Entries Tagged as 'lentils'

Michelle’s Incredible Lentil Salad

Do all of you know Michelle at Thursday Night Smackdown? If you don’t?  Get over to her site right now! I’ll wait.

No, seriously, I will.

Isn’t she great? She has the best sense of humor, and her blog is filled with delectable goodies ranging from appies to salads to mains to desserts. I discovered TNS a few months ago, and it has quickly become one of my “first reads” in the morning. Thursdays are “Smackdown” days. Michelle chooses a recipe from one her many cookbooks and makes it. Mondays are “Cheap Assed” days, where she uses pantry staples and inexpensive ingredients to make incredible meals for *under* *$5!* per serving. With today’s economy, that is one hell of a bonus! You may remember her Extreme Rotini and Cheese, that I am totally claiming as my own from now on (sorry Michelle! lol) As of late, she has been making meal after incredible meal…all spot on with my tastes. It’s as if she were trying to seduce me with her cooking. You’re not, are you, Michelle? lmfao I’m just teasing. It’s just that…I dunno…awesome food…swearing…getting my funny on…well, it’s just the best, that’s all. It’s like one stop blog shopping. Treats! Snark! Giggle! See what I mean?

So anyway…the other day she made this incredible looking lentil salad. Lentils! Salad! I’m so there. Not only is this salad good, it’s EXCELLENT. I even cheated. I didn’t cook my lentils with the oh so fun to make cloved onion. I used a jar of lentils. That I had in the pantry. Then added the ever so smallest pinch of ground cloves to the salad. Nobody noticed that I hadn’t spent that extra hour plus cooling time. See that? And? AND I was frugal, because I used pantry goods, as well as basil from my leetle basil plant on the patio.  I also subbed Feta cheese, because that’s what I had.  That salad was free! I had everything in the house. I bet you do, too.

Now, there are a couple of events that I want to participate in. My very good friend Shaye, at Smarter than Pancakes had a birthday recently, and would like us to bring something to her Birthday Picnic!

I’m bringing this salad. Not only because it’s freaking fabulous, but because it’s a dish that lends itself *perfectly* to an afternoon outside with friends. So, Happy Birthday, Shaye! MUAC!

Grace at A Southern Grace is also hosting an event, called Beat the Heat! 

that I’d like to participate in, seeing as it’s hot as Hades round here, and we’re all looking for refreshing dishes to combat the scorching heat of summer. The catch?  No heating up the kitchen!  Microwaves and ice-cream makers are allowed, but not the stove or oven or any other heat emitting appliance.  Grace, check this salad OUT man. Seriously. If this doesn’t beat the heat, maybe we’ll have to have a beer with it or something. ;) lol

Hearty Lentil Stew with Chorizo and Bacon

So, it’s definitely winter here in Canaryville…you might laugh at me for my idea of winter after having lived in the Minnesota tundra, but even so…winter it is…short grey days, blustery winds and rain.  The temps aren’t overly chilly, but it *feels* freezing…partly because of the humidity, partly because of the structural elements of the house…marble floors and concrete walls don’t lend well to warmth. lol  Here in the city of Las Palmas especially, it’s rare that people have central heating installed, so chilly days really are chilly…even inside!  I generally provide improvisational heat by baking, and making bubbly things on the stove.  I think it’s almost like aromatherapy heat…psychologically, comforting smells warm the soul and therefore, the body. :)  

lentil stew

Lentils have to be one of my favorite things ever.  I like them in just about anything, but in soup or stew they really appeal to my soup/stew addicted senses.  Rich in iron, protein, B vitamins, potassium and calcium, lentils really pack a nutritional punch too.  Spanish chorizo (from Asturias) really deepens the flavor of this stew.  It, along with the bacon add a wonderful smokiness that makes this one of my winter favorites. (Don’t be alarmed at the long list of ingredients, the recipe is actually very easy, just chop and throw everything into the pot.)

Ingredients:

2 pounds (1 kilo) dried lentils (I use the tiny dark brown ones)
1 large onion, minced
1 yam, peeled and diced
2 ribs celery, diced
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
4 potatoes, peeled and diced
3 zucchini, diced
1 piece of pumpkin, peeled..I used about 2 cups worth of diced
4 Spanish chorizos, sliced
1/2 pound bacon (200 grams), cut into bite sized pieces
beef broth or water and bouillon to cover vegetables completely, and to allow lentils to absorb water.
2/3 cup tomato sauce or tomato puree
thyme to taste
2 bay leaves
garlic powder to taste (I actually prefer garlic powder to fresh in this recipe) fresh garlic tends to lose it’s flavor when it’s boiled, while the powder adds a toasted garlic flavor that really adds to this.  Alternatively, you could brown some garlic in a bit of olive oil in the stockpot before adding the other ingredients)
salt and pepper to taste

Preparation:

Wash and sort lentils.
Place all ingredients in a large stockpot and bring to a boil.
Cover and reduce heat to low.
Simmer, covered for 2 hours, or until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.
Remove cover and simmer until desired thickness of stew is achieved (I usually leave it another hour or so), stirring occasionally.
Serve with cracked black pepper.
** This stew is even better the next day.

canarygirl




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