Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Great Lentil Recipe

I grew up on lentils mainly because my mom always told me that they are good for you (they are..loaded with protein and fiber) and cheap (they are...$1 per bag). But I strayed away from them for awhile because I didn't know how to cook them with any kind of variety. But I stumbled upon a cookbook that had a really neat lentil recipe in it and decided to give it a try. Keep in mind that this recipe is very flexible...where it says sausage substitute ground turkey or chicken thighs or legs.

And if you have any questions about the recipe post a comment and I will be sure to help you out.

Sausage and Lentil Stew

1 2/3 cups lentils
3 cups water
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 lb Italian sausage (removed from the casings or sliced) or substitute 4 chicken thighs
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, diced small
2/3 cup chicken broth

1. Heat up a frying pan with a couple of turns of olive oil. If you are making this with chicken thighs, salt and pepper the thighs and brown in the pan on both sides (about 6 minutes on each side). If you are making with sausage or other chopped meat, add the meat to the heated oil and brown throughout.
2. Place meat to the side when it is all cooked.
3. In a separate saucepan or pot coat just the bottom with olive oil and heat the pan.
4. On medium heat, add the onion, garlic, and carrots and saute for a few minutes until the onion becomes clear and soft.
5. Add the lentils to the mixture and stir for a few minutes to incorporate the lentils with the vegetables.
6. Add the water and stir well.
7. Bring the water to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer until the lentils become tender. Approximately 25 minutes.
8. When the lentils are done, add the chicken or meat mixture and the chicken broth to the lentils.
9. Cover and simmer until the meat is cooked throughout. Approximately 15 minutes.
10. If you want to add more variety, cook some pasta or elbow macaroni and serve the lentils over the pasta.

This makes a great meal and great leftovers. You can add whatever meat you want or you can make it completely vegetarian. It's your choice. Have fun with it.

Bon Appetite

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