Tag Archives: lentils

Spiced Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mejadra)

I recognize that early January is a time of year traditionally reserved for repentance and asceticism, but I’ve never been much good at either of those.  After many years of making my never-changing Annual New Year’s Resolution (yeah, I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours), this year I didn’t make one at all.

So while better women are perfecting their green smoothie technique or annoying the regulars at the gym, I’ve been getting over my fear of deep frying.Lentils and Rice with Fried OnionsAnd I’m so glad I did.  This dish is spectacular for a few reasons.  The flavors are deep and rich and sweet, beautifully spiced but not at all spicy.  You probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboard, but I bet it won’t cost you $2 if you have to restock anything for this recipe.  And the leftovers just get better and better as the days go by. Continue reading

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Lentil Chili

At this time of year, I have chili on the brain.  It’s is basically everything I want in a winter meal: hot, filling, a little spicy, and a perfect vehicle for avocado.  I know that in the meat-chili world, there is a beans-or-no-beans question.  That question does not exist in my vegetarian chili world.  Yes, there will be beans (or, in this case, lentils).  Continue reading

Lentil and Yogurt Salad

It’s no secret that parents find themselves doing things that they wouldn’t have expected of themselves before having kids.  Today alone, I patiently explained to my kids over and over why they couldn’t play with a ball that they’d thrown into the chicken yard (it was covered in chicken poop), calmly told my one-year old to take a huge rock out of her mouth (we were inside; where did that come from?), and rejoiced along with my three year old when we found a small stuffed toy that she was desperately looking for (it was stuffed down into her pants leg, of course–yes, that’s right, the leg of the pants that she was wearing).

Today our entire family also attended a preschool “graduation” ceremony celebrating the fact that our three-year-old had finished this year of preschool…and will be starting another year of preschool in the fall.  Is that crazy?  I definitely would have thought so before becoming a parent.  And I guess I still think it’s a little bit silly now.  But you know what?  It was just darling to see her pride and excitement as her class filed in, to hear her voice ring out above the others as she belted out the word “chrysalis” in a song about a butterfly, and to see the smile on her face as she accepted her “diploma,” posed for a photograph, and then sprinted to us, beaming.  And even if it’s making too much of a not-much milestone, I love to see my girls learning to love school, which I know will serve them well in life.

Afterwards, we stayed for the school picnic.  I brought this salad, but don’t be fooled into thinking that the kids even tried it–they had sandwiches instead. Continue reading Lentil and Yogurt Salad (click for recipe)

Simple Lentil Soup

I haven’t posted a lentil soup here in weeks.  Weeks!  Hopefully you’ve been managing to get by alright with that red lentil soup from last month.  And did I ever mention that you can and should make The Best Soup of 2011 with green lentils?

But what do you think I EAT around here, people?  Oh, right, that kale salad.  Every day.  But also: lentil soup.  And this week it’s this lentil soup.  It’s a recipe that’s been in my life for a long time, but I never get tired of it.  I try out a lot of recipes, as you might have noticed.  Some are duds (you’ll never hear about those, shhh).  Some are momentary infatuations.  Some I make season after season, year after year.  This soup falls into that last category.

And since it’s late April and I’m talking lentil soup, I guess it’s time to come clean about something: seasonality be damned, I make soup year-round.  Avert your eyes if you must, or haul your laptop over to right in front of your air conditioner to read about it.  I live in Seattle, after all, and feel that I am entitled to take advantage of the few meteorological perks available in this region.  So I will be making soup as the weather permits (i.e., all summer long).

This is one of those recipes that I got from a friend a long time ago and I don’t know where it came from before that.  So if you are the inventor of this precise combination of ingredients, thank you.  It’s perfect.  I haven’t changed a thing.  My friend says the Parmesan rind is what makes it so good, which may be true, but if you don’t have one handy I imagine that you could add the flavor by stirring in some finely-grated Parmesan cheese at the end.  And if you’re vegan I am pretty sure that you could get away with leaving the Parmesan rind out and adding one pinch more salt–but I haven’t tried that.  I don’t want to mess with perfection.

Finally, don’t forget that in the time it takes this soup to cook you can easily bake a homemade bread.  This week I’ve been baking this easy little oat bread, but a whole wheat soda bread or even a beer bread would be perfectly nice as well. Continue reading Simple Lentil Soup (click for recipe)