An old friend of mine used to make an incredible beets and lentils dish. I don’t remember how she made it, so I made my own version and man, is it good. And FAST. And EASY. Which makes this impatient and always hungry mama-to-be very, very happy. I don’t ever follow recipes and don’t measure, but believe this version is so simple it’s almost impossible to screw up. Best of all, I only dirtied one pot/lid, the cutting board, and a knife.
- Skill set needed: Common Sense
Garlic – I used about 5 of various sizes, because I LOVE garlic and use it so much it takes a lot for me to actually taste it.
Onion – Either one small or medium. Whatever you have.
Lentils – 1 cup. This made quite a few servings.
Beets – I used about 5 or 6 small-ish beets.
Kale – About 4 or 5 big leaves
Optional: Stock of some kind
Gently heat some olive oil in a pot. Mince up your garlic and chop your onion and throw them in the oil. Have “a moment” where you close your eyes and waft the delicious smells that are cooking. Savor this. Remember the first trimester when you couldn’t stand to smell ANYTHING cooking? Feel a deep sense of pride about making it through early pregnancy. You’re doing it!
Measure 1 cup of dry lentils and dump them in. Stir the onions, garlic, and lentils around in the oil. Mmm. Now pour in some water. How much? I don’t really know. I put in about 2 cups at this point (I think?), stirred, then turned the heat up a bit. Put the lid on.
While that was cooking, I took care of my beets. I chopped the ends off, then washed and peeled. I chopped up the beets into small pieces so they would cook quickly, then dumped them into the pot. I’d try for medium heat- you need the lentils and beets to cook, but don’t want to over or under do it. I added a bit more water so that everything was just covered. You could totally use stock instead of/in addition to water- I didn’t because the only bouillon I have has MSG in it and I’m trying to avoid it. Set a timer for 20 minutes and go relax. Feel free to celebrate your decision to make a healthy meal by eating a large piece of cake, like I did. (My doula brought me half of a homemade cinnamon cake to yesterday’s prenatal visit. I love her so.)
Once the timer goes off, you know it’s almost time to eat. Take off the lid and give a stir, then work on your kale. Take a few big leaves, rinse, and rip off chunks in a size that’s appetizing to you. (Kale cooks down a lot, for those unfamiliar with it). I try to avoid the chewy, large center vein. Throw your kale chunks into the pot and stir around. Turn your heat to simmer, with the lid off, for about 5 minutes. Carefully test out a beet to make sure they’re cooked to your liking. If the pieces are cut small, they should be perfectly al dente. Turn off the stove.
Spoon into a bowl, taste and salt accordingly. Add your goat cheese. Take a picture of it. Take 2 more because you take horrible photos. Post to Twitter. Offer to share the recipe, then write a post about it. Realize you should probably not offer to share recipes that don’t involve proper measurements. Stir your now melted goat cheese around your dish and wonder why you don’t eat more goat cheese.
Now enjoy your meal with a cold glass of apple cider and take a nap- you deserve it!