Tag Archives: lentils

Sausage and Lentil Stew

Lentils are a one-pot superstar. They’re low in calories and fat while packing a punch when it comes to fiber, protein, and iron. They sometimes get a bad rep for being difficult to cook, often turning out crunchy or mushy. But if you get the process down, they can be filling and flavorful when cooked correctly. I actually found this recipe on the bag of Safeway brand lentils (go figure), and it’s now one of our cold weather favorites!

Sausage and Lentil Stew

Sausage and Lentil Stew

1 tbsp olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1½ cups chopped carrots
1 lb smoked sausage (I use Hillshire Farms Turkey Polska Kielbasa)
1 lb dried lentils, rinsed thoroughly and drained
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
1 lb fresh spinach or kale

1. In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Sauté onions, garlic, and carrots until tender (about 10 minutes).

2. Add sausage, lentils, broth, sage, thyme, pepper, and salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes or until lentils are barely tender.

3. Stir in spinach or kale and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for another 10 minutes or until lentils are tender. Ladle stew into bowls and serve.

Lentil and Sausage Stew

*Recipe originally from Safeway 

Must-try Healthy Foods for 2013

New year, new opportunities! Make 2013 the year you jump on the healthy food trend bandwagon and cook outside the box. Here are my favorite healthy foods YOU should be trying this year.

1. Kale
Kale is the superstar of the leafy green family. Not only is it high in antioxidants, it contains important nutrients like Vitamins A and C, iron, fiber, potassium, and calcium. If you’re a beginner, try working kale into a pasta dish (it resembles spinach when it’s sautéed in a little garlic and olive oil). Try this Garlic Lemon Kale Pasta or this Kale and Bacon Risotto. You can also brush kale leaves with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and bake for about 15 minutes at 350° for a crispy, savory snack!

2. Quinoa
This grain is high in fiber and protein and can be substituted for rice and pasta in many dishes for a more nutritional option. And bonus, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa! For maximum flavor, cook quinoa in a vegetable or chicken broth instead of plain water. My favorite quinoa recipe so far is this Southwestern Quinoa dish. So yummy!

3. Lentils
Lentils can be tricky to cook (often turning out either crunchy or mushy), but if you can nail the process, this pantry staple has the same amount of protein as a steak! I love these Mushroom Lentil Burgers I made from Cooking Light (they use precooked lentils!), and I also make this Butternut Squash, Chicken, & Lentil Stew that is simply delicious!

4. Greek Yogurt
There’s one big reason why I prefer Greek Yogurt over regular yogurt—it has about double the protein for the same amount of calories. With so many brands jumping on the Greek Yogurt train, there are lots of options, and there’s almost always one that’s on sale. I love Chobani and Dannon’s Oikos yogurt. And it’s not just for breakfast—plain Greek Yogurt is a great substitute for sour cream!

5. Brussel Sprouts
I have to admit, I used to turn my nose up at brussel sprouts—and without cause, as I had never even had them. But once I tried them, I was hooked! Brussels are packed with vitamins, iron, folate, and fiber, and they happen to be super easy to make. Just cut off the ends, drizzle the brussels with olive oil, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper, and roast at 400° for about 35-40 minutes.

What healthy foods are you looking forward to trying (or eating more of, hopefully!) this year?

Mushroom Lentil Burgers

I saw this recipe in the August issue of Cooking Light, and since I am always looking for new vegetarian recipes to add to our menu, I decided to give it a shot. They were really good! As my husband said, you have to like mushrooms because it’s chock-full (though I can’t imagine why you’d make mushroom lentil burgers if you didn’t!).

If I had a con for these burgers, it would be that they’re really, really fragile. I suppose that’s to be expected with veggie burgers, but you have to be very gentle when flipping these—and even then, they may fall apart a tiny bit. Even with that, I managed to make four respectable and delicious burgers!

Mushroom Lentil Burgers
From Cooking Light

1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
3/4 cup chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, chopped
5 regular or whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted and divided
6 ounces presliced cremini mushrooms
1 (8-ounce) pouch precooked black beluga lentils (such as Archer Farms)
4 tsp Dijon mustard, divided
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 ounce goat cheese, crumbled
1 1/2 tbsp canola mayonnaise
1/2 cup baby arugula

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat.

Place 1 bun in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Remove breadcrumbs from food processor; set aside.

Combine mushrooms, lentils, 2 teaspoons mustard, and the next 3 ingredients (through salt) in food processor; pulse to combine.

Combine onion mixture, breadcrumbs, mushroom mixture, and egg in a large bowl, stirring well. Divide mixture into 4 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add patties; cook for 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove patties from pan; arrange in a single layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle patties evenly with cheese. Place under broiler for 2 minutes or until cheese is softened.

Combine canola mayonnaise and remaining 2 teaspoons mustard in a small bowl. Spread the top half of each of the remaining 4 buns with 2 teaspoons mayonnaise mixture. Top each bottom half of bun with 1 patty. Divide arugula evenly among burgers; top with top half of bun, mayonnaise-coated side down.