Posts Tagged 'lentils'

Curried Lentils with Potatoes

There are certain necessities in life.

You need to go to coffee on the weekend. Preferably with a cute baby strapped to you.

You need to bring that cute baby to meet someone awesome. Like Joy the Baker!

The line may stretch down the block, but it’s worth the wait.

Side note: I first met Joy when she was in San Luis Obispo waaay back in 2010. She was staying there for a couple days working on her cookbook and we got coffee. She so sweet and humble and funny, and it was really refreshing that she came across in person the same way she seems on her blog.

You need to get her book and make things! I am having the hardest time deciding what to make first, but I’m leaning towards vanilla bean snickerdoodles. Or maybe the peanut butter cake. Or maybe her grandma’s banana bread.

Or perhaps you just need some lentils. I doubled this recipe and we had a TON of leftovers for lunches, which is always a bonus.


(source: How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman)

Wheat Berry and Lentil Salad with Tahini Dressing

I think I have a good schedule worked out that will let me get in all the things I want to do. At least, it’s worked so far this week:

5 AM – wake up, make breakfast, write blog post

6 AM – shower, get ready

6:30 AM – get Ellie up, feed her

7 AM – Leave the house to take Ellie to daycare

7:15 AM – Arrive at work

3:30 PM – Leave work, pick up Ellie, go home and feed her

4:15 PM – Run with the stroller

5:15 PM – Home from run, shower, start dinner and do general household chores

7:00 PM – Ellie’s bedtime

8:30 PM – My bedtime

Since working out after school can be a little tougher than getting it done first thing in the morning, I hung a little motivation up in my classroom. The kids instantly recognized it as “that run thing I did last year when I was pregnant” (I may have mentioned it just a few times…)

I promised the kids I’d run with them today. I have four PE classes, and I’m running about mile with each class. I really do have the perfect job!

OK, so this is definitely very similar to this salad, which also has kale and lentils and lemon juice. But can you ever really have too much of a good thing? Especially when that good thing is healthy and filling?

adapted from Oh She Glows

Lentil Salad with Fried Eggs and Mushrooms

I love meeting other food bloggers. Particularly those who run and appreciate good coffee and are perfectly content to sit on a bench overlooking the bay talking about running Boston and stress fractures and boys and family and meeting famous bloggers. I got to hang out with Joanne this afternoon, and over some delightful drinks from Blue Bottle, two hours of conversation flew by.

One of the million things we talked about was creating recipes. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Joanne’s blog, but she puts together some pretty awesome flavors and makes ridiculously good (and healthy) stuff. I am woefully inadequate in this area, but thanks to The Flavor Bible, I’m starting to branch out a little bit.

While this salad was inspired by a recipe I found in my Gourmet cookbook, I left out the bacon, added some sauteed mushrooms, and changed up the seasonings. I loved this meal, but I think if I were to do one thing differently, I would wilt the spinach a little bit before putting it in the bowl. Still, I was really happy with the way it came together, and any recipe that makes lentils taste good is a keeper in my book!

(inspired by Gourmet)

1 cup French green lentils
2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
10 cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely diced
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 tsp dried thyme
salt and pepper
2 tsp red wine vinegar
4 eggs
4 big handfuls fresh baby spinach

Combine the lentils and broth in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Turn heat down the heat and simmer, covered, until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain any excess liquid that remains in the saucepan.

Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high. Add the shallots, carrot, and celery and saute until all the vegetables are soft. Transfer to a bowl and add the lentils. Toss with the vinegar, thyme and add a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste.

Heat the butter in the skillet, then add the mushrooms and cook, stirring, until softened. Remove from heat and set aside.

Wilt the spinach (if you’d like) in the skillet, then divide among salad plates or bowls.

Fry the eggs in the skillet.

Top the spinach with a scoop of lentils, then place a fried egg on top and sprinkle with mushrooms.

French Green Lentils with Tomatoes

Obviously, dessert posts are MUCH more popular than posts like this. Which sounds better, a brownie or a bowl of stewed lentils? Pretty sure you’re going to go with the brownie. But sometimes, honestly, we just need this simple, healthy food.

I always heard (well, in the last couple months when I was actually paying attention to pregnancy-related things) that the second trimester was by far the best. There were promises of increased energy and no more nausea. Um, where do I sign up for that? I got a couple weeks of slightly more energy but now I’m back to feeling really tired and sluggish, plus now I get these super fun headaches. I know it will be worth it in the end, and I know it could be a lot worse, but sometimes I just wish I could have an extra 3 or 4 hours a day to sleep.

I’m not totally Debbie-Downer though. I found out today that I got a good review from my principal, and I’m not getting a pink slip! (That’s kind of unusual for first year teachers in California – there were about 20,000 handed out but I got lucky.) I’ve also been baking a ton lately which is always fun if not completely healthy. And I’m still running. Kind of. Once since that 18 mile slog on Sunday… At least it’s light until 7:30 now!

Other than that, I’m constantly finding new ways to avoid writing a huge paper analyzing my teaching. I can procrastinate with the best of them. I’m reading Girls of Riyadh, obsessively playing 7 simultaneous games of Words with Friends, re-organizing my classroom, and of course perusing way too many food blogs. But it’s good, because it inspires delicious vegan dinners like this one!

Ina Garten isn’t exactly the first name that comes to mind when I think of vegan recipes, but she has a TOTAL winner here. French green lentils are so much more appealing than the standard brown ones, and the mix of curry powder and tomatoes and sweet carrots is just ridiculously comforting and delicious. Plus after eating a big bowl you just feel so healthy, and who doesn’t want that?

(adapted from Barefoot Contessa at Home)

2 tsp olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 medium carrots, diced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 cup French green lentils
2 cups water or vegetable broth
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp dried thyme
1-2 tsp salt

Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the garlic and cook, stirring, for another minute.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, water or broth, curry powder, thyme, salt, and a few grinds of black pepper to the onions. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down to low, cover, and cook for about 45 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Check on them about every 15 minutes and add more water or broth if needed. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving. Excellent served over a mix of jasmine and brown rice.

Olive Lentil Burgers

I hate the day after a 3-day weekend. It’s almost harder than coming back after a longer vacation because I just start getting into full-on lazy mode and then I have to snap back to reality faster than I want to. Maybe it’s because it’s still my first year teaching, but the night before my first day back after anything longer than a regular weekend I have all kinds of crazy anxiety dreams about my kids going crazy and refusing to do anything.

It kind of worked out well today, because I was bracing for the worst and they were actually really good. I’m still getting over a bad cold and they all seemed really concerned that I was sick, so they didn’t push me the way they usually do. Anytime anyone tells me teaching middle school must be really tough I kind of have to disagree. I think kindergarten would be way worse.

I didn’t plan on taking any pictures of this dinner because I wasn’t sure it would turn out. I’ve had really bad luck with veggie burgers lately – they have ALL just fallen apart, had really weird texture, or been off in the flavor department. Not these. Like my students today, they were pretty much perfect. (I realize I’m now setting myself up for them to be complete terrors tomorrow. I’ll be ready.)

There’s a lot of stuff going on here with the mushrooms, lentils, and olives, but the primary flavor is olive, although it’s not at all overpowering. I pan-fried them for a few minutes on each side to get the outsides crisp, then put them in the oven, and instead of using bread crumbs like the recipe called for, I used oat bran. Sometimes that completely backfires, but today it worked out really well. They are still a little fragile when they go into the pan – you definitely need to make sure there’s enough oil and it’s hot – but they end up taking on a great, firm texture after spending a little time in the oven.

(adapted from Post Punk Kitchen)

makes 6 burgers

3 tbsp olive oil, divided
1 medium yellow onion, diced
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Fresh black pepper
Salt to taste
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
1 1/4 cups cooked (or canned) lentils, rinsed and drained
1 cup oat bran, divided
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Heat a large, heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat. Add 1 tbsp olive oil, and when it’s hot, saute onion for about 3 minutes with a pinch of salt. Add mushroom, garlic, black pepper, and thyme and saute for 7 to 10 minutes, until mushroom is brown and soft

While that mixture is cooking, roughly chop the olives olives.

When mushrooms mixture is cooked, transfer it to the food processor. Add all other ingredients except for 1/2 a cup of oat bran. Pulse until well-mixed and almost smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and stir in the remaining 1/2 cup oat bran. Let stand about 10 minutes

Line a baking sheet with parchment and have it ready. Heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium high heat in a wide skillet. When the oil is hot, divide half the burger mixture into 3 patties and set into the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, or until browned. Transfer the cooked patties to the oven and bake for about 15 minutes. Repeat with the rest of the burger mixture.

Arab Table Lentil and Chard Stew

Lentil. Chard. Stew. Three words that tend to induce reactions varying from mild disgust to gagging, and I threw them all together in the title of this recipe. But please give lentils and chard another chance, because this stuff is really, really good.

I think the reason people hate lentils (or think they do) is because they usually eat them when they aren’t cooked enough (and there’s not much worse than chalky lentils). That was definitely my problem for a few years. Here, they’re nice and tender, with chunks of potato, and great flavor from the cilantro, cumin, garlic, and lemon. The chard is also completely benign here because it just blends right into the background of the soup, so no in-your-face chard flavor, which I always used to hate.

When you have a crowd to feed or want leftovers for days, and don’t want to spend a ton of money but still feel satisfied, give this stew a try! I found the recipe in a book from the library called The Arab Table and I’m definitely excited to sample more of the recipes in it.

(adapted from The Arab Table by May S. Bsisu)

2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
2 cups brown lentils
8 cups water
2 tsp salt
2 medium potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/2″ cubes
1 pound rainbow chard, coarsely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3-4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
thin slices of lemon, for garnish

Heat the 2 tbsp olive oil in a large soup pan over medium-high. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft (about 5 minutes). Add the lentils and the water, bring to a boil, then cover, turn the heat to low, and simmer for about 45 minutes. Stir in the potatoes and salt and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the chard and cook for about 10 minutes. The chard should wilt and the potatoes should be tender.

Heat the 3 tbsp of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the garlic, cilantro, cumin, and coriander and saute for about 5 minutes. Stir into the stew along with the lemon juice, adding water if it seems too thick. Stir well, then taste and add more salt and lemon juice if necessary. Serve garnished with thin slices of lemon.

Mediterranean Couscous and Lentil Salad

I always forget how much I hate the process of moving. During our almost-three years of marriage Mike and I have lived in four different places just in California, not to mention our two apartments in Chiang Mai, one in Bangkok, and one in Seoul (Asia was easier because we were living out of backpacks, though). I get so irritated with packing, cleaning, unpacking, not being able to find anything in millions of boxes, having to map new runs and get used to a new kitchen that cooking usually falls by the wayside and I find myself not wanting to do more than mix up a bowl of oatmeal for about a week after moving.

Now that we’ve been moved in for about a week, things are finally starting to come together. Our cupboards are organized, the pantry and fridge are stocked, and I’m in the mood to cook!

This salad looked amazing when I first saw it in my Google Reader, but I wanted to make it more of a main dish, so I added some couscous. I also replaced sundried tomatoes with roasted red peppers, and loved the salty-sweet contrast between them and the olives. If you have time to let the lentils and couscous cool a little before you mix everything together, then let the whole mixture stand at room temperature for about an hour, I think the flavor will be outstanding. I, on the other hand, was tired and hungry from a long day of shopping in San Francisco so I just mixed everything together hot and it was still really good!

(adapted from Elly Says Opa)

1 1/2 cups lentils
1 bay leaf
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
1 cup couscous
1/2 cup sliced roasted red pepper
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
1/3 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp minced shallot
4 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tsp. dijon mustard
3 Tbsp. good quality extra virgin olive oil
sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring a pot of water and the bay leaf to a boil. Rinse and pick over the lentils, and then add them to the boiling water. Cook until soft, about 20-25 minutes. While the lentils are cooking, bring the broth to a boil in another saucepan. Turn off the heat, stir in the couscous, cover, and let stand for about 10 minutes. Remove the lid, fluff with a fork, and transfer to a large bowl to cool.

When the lentils are tender, drain them and set aside to cool slightly. Toss with the couscous, then add the roasted red pepper, olives and parsley.

Whisk together the shallot, red wine vinegar and dijon. Slowly add the olive oil, whisking constantly until the dressing emulsifies. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Pour the dressing over the couscous and lentils, and mix to combine. Let stand for about an hour before serving to allow the flavors to combine.


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