Sunday, April 8, 2012

LUNCH IT UP WITH LENTILS


When it comes to lunches, I am terrible with coming up with interesting and cheap things to make - usually I classify all lunch items as being either too similar to breakfast or too similar to dinner to be labeled a strictly lunch meal. On top of that lunches are quite annoying when you are on a student budget - I usually spend lots of money on breakfasts and dinners and am left with very little for anything else. Usually I just eat left overs from the night before however, lately there have been a lot of mornings where I have to make something fast. I believe I may have arrived at a solution to my lunching dilemma - lentils. You can buy them dry, they cost almost nothing and they are smack full of protein to keep you going until dinner. Simon and I made this recipe today adapted from the "Oh She Glows" blog. It's super simple and tastes great....I have made a few suggestions on how you can change it up...but go nuts - experiment and make it your own!

BUDDHA BOWL (Makes 2 Large Portions + a little extra for later)

Bowl:
1 cup dry lentils
1 cup dry brown rice
olive oil
1 onion (doesn't matter what kind)
4 cloves of garlic
2 bell peppers (different colours makes it pretty)
1 tomatoe
2 cups spinach
big handful of fresh parsley
a little bit of peeled carrot
sea salt (I use herbamare just cause it gives it more flavour)

Sauce:
1/4 cup tahini (if you don't have it try another nut butter and add a little extra oil)
2 cloves garlic
1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh is always good, but if not from the bottle)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
4 tbsp olive oil (preferably cold pressed)
1 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp water

1) Get the lentils and rice cooking in two separate pots - bring both to a boil and then reduce to medium/low heat and simmer until cooked (15-20 min should do the trick). Drain both pots and set them aside.
2) While the lentils and rice are cooking chop up the onion and garlic and put it in a bowl. Next, chop up the tomatoe and bell peppers and put them in a separate bowl. Prepare the spinach and parsley by cutting (or ripping as I prefer to do) into little pieces and set aside.
3) Next prepare the sauce...its super easy. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
4) Put it all together! On medium/low heat saute the onions and garlic in a large pan until the onions become translucent. Add the peppers and tomatoes and stir for about 8 minutes until soft, in the last two minutes add the spinach. Pour the sauce into the pan and mix everything around until it is well coated. Finally add the drained lentils and rice and stir for a few minutes. Stir in the parsley at the last minute, add a few strands of peeled carrot on top and season with salt to taste. Voila - ready to serve.

Suggestions to Make it Your OWN!!!!!
-change up the grain (quinoa,amaranth,buckwheat)
-add different veggies (green beans, snow peas, zucchini,sweet potatoe, kale, swiss chard)
-try different colours of lentils (each colour has a slightly different texture and taste)
-let your imagination go wild!

Lots of Love,
Malakai

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