Before getting to the good stuff, I just want to thank you for still coming ’round here , even when my posts are much more sporadic than I like… sometimes other parts of life take over and don’t allow for enough of this. But I am so happy and appreciative that many of you still take the time to take a peek at LTGI!
And – time away on my part does not mean that I’m not cooking, baking, researching and so on – it really just means that I have a huge back-log of posts and recipes that I’ll get up here eventually 🙂
So, back to business something quick, belly-warming, healthy and delicious to pick things back up at LTGI.
Work has been very, very busy lately, and when free time/ cooking time is reduced, I’m even more about low-fuss-yet-high-quality meals than usual. This dish – lentils and wilted greens over rice – requires very minimal prep work, and leftovers keep really well for a few days in the fridge. So if you know you’re going to have a busy week, like in our house right now, it’s great to make and have on hand to cover you for a few meals.
I heard of this original recipe on Epicurious from my cousins, who made it when Peter and I visited them recently and it hit the spot for both dinner and breakfast*. It’s one of those super simple yet incredibly satisfying meals that is warming, and you just know you’re doing something good for your body while eating it – it’s so healthy! Protein, healthy carbs/fiber, lots of vitamins and minerals = perfection.
Here’s my adapted version, which is completely plant-based – a little chipotle chili powder gives a delicate smokiness that is a perfect replacement for the flavor something like pancetta or bacon (found in the original and other similar recipes) might add.
Recipe: Lentils & Wilted Greens Over Rice
What You Need:
- 3 cups of lentils (I used green) and about 5 cups of water
- 1 medium sweet onion, cut in half
- 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
- 3 large garlic cloves, gently smashed (lay a chopping knife flat-side down against the top of the clove of garlic, and give it a light whack with your palm)
- 1-2 glugs olive oil (approx 1/2-1 tbsp)
- 4-5 dried cloves
- a pinch or two of fresh thyme
- a few shakes of chipotle chili pepper powder (start with a pinch, taste later and add more if you want)
- a few shakes of cayenne pepper
- salt & pepper to taste
- 5 oz bag of organic greens , steamed (I can’t get enough of Trader Joes’ “Power to the Greens” mix of baby kale/spinach/chard – heat about 2 tbsp water over medium heat in a large pan or pot, add the greens and cook for a few minutes – stirring – until just wilted, and grind in some pepper to taste)
- Brown or wild rice, cooked
What You DoWait for it… are you ready? This is about to get super complicated.
Toss all the ingredients listed above (through salt & pepper) in a crock pot, put the lid on, turn it on High for the longer cooking time – and let ‘er go. It should cook for at least 6 hours, and can certainly go longer if you need (if 10 hours, try it on a Low setting – but I haven’t done that yet myself, so I can’t speak specifically to how it would turn out). Once it’s done, pull out the cloves. The carrots will be really soft and the onion and garlic will have also softened and fallen apart, so I like to leave those in – but you can remove them before eating if you prefer.
Take note that I made this quantity of lentils to feed 2 of us for up to 3 meals, but we’ll have to make more greens as we go.
All components of this dish – the lentils, the greens, the rice – can be made in varying quantities depending on how many servings you want and what ratio you want of each component. Scoop some of each into a bowl, and try adding some Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or a drizzle of a good balsamic vinegar (I recently became enamored with Napa Valley Naturals Cherry Wood Aged Balsamic Vinegar – it’s addictive!).
*Legumes + Greens + Healthy Grains = BREAKFAST! I do love “traditional” breakfast food – a good pancake or waffle is one of my favorite treats – but 98% of the time, Peter and I make fruit/veggie smoothies for breakfast. Which, particularly as someone who didn’t used to be an everyday breakfast eater by nature (terrible), is a habit I love. The key to a proper breakfast is nutrients. And with something like lentils, brown rice, and superfood greens – it’s a wonderfully well-rounded, easy to eat (hot or cold) bowl of goodness that can