30-Day Meals: Lentil Soup
In a post called Smallness of Scale over on Seedlings, I mentioned that I live with the "boundary" of a 30-day meal plan.
It's quite freeing to do this. I always know what we're eating on any given day. My shopping list is a no-brainer. We eat our favorites again and again, without repeating them too frequently. There's built-in variety, both taste-wise and health-wise. And now I can cook without recipes (after awhile, they become second nature).
Waste is minimized, as meals often use parts of the previous days' meals. For instance, if you double this Lentil Soup recipe today, you can thicken the leftovers tomorrow, add a dash of hot sauce and worcestershire sauce, and use it as a base for Shepherd's Pie. Just add a layer of mashed potatoes, top with a small bit of cheddar, and garnish with olive oil.
The complete meal plan is in the sidebar here on Green Inventions, but the recipes.... well, I need to post some. Others are in the books that are in the Raw and Veggie Book Lists (also in the sidebar).
Here's my first attempt to get the recipes out:
Sausage-Flavored (without the Sausage) Lentil Soup
1 good pour olive oil
3 garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
Add & saute quickly:
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp fennel seed
1 TB Frontier organic "Bac'uns"
Add & cook 35 min:
2 cups dry brown (green) lentils
1 cup or so tomato puree
water to cover
Add & cook 15 min:
2 potatoes, cut in chunks
2 carrots, sliced
good pour soy sauce or liquid aminos
1 TB rice vinegar
salt to taste
fresh ground pepper
pour of olive oil
Cooking times may vary, due to lentil size and age.
Serve with crusty bread. Simple salad. Crisp-fried thin onion slices/mushrooms (makes a great garnish).
About Lentils: These legumes were one of the first crops ever cultivated. At about 18 grams of protein per cup (compared to 15 in a 3 oz. beef patty), lentils hold their own in the health department. They also have an excellent balance of fat and carbohydrates. High in calcium, magnesium, vitamin A, and potassium, they're a great choice for both kids and adults!
Simple Seasonal Salad
I like to buy ingredients in season. They're usually less expensive. After all, who needs to pay $3.50 for a cucumber? (That's the going rate at my local organic produce store.) This salad has escarole, apples, dried cranberries, walnuts, and gorgonzola. Substitute as you like!
Delectable food begins with the finest ingredients a cook can find or afford. I like to use these simple ingredients, poured and sprinkled directly over the whole salad, to taste. Olive oil, red wine vinegar, honey, oregano, garlic salt, fresh ground pepper.