lentils


I have never been a big veggie eater.  As a child I ate, and still do, cauliflower and broccoli which was strange for a small child.  Corn of course.  FROZEN peas. But other veggies – no thanks.

Over the years I have learned to eat and love raw spinach, okra, cabbage, squash, and lentils.  In fact lentils are now one of my favorite veggies.

My goal this year – try more and eat more veggies?  This lentil soup from Heidi fit right into that.  And since it’s pretty chilly outside it was the perfect lunch.

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Red Lentil Soup

 

    2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    1 onion, chopped
    3 shallots, chopped
    1/2 teaspoon red-pepper flakes

    6 cups good-tasting vegetable stock (or water)
    1 1/3 cup red lentils, picked over and rinsed
    1/2 cup brown rice, picked over and rinsed
    as much fine grain sea salt as you need

    slivered almonds, toasted black oil cured olives, chopped feta, crumbled for toppings

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, brown onion, shallots, and red pepper flakes in the olive oil .

Add broth,  lentils, and rice and bring to a boil. Simmer  until the rice is very tender.The lentils will “dissolve”. You may need to add more water/broth to get the soup to the consistency that you want.  Salt to taste.

Serve each bowl topped with almonds, olives, feta, and a slight drizzle of olive oil if you like.

I made 1/2 of the recipe (three nice servings).  Even with salt I found it to be a little bland so I added 1 1/2 tsp of curry powder.  That added a really nice flavor and a little heat.  I topped it with yogurt because that is used quite a bit in Indian cuisine.  The yogurt added a little thickening and enhanced the flavor even more. LOVED IT!!  I will definitely make this again.  Definitely!

You can find her recipe at 101 Cookbooks

Want more Heidi.  Visit IHCC for this week’s Food Goals.

I will admit that I am NOT a big fan of legumes.  Peanuts, yes, but legumes also include alfalfa, clover, peas, beans, lentils, lupins, mesquite, carob, soybeans, and tamarind. Some of these aren’t really for human consumption. But I am not a big fan of the beans or peas. I have just learned to like lentils. I had the choice of two different recipes to fit this week’s theme from Gaye – Lovely Legumes – Peanut Butter Cookies or this pilaf.

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This Garden Lentil Pilaf includes shallots, spinach, grape tomatoes,  {I used a small tomato from the garden} basil, mint, parsley, and green lentils {although I used yellow because that is what I keep.}  Seasoned with a little salt, pepper, and lemon juice it was good.  I wasn’t sure if I would like it, cause I am not a big veggie eater, but I did.  And I will make it again.

The recipe is from Ellie’s So Easy (page 186).  You can also find it HERE!

What else did the Eaters make to go with Lovely Legumes.  Check it out!

Curry, any kind of curry, is comfort food to me.  And even though it is 87 degrees out today {UGH!} this was just too good to pass up.

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I did make a couple of changes to the recipe:

  • The recipe calls for Spanish Pardina lentils, I only had brown {YUCK!} in the pantry.   I will use yellow next time.
  • I used two heaping teaspoons of Curry powder rather than the 1 teaspoon Keller called for.  I LIKE the flavor strong!
  • I made mine more of a stew and only used 4 cups chicken stock rather than 8.

You can find the recipe on page 121 of ad hoc at home, but I also found it HERE.

Of course, because I was making this soup/stew I also had to make the curry powder itself.  A foodie friend sent me a jar of curry powder and then sent me the recipe, which I subsequently lost. I never knew where it the recipe came from until…..

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…I found it again – in ad hoc. {page 336}  I was so happy. Now I have a jar in the pantry ready to use.  There are 20 different spices in this mix,

  • allspice, anise, bay leaf, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg, mace, black peppercorns, ginger, star anise, yellow mustard seeds, turmeric, paprika, flaky sea salt. {The only thing I didn’t have in the pantry was mace but since it is very similar to nutmeg in flavor, only stronger, I subbed in 1/2 nutmeg and 1/2 ground allspice.}

some whole some already ground,  and worth all the trouble to make it.  It is much more fragrant and tastier than what you can buy and the recipe makes about 1 cup of powder.

Okay,that ‘s the last recipe from ad hoc at home.  This has been fun this month cooking with Thomas Keller.  Next month I will be gone mostly so I’ll be back in June with……?

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

The theme this week for IHCC is Ancient Grains.  That means any dish that included:

Farro             Polenta
Kamut           Chia
Spelt              Freekah
Barley           Buckwheat
Blue Corn    Wild Rice
Teff               Amaranth
Millet           Quinoa
and one they didn’t list – lentils.
Ancient grains are those that have been around for many eons of time.  The original grains that have been unchanged since they were originally cultivated.  Many of them thousands of years ago. Full of protein and gluten free.
I had already made all of the quinoa recipes in Ellie’s books but then I found one that had quinoa AND lentils.  Score!!
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Savory red lentil, quinoa, and vegetable stew
Not very photogenic but darn tasty.  The red quinoa and red lentils {which I had run out of and so used plain lentils.  If I had had the red there would have been more color in the dish.} mean the dish is full of protein and gluten free.
  • 5 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 large onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • One 2-inch piece fresh ginger
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1⁄2 small bunch kale (2 cups packed leaves)
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 cup quinoa, preferably red
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 cup peas, fresh or frozen
  • 1⁄2 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons packed fresh cilantro leaves

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan, then keep warm over low heat until ready to use.

While the broth is heating, chop the onion and dice the carrot. Heat the oil in a large saucepan or soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mince the ginger and garlic. Stem the kale; discard the stems and coarsely chop the leaves. Add the ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, salt, and cayenne to the onion-carrot mixture and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the lentils, quinoa, and all but 1 cup of the boiling broth. Stir in the kale leaves and cinnamon stick. Cover, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer until the quinoa and lentils are nearly tender, about 10 minutes.

Add the peas and cook until the peas, quinoa, and lentils are tender, 2 to 4 minutes more. Stir in the remaining broth as needed if the mixture seems too thick. Serve garnished with a dollop of yogurt and a sprinkle of cilantro leaves.

I almost didn’t include the dollop of Greek yogurt on top. ALMOST… but I am so glad I did because it added an extra layer of flavor and a little ‘tang’ to the whole dish.

The full recipe makes a bunch.  It says a serving is 2 cups of the stew and 2 Tbl of yogurt.  That is a lot.  I used it as a side and since I am the only one eating it I have plenty left over.

The recipe is from Ellie’s Weeknight Wonders on page 235.

There are more Ancient Grain dishes over on I Heart Cooking Clubs.  So go check them out.

While we are cooking with Ellie Krieger for the next 6 months with I Heart Cooking Clubs we take a break and have a monthly Featured Chef. This month – Mark Bittman. I love cooking with Bittman. His recipes are healthy and delicious. And this recipe fits right in with his ideas of Conscious Eating – lots of veggies and whole grains.

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Curried Lentil Soup with Potatoes

    2 tblsp oil
    1 medium onion, roughtly chopped
    1 tblsp minced garlic
    1 tblsp minced peeled fresh garlic
    salt & freshly round pepper
    3 tblsp curry powder
    2 medium tomatoes, peeled, chopped
    1 cup dried lentils (wash and picked over)
    1 quart vegetable stock or water
    1 can light coconut milk (or another 1 1/2 cup of water)
    2 medium or one large potato, peeled & cut into chunks {Bittman says you can just about any root vegetable here.}
    1 small zucchini, roughly chopped
    1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro or mint leaves

Heat oil in deep skillet or medium saucepan over medium high heat. When hot, add onion and cook until soft/translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add garlic & ginger and cook for another minute.
Sprinkle with salt and pepper and stir in curry powder – stir frequently until darkened and fragrant, about 1 or 2 minutes
Stir in tomatoes and lentils. {I used red lentils and they will fall apart unless you put them in with the potatoes.}
Add stock and coconut milk.
Bring to a boil, partially cover and turn down heat to simmer.
Stir occasionally until lentils are just becoming tender; stir in potatoes and more stock if needed. Cook another 10 minutes, then add the remaining vegetables. Cover and cook until all the veggies are done.

Stir in cilantro or mint, adjust seasoning & serve

I really enjoyed this soup. It is filling, hearty, spicy, and delicious. I’m glad I made the full recipe.

Visit IHCC for the rest of Bittman’s dishes.

This recipe is on page 204 of Bittman’s Food Matters and you can find it several places on the WWW.

Have you every heard of ‘grief bacon”? No? Me either. But I now know what it is. Because it is this month’s theme for LETS LUNCH What do you want when you feel down? Blue? Is there a special food?

I head for for the jar of Peanut Butter. Or the bag of M&Ms. I seldom make something for me when I am feeling blue. But if I just need something to ‘warm’ my soul I head for soup Not just any soup. Chicken Noodle Soup. Not decadent. Not soothing necessarily. But comforting. I remember sharing a bowl of Chicken Noodle Soup with Mom. Cold days. Rainy days. Chicken Noodle Soup.

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The recipe I used this time was based on a DASH recipe. Trying to eat a little better for our health brought me to this one. Comforting. Healthy. Delicious. And I served a nice hunk of Country Bread on the side. Bread = comfort food!

    STOCK:
    1 chicken (about 3 pounds) skinned and seperated, or 4 chicken quarters, skinned
    8 cups water
    2 onions, halved, the inner layer of skin left on
    3 carrots, chopped
    3 celery stalks, chopped
    1 bouquet garni
    4 black peppercorns
    1 teaspoon salt
    SOUP
    4 ounces spaghetti or linguine, broken into 2-inch pieces
    1 carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
    1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
    1 cup frozen corn, thawed
    1/2 cup barley
    1/3 cup yellow lentils
    2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
    2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

First make the stock. Put the chicken parts in a large, heavy-based stockpot or saucepan. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, then pour in about 8 cups cold water to cover the ingredients. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface constantly until all gray scum is removed. {You could use store bought as long as it’s low sodium – even veggie stock}

Reduce the heat to low immediately after the liquid boils. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and I teaspoon salt. Partially cover the pan and simmer for I hour, skimming as necessary. Test the chicken joints after 30-40 minutes; remove them as soon as the juices run clear when the joints are pierced with the point of a knife. Set aside. Salt and pepper to taste.

Line a large colander or sieve with dampened cheesecloth and place it over a large heatproof bowl, then strain the stock through this. Discard the vegetables and flavoring ingredients. Return stock to the cleaned pan. Skim off any excess fat on the surface of the stock. Cool and freeze the leftover stock to use as a chicken .stock in other recipes.

When the chicken is cool enough to handle, remove and discard all the bones. Cut 112 pound meat into bite-size pieces for use in the soup. Reserve the remaining chicken for sandwiches or other recipes.

Bring the stock to the boil, then reduce the heat so the stock is simmering. Add the spaghetti or linguine and the carrot, and simmer for 4 minutes. Add the celery and corn, lentils, and continue cooking until the pasta and all the vegetables are just tender, about 5 minutes. I cooked the barley separately because it takes about an hour to cook.

Stir in the chicken with seasoning to taste and heat through. Sprinkle in the parsley and thyme, and serve the soup at once.


I added the barley and lentils to the recipe. You could even add quinoa. And any nice other veggie would be nice, too. Broccoli, squash, navy beans.

I also find making my own pasta very comforting so I made whole wheat noodles for the soup.

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I’ll post that recipe later.

What did the other members bring to lunch? You can find a round up on Rebecca’s blog. She was our host this month.

You could make a tart and the day would be happy. At least my day. There are so many ways to make a tart. Sweet. Svory. Veggie. Meat. Apple. Cheese. The possibilities are endless. And that is the problem with this week’s theme for I Heart Cooking Club. I had my heart set on Donna’s Maple Cream Tart. I had all the ingredients. Then I made B a coconut cake. And then a Bundt for National Bundt Day so I really didn’t need anything else sweet in the house. Savory it is.

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    lentil and goat’s cheese tarts
    150g (5 oz) du puy orange lentils
    6 sheets filo pastryI used regular pie crust
    50g (1 1/2 oz) butter, melted
    500g (16 oz) ricotta
    4 eggs
    1 1/2 cups (12 fl oz) milk
    1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
    cracked black pepper and sea salt
    120g (4 oz) goat’s cheese, sliced

Place the lentils in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 15 minutes or until tender. Drain and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 160°C (325°F). Cut the cut crust into circles for 6″ tarts. Line 8 greased 1/2 cup (4 fl oz) capacity tart dishes with the pastry, folding to fit the edges in the dishes.
To make the filling, mix the ricotta, eggs and milk in a food processor until smooth. Place in a bowl and stir through the cooked lentils, parsley, pepper and salt. Pour the mixture into the pastry shells and top with the goat’s cheese. Bake for 30 minutes or until the filling is set. Serve warm. Serves 4.
• You can also use blue cheese or aged cheddar.

As you can see I did make some changes to fit our tstes. The goat cheese I used was herb and garlic which really added great flavor to the tarts.

I made 4 mini tarts and one larger 1 cup capacity with cheddar cheese on top.

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I liked the one with goat cheese better. Probably because it had the herb and garlic.

Donna’s original recipe is on page 76 of off the shelf

Check out what tarts the other IHCC participants made.IHCC Donna Hay Badge resized

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