Healthy Eating Series with Replay | Day 7 {Lovely Lentils} – Re-Play

If you haven't cooked with lentils before, they are so easy to make and can be adapted to fit into almost any recipe. We have been making what I call "Lovely Lentils" since Olivia was 6 months old and we first introduced solid foods. To kick off a new week of my March series with Replay Recycled, I'll be sharing our Lovely Lentils recipe that incorporates up to 10+ vegetables and is so hearty and delicious for babies, children and adults alike! It is a great way to encourage your child to eat more vegetables and the split red lentils provide protein to keep your child focused and energized

LOVELY LENTILS
{A favorite food since Olivia was about 6 months old, she still eats ‘Lovely Lentils’ on a regular basis. They are a great way to incorporate any - and every! - veggie you have on hand as well as protein and fiber from the split red lentils. Every few months, I make a huge batch and then freeze it in 1 oz cubes to use whenever we want!}

what you'll need:
+ base vegetables: onion, carrots & celery with leafy tops, all finely diced
+ assorted vegetables: sweet potatoes, butternut squash, kale, swiss chard, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, etc.
+ red split lentils and chicken stock with a 1:2 ratio {for every one cup of lentils, two cups of chicken stock} / you can also sub vegetable stock but I love the hearty flavor that chicken stock provides
+ S&P / coconut or olive oil
+ food processor / trays to freeze if desired {our favorite here}

what you'll do:
+ In a large dutch oven or pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat and all diced onion, celery and carrots; cook through and season with S&P
+ Add in assorted vegetables and sauté 5-7 minutes until tender {I normally throw in whatever vegetables I have on hand from fridge and freezer, and yes – I have used every single vegetable listed above in one batch!}

                                                                                             

+ Add in lentils

                                                                                             

+ Add chicken stock in a 1:2 ratio {if you added A LOT of vegetables, you may need to add extra chicken stock which is just fine}

                                                                                             

+ Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer

+ Cover and let cook for approximately 15 minutes or until lentils have softened and most of the liquid has been absorbed

                                                                                             

+ While still warm, using a large food processor, blend lentils until smooth {for an older child, you can leave them with some texture}

+ Serve warm immediately or freeze in cubes {store up to 3 months in labeled freezer bags} 

We have lentils in our freezer at all times, since a big pot makes 30-40 ounces. They are a great, easy dinner if I haven't had a chance to cook or if we have been out and about all evening and I want to throw something together quickly. To serve from the freezer, I just remove a few cubes at a time depending on how hungry she is and I reheat them in a small pan on the stove, adding in a little coconut oil and within minutes, dinner is served! Even when she hasn't been feeling well and has refused every other food, lentils are never turned down. I also love that I am able to throw in all the vegetables I have on hand before they spoil, so food never goes to waste!

 

For the rest of this month's posts about healthy eating with easy recipes, click the links below:

avocado / cauliflower / sweet potatoes / chia seeds / protein punch / zucchini

Hope your week is off to a great start!

~ Megan

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