Healthy Eating Series with Replay | Day 7 {Lovely Lentils}

in Mar 16, 2015

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

{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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