Friday, November 13, 2009

Super Easy Lentil Soup, Greens and Leeks, and Caramelized Carrots

Mom came over for tea one afternoon and this ended up being our clean-out-the-fridge lunch.  I already had rice from a curry I had made, so I just scooped that on top of the super easy lentil soup.  Greens are my favorite side dish of 2009- whether kale, spinach, collards, or mustard greens- you can pair them with garlic, onions or any other member of the allium family (leeks!) and saute with a little hot sauce.  I usually add a dash of lemon juice, lime juice, or apple cider vinegar to my greens, and if I'm working with super bitter greens, agave nectar may find its way in as well.  To round out this lunch I had baby carrots in the fridge for snacking that were tossed with brown sugar, garam masala, cayenne pepper, and salt and baked at 450 until they caramelized.  I added sliced a granny smith on top of the carrots for a nice crunchy tangy contrast.  

Super Easy Lentil Soup

2 cups dried red lentils
2 cups veggie broth
2-4 cups of additional water
your choice of cumin, poultry seasoning, garlic, and/or curry powder

Cook lentils on medium/med high with 2 cups of broth (or check out a veg bouillon cube- I like Rapunzel's Sea Salt and Herbs), after about 10-15 minutes add one cup of water, then after 5 minutes more add any additional water, depending on desired consistency.  The soup will take about 30-35 minutes total.
Serve with rice!

Greens and Leeks

1 Leek
4-6 cups of fresh greens (kale is my favorite)
1 tsp of thai chili garlic sauce
dash of apple cider vinegar
pinch salt

Cut leek crosswise and lengthwise, discarding the end and the dark green tops.  Soak cut leek in water to ensure the dirt that gets in the leek does not get in your food.  In a skillet or wok (lightly coated with olive oil), toss leeks on medium high for about 3 minutes.  Add the hot sauce, then the greens, coarsely torn and stems removed.  Toss with vinegar (or lemon juice) and salt until bright green and ready to serve!

Caramelized Carrots

3-4 cups of chopped carrots or baby carrots
1 tbsp of coconut oil (or soy free earth balance)
1 tsp brown sugar
pinch cayenne
1 tsp garam masala
pinch salt

Toss carrots with seasonings and butter and bake at 450 for 15-20 minutes until brown and caramelized.  Top with sliced granny smith apples.

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