Is this title sad? I think it seems to be a little bit. But it’s not meant to be! See? After work on Friday I took a really hard pilates class. I left there starving. Between that and knowing that my fridge was FULL of fresh from the farm vegetables, all I wanted to do was cook a big, FILLING, and healthy dinner. When I got home my parents were out. What a rare occasion to have the kitchen all to myself :).
Well, I went a bit crazy in there. Bare with me as I make up my mind on what to make…
It all started with this beautiful head of purple cauliflower from the Farmers Market on Thursday.
I took the little florets off the head and roasted them with salt, pepper, and some olive oil spray for about 10 minutes at 400 degrees. I wanted them crispy!
Along with the cauliflower, I made some sweet potato “fries“.
And I also had kale chips on my mind. Balsamic Kale Chips…so, I made those too.
For those I just ripped the kale from the stems, threw on a sprayed baking sheet, sprinkled with balsamic, salt, and pepper, and baked for about 7 minutes. I baked these at 400 too.
But I couldn’t just eat Kale, sweet potatoes, and Cauliflower…
Enter grain here.
More on that in a bit…
I also needed some protein. And beans+whole grains=complete protein.
Want to know something about lentils? The following is copy-pasted from Wikipedia (the most valid of sources of course for such a lazy researcher ;)):
With approximately 26% of their calories from protein, lentils and generally any pulses or legumes have the third-highest level of protein, by weight, of any plant-based food after soybeans and hemp and is an important part of the diet in many parts of the world, especially in the Indian subcontinent which has large vegetarian populations.
Apart from a high level of proteins, lentils also contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and minerals. Red (or pink) lentils contain a lower concentration of fiber than green lentils (11% rather than 31%). Health magazine has selected lentils as one of the five healthiest foods. Lentils are often mixed with grains, such as rice, which results in a complete protein dish.
Not to mention, they’re delicious as well!
…Yes there are beans in the curried millet salad, and yes lentils are a type of “bean”. Beans on beans? I’ll take it! I love my beans!
There you have it. A huge dinner for myself to enjoy on a beautiful evening. Not too shabby actually. Plus, I have tons of leftovers 🙂
Want recipes now? Okay okay.
This recipe is really easy and only requires one pot. I use a cast iron dutch oven, but any large pot would do. You can eat these with just about any grain- brown rice, cous cous, farro, barley…. or just by themselves! Read above for health benefits of lentils.
Ingredients: (as seen in picture above)
- 1 16oz bag lentils
- 1 carton vegetable broth
- 1 can tomato sauce
- 4 can^^ fulls of water (also to get every last drop of tomato sauce)
- 1 large carrot, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 1Tbs olive oil
- salt, pepper to taste.
Directions: Add diced carrots, onion, and celery to pot with about 1 Tbs olive oil. Salt and pepper a bit. Once it’s starting to smell good, a true sign of your vegetables beginning to cook, add the lentils. Stir around a bit, almost toasting the lentils. After a minute, add the tomato sauce, water, and vegetable broth. Stir. Bring this to a boil. Stick the lid on the pot and simmer for 30 minutes. Taste. Are they soft? Good. Turn the stove off. They will continue to cook from the residual heat, so don’t wait until the lentils are mushy-like.
Curried Millet Salad
The curried millet salad is very similar to the curried cous cous salad.
Follow the directions on the box of millet. The only difference here is that I added some cumin covered chickpeas (from the can) and also shredded unsweetened coconut. Obsessed with that right now, so that should come as no surprise. Curry+coconut is a match made in heaven anyway.
…I just baked a berry cobbler. Stay tuned. 🙂