promise.  There’s something about the vinaigrette with the lentils that is just so perfect!  It’s definitely hearty enough to stand on its own as the main part of your meal, but could also be a great side!

Marinara con Lenticchie (because everything’s better in Italian)

So yeah…ummm…I haven’t been here for a while.  I started the new year full of grand plans and goals, and I’ve stuck with some of them.  I’ve been doing a Push-up Challenge where I started with 1 push-up on January 1st and I’m up to 65 as of today (March 5).  By Zumbaing (yes, it’s a verb) 5 days a week and being more mindful of what I eat (most of the time) I’ve managed to banish the last few pounds that were sticking around from France and Italy.  I’m using my yogurt maker to make yogurt and I haven’t bought canned beans since I figured out how to make them in the slow cooker.  The blog, however has been neglected as the cold weather sunk in around the ABQ and Jake, Gemma, and I craved our tried and true recipes rather than being more adventurous in the kitchen.  The unexpected death of a good friend on Valentine’s Day shook our little world, and I proceeded to eat and drink my feelings for several days in a row.  Fun fact:  did you know that my feelings happen to taste like red chile and white wine??  What do your feelings taste like?

But I’m back.  At least I’m trying to be back.  On Friday I willed myself to be motivated to cook something new, and you know what??  It worked!  The sauce that follows is another great way to break away from plain old marinara sauce.  I give you…

Marinara con Lenticchie (Lentil Marinara)

adapted from The Way the Cookie Crumbles

Ingredients:

*1 tablespoon oil
*9 garlic cloves, minced or grated
*¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
*¼ cup red wine
*1 can (28 oz) tomato puree (or your favorite variety of tomato)
*8 ounces brown lentils, rinsed and picked over
*1 cup water (this was for a thicker sauce, but please add more to reach the consistency you want!)
*salt to taste

To Make:

*Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.

*Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.

*Add the wine to release (with scraping) any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.

*Add the remaining ingredients and turn heat up to medium-high.

*Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to medium-low.

*Cook for 60-75 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until the lentils are tender and the sauce is at your desired consistency.

Beacuse even movie stars have to eat dinner.

And let's all marvel once again at the TERRIBLE lighting in my house!

Survey Says:

Gemma and I really enjoyed this sauce (and she’s having leftovers for dinner tonight)!!!  The lentils add good texture, great taste, and awesome nutrition!  I made mine thicker so as to avoid any major sauce related accidents on Gemma’s part.  If you like a thinner sauce, by all means, use some extra water.

Curried red lentils with potatoes.

Winter is fully upon us here in the ABQ, and I am desperate to keep everyone feeling warm and full!  This is not a slow cooker recipe…we were feeling lazy today and did our grocery shopping and I didn’t get my act together soon enough to throw something in.  This is a recipe that I found on the “How to Cook Everything” iPhone app and it is now part of our general cold weather rotation!  I made a batch and a half this evening so we would have some to freeze for quick bites and dinners for the baby later in the week when we are truly lazy!

Ingredients:

*1 cup dry red lentils (or any kind really…just be sure to rinse and pick through for stones and such)

*2 large red potatoes peeled and cut into chunks (I’ve made it with the peels and it is just fine… a different texture but still really good!)

*2 tbsp curry (hot, regular or a mixture of both and to your taste)

*2 tbsp salted butter (optional)

*salt to taste

*3 1/2 cups water

To make:

*Combine lentils, water and curry powder in a large saucepan.  Bring up to a boil, then cover partially and turn heat down to medium-low and cook until lentils start to absorb water (10-15 minutes).

*Add the potato chunks, cover, and cook undisturbed for 10 minutes.

*Stir gently after 10 minutes and check the lentils to make sure that they are not too dry.  If they are, add a little more liquid (this is also where you add the butter if you are using it).

*Add salt as the lentils and potatoes become tender.

*Cover and continue cooking until both lentils and potatoes are tender.  Whatever your version of tender is:  could be 10 more minutes, could be 45 more minutes.  I tend to like my potatoes falling apart because let’s face it, there is not much else that is more disgusting than raw potato! (This time it took about 35 minutes or so)

*The mixture should be moist but not soupy, so make sure that you’ve added an appropriate amount of liquid where necessary.

*Serve as is, with black pepper, with a dollop of plain yogurt, or (for a real treat!) some crumbled goat cheese!

 

Survey Says:  You wish you were at my house tonight!  Awesome!  It’s a great base recipe because you can tweak the spices, the amount of potato, and even the overall consistency for whatever your personal tastes may be!  It’s so good that I’m not quite sure how much is going to be frozen for later!!!!

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