Tag Archives: lentils

Daily Dinner Inspiration

10 Mar

by Green Gourmet K

If you are like me then you find it easy to cook something for dinner that will result in leftovers that you want to eat the next day.  I am always in a rush in the morning so I just grab my leftovers, already boxed up, or I come home and reheat.  I find this a good money saving strategy too.  If I make something delicious I will be glad to eat it the next day, instead of staring at my canned soup wishing it were anything else but canned soup.

So where do you all get your inspiration for dinner?  We all probably have a certain number of recipes in the rotation.  But sometimes you want something different.  I do love to see what other food bloggers are cooking up.  One of my favorites is Smitten Kitchen, whatever she makes is golden.  You all know I am a fan of the Bon Appetit, and one thing I have started to enjoy lately are the emails I get from them.  They are mostly, “hey, buy more subscriptions!” but they usually have a good roundup of recipes too.

I found recent inspiration from one of these emails, a recipe for Sauteed Bacon, Lentils and Mushrooms.  Say what!?!  I happened to have many of the ingredients so this was easy to pull together.

To be clear, this is not my recipe, it is from Leite’s Culinaria and it is dang good.  I made a few tweaks, my version is below, but please feel free to compare these and choose the one you like.

Here it is:

Sautéed Bacon Mushrooms, and Lentils

(serves 6)

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cups small brown or green lentils, rinsed  ( I used green)
  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces of sliced baby portabella mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
  • 1 whole lemon, squeezed
  • 6 to 12 slices bacon, preferably thick-cut

Directions

1. Place the lentils in a large saucepan, cover with the water, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer gently until tender, at least 35 minutes or so. (The exact timing will depend on the type and age of the lentils.) Drain well.

2. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees, place your bacon on parchment paper on a cookie sheet.  Bake for about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of your bacon.  Check and turn the bacon half way through.  When done place on paper towels to drain and crisp up.

3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the onion and sauté just until softened and pale golden, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the butter, the remaining oil, and the mushrooms and sauté until the mushrooms are tender. Season with salt and pepper. Add the lentils, a few tablespoons of chopped parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper and heat, stirring, just until warmed through. Remove and discard the garlic. Taste and season the lentils accordingly with more lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

4. Sprinkle the lentils with the parsley and bacon, left whole or crumbled into pieces, the more the better.

Now this is one dish I will be relishing at lunchtime today.

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Mujadara- Lebanese Rice Pilaf

10 Feb

by Green Gourmet L

Sometimes you just need a good cry. And when you do, this is the dish to make. It starts with a 3lb bag of onions. Between slicing, sweating, chopping, and carmelizing, you will get out any tears that may be pent up.

Mujudara is a Lebanese dish made from these aforementioned tear-inducing onions, rice, lentils, and spices. This dish is so simple that you would expect it to be boring. Not in the least! It’s actually one of my go-to Lebanese comfort foods. I even brought it to a potluck with great results. One of the best things is that it’s wheat and dairy free, vegetarian, vegan, and corn/soy/nut free. Anyone can eat it, and they will love it.

Ingredients

Makes 6 servings

  • 3 pounds (or about 5 medium) white onions, sliced moderately thin (reserve 1/2 onion)
  • 2 TB butter (substitute 2 TB oil  if doing dairy free)
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • splash of vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils (not french lentils!)
  • 2 cups long grain white or brown rice
  • 1/2 tp ground cinammon
  • 1/2 tp ground cumin
  • salt and pepper
  • flat leaf parsley for serving

Directions

Melt the butter, oil, and 1 tp salt in a large pan, and add the onions.

Cook on medium-low and stir occasionally until very soft, about 45 minutes. Yes, it’s a long time and yes it’s worth it. You need a good cry, remember?

Turn heat to medium high and keep cooking and stirring often until deeply browned and sweet, another 20 minutes or so. Deglaze the pan with a splash of vinegar and mix into the onions. After the onions are completely cooked, you will only have about 2 cups of the most delicious carmelized onions you’ve ever had. Totally worth it.

In a separate pot, add 1 TB of oil and the remaining 1/2 onion (chopped) and cook over medium high until onion is browned.

Add lentils, water, and salt/pepper. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, add rice and cover/simmer for an additional 20 minutes.

Important note: If you are using brown rice, you need to add this when you add the lentils so that the rice cooks for 40 minutes.

When everything is cooked, fold the onions into the lentil and rice mixture. Add your spices.

Adjust the seasonings and top with chopped parsley. You may choose to serve this with labneh (yogurt sauce, similar to sour cream). Stay tuned for a great recipe for Labneh! Enjoy this trip to the Middle East and don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets!

Lentils and Tomatoes

25 Jan

by Green Gourmet L

When I come home from a long, exhausting day at work, I am usually famished. I don’t really have the patience (after working with patients) to spend hours in the kitchen. Yesterday was exactly one of those days. Luckily, I always keep lentils in the pantry and I was thinking it would be a good night for Lentils and Tomatoes. This is a pantry-meal for me since I almost always have all the ingredients hiding in the depths of the cabinets. The only fresh produce you need for this is carrots. This meal is budget friendly and so healthy. So blow the dust off of your canned tomatoes, it’s time to whip up this winter staple! This recipe was adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 cups onions, diced (about 2 onions)
  • 2 cups carrots, diced (about 4 carrots)
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28oz can tomatoes and juice
  • 1 cup lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 2 teaspoons thyme, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and carrots and cook over medium low heat for 8-10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.

Stir occasionally with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic and cook 1 more minute. Be careful not to burn the garlic.

Meanwhile, place the canned tomatoes, including the juice, in the bowl of a food processor and pulse several times until the tomatoes are coarsely chopped.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, broth, curry powder, thyme, salt, and pepper to the pan.

Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Check occasionally to be sure the liquid is still simmering.

Remove from the heat and allow the lentils to sit covered for another 10 minutes. Add the vinegar. Season to taste and serve hot. I like to serve mine over Isreali Couscous.

But this would also be delicious (and gluten free) if you serve over brown rice or quinoa.  Lentils really do taste good, don’t forget you read about it on Green Gourmets! To print this recipe, click here.