Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Star side dish: Yellow lentils with sauteed vegetables

Today as I was deciding what to cook for dinner, I realized that we've been eating way too much pasta. Pasta is so easy to make and everyone loves it and you can make so many things with it. But too much is too much, so having decided to take a little break from it, I was going through my pantry and found this half unused bag of yellow lentils. I thought how I really don't cook lentils enough, or beans in general. They are so good for you and Allie really likes them, so I made a resolution to include more beans into our diet.Lentils are great, because they come in different fun colors and the best part is that they cook super quick! By the time you are done with your main dish, lentils are cooked too and you can add anything you want to them, just like pasta. They taste great cold as well, if you add a nice dressing to them.

Yellow lentils with sauteed vegetables

1 Cup yellow lentils
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 stalk of celery, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1/2 bell pepper (I used green, but any color will do), chopped
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper
Olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
chopped parsley for garnishing

Bring a pot of water to a boil, add some salt,  then add in the lentils, stir and let cook for about 25-30 minutes. Start checking for the taste at about 20 minutes to ensure that the lentils don't get too soft. Bring them to any consistency you like. I like them, as the Italians say, "al dente". They look prettier that way too.

In the meantime, prepare your vegetables. Chop them all into the same size pieces and now comes the easiest part. Heat a sauteing pan, add the olive oil and butter and all of the vegetables in. Season with some salt and pepper and let cook, stirring occasionally for about 10-12 minutes. At the very end of cooking, stir in the vinegar and parsley.

Your lentils should be cooked by then too. Drain the water out of them and add the lentils into the pan with the veggies. Stir together to combine and serve.

These lentils came on a side of a variation of these turkey cakes that were made with dark chicken meat, corn, carrots and onions, but I think they would make an excellent side to most other main dishes, or even a nice topping to a green salad (hmmm maybe that's what I'll do with the leftovers for lunch tomorrow!)