autumn lentils in spring veggies

27 Mar

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spring has sprung here in colorado!  my garden is sprouting like crazy, the sun has been shining for a week straight, and i’ve seen people in flip flops already!  i love it.

one thing i’ve noticed about the way i have eaten over the years is that lately, i find myself wanting to eat with what’s in season… which is actually a lot healthier for us and believe it or not, it’s actually better for the environment to eat local and seasonal.  nothing makes me a little irked slash kind of laugh inside when a customer says, “i can’t believe you don’t have organic blueberries that taste even slightly sweet right now!” {and it’s january 27th}.  well, if i did have sweet tasting blueberries, you’d complain about the price because we had to fly them in from half way across the world – what do you want from us?!

i’m climbing off that soapbox before i really go off, but the point is… we are one spoiled country. we take for granted that our “food” is available to us any time we want it.  when the grocery store is out of what we need, we are upset… it may even ruin our meal.

packaged goods are always available.  you can have mac and cheese any time you want it, borrowing your milk supply, and it seems like we’ll never run out of chicken… but your favourite fresh produce items are not always going to be available and if they are, the flavour may not be the same…

that tangent was for a reason… {i think}… oh yeah, even though it is spring and my body is switching from wanting the root veggies, pastas, soups, stews, and leafy greens, to wanting salads, cucumbers, light veggies, and lots of fruit, it’s still important to get whole grains in and of course proteins on my plate.

lentils are a great source of protein and provide texture to any dish.  typically i make lentils in soup in my crockpot and eat from it for a few days.  i had a pretty good amount of autumn lentils {found in the bulk section at whole foods market} in my collection of grains and that was the inspiration for this dish.  i wanted to mix a classic fall staple item with the newness and freshness of spring.  this is what i came up with.

ingredients : {all my dishes serve 2-3 – typically i’ll have the littlest bit of leftovers for lunch the next day! 🙂 }

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– 2 large carrots – chopped

– one apple of your choice – cored and chopped {i had a gala laying in the fridge}

– red onion – chopped {about 1/2 cup}

– autumn lentil blend {about a cup}

– mix lettuce {i use the mesclun mix for this – buy a tub and make several meals with it!}

– the best tomatoes you can find {i always opt for the san marzanos – locally and hydroponically grown}

have your lentils soaking in a bowl on the side while you prepare and chop your veggies.  when you are finished slicing and dicing, put the lentils in a small pan with enough water to reach about a half inch above your lentils {add more water or stock as you go if necessary} and  cook them on medium to medium high until just tender –  i think this took about 20-30 minutes.  let them simmer while you are cooking your veggies :

to begin, add carrots to a hot pan with about a quarter inch of water almost boiling – we are going to begin by steaming them to soften them up a bit.  cover for about 5 minutes until the soften up – once they are starting to absorb most of the water and begin to get tender, add in your red onions…

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you can always add in veggie stock or more water to help soften the carrots as they cook – careful not to let them burn, as we are not using oil or butter… you can add a little S&P at this time, though…

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once carrots are slightly tender, add in your apple and toast that up for a bit… not too much, we don’t want it to be mushy…

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this doesn’t photograph well, but i wanted you to see how it combines when you put the lentils in…

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add the final mixture to a bed of mixed greens and top with freshly chopped tomatoes.  i added a few sprinkles of ground flax seed on top of mine as well… the vitamins from all the veggies will absorb better with that soluble fiber you’re getting from the lean lentils!! 🙂

happy spring!

One Response to “autumn lentils in spring veggies”

  1. anthony0358 March 27, 2012 at 6:51 am #

    I love carrots, plus this is the kind of veggie dish that I love to eat

    Like

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