Occasionally, I really enjoy cooking for myself. It doesn’t happen very often, as most of the time I like to have someone there to try my food with me, and shower me in praise. Its no fun telling yourself how tasty your food is, I mean how are you to know how good it is without reinforcement from others trying it? Plus, its quite hard to cook a meal for one, as most recipes and the ingredients you need to make them don’t come in single serving size. It’s a real problem, and so I tend to avoid cooking for one. I guess I will need to get more used to it if I live on my own, which could be happening quite soon. But I guess I could either get used to it, or just invite more people over. I feel like the latter might end up happening.
Anyway, I had a night where I was home alone and thinking about what I wanted to eat. And then it hit me: I can cook whatever I feel like eating, and I don’t have to consider what other people might want to eat. I could have chocolate for dinner, or cheese, and no one would be there to question it. However, I had a strange craving for lentils. I do like vegetarian food, and will tend to eat it when I’m out over meat without thinking. But I do live in a household where vegetarian meals don’t really fly. Each dish needs some form of meat in it, and so I often don’t get to eat it at home. So I took this as a perfect opportunity to try a dish that would satisfy my craving for vegetarian food.
The dish I ended up cooking is delicious, simple and most of all healthy. It was really easy to make, but ended up with beautiful, Moorish flavours. I had already pinned a recipe for lentils a while ago that I had been meaning to try, but I realised that I actually had two recipes. So I ended up putting them both together, as I really felt like having some mushrooms in the dish. They ended up really adding to the flavour, and making the dish a little more substantial. I couldn’t stop eating these beautiful lentils, and they make a perfect winter dish (even though we can’t really call our weather winter anymore). Plus, I had it completely cooked in under half an hour, which is perfect for a weeknight dinner. What more could you want? Tasty, Healthy and Quick: It’s a perfect trifecta!
Lemon and Balsamic Lentils
|Adapted from||The Petite Kitchen|
|Preparation Time||15 minutes|
|Cooking Time||10 minutes|
· 1 can of lentils, drained and rinsed
· 1 and a half tablespoons of olive oil
· 3 cloves of garlic, minced
· 1 cup of chopped mushrooms
· 2 handfuls of baby spinach, roughly chopped
· ½ tablespoon of balsamic vinegar
· Juice of a small lemon
· ¼ Sea Salt
· ¼ teaspoon of pepper
1. In a large frying pan on a medium heat, warm the olive oil until sizzling
2. Add the garlic and mushrooms, and cook until soft (about 4-5 minutes). If the pan gets too dry add a tablespoon or two of water.
3. Add the lentils, spinach, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Toss the lentils around to coat.
4. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the lentils are fragrant and get a nutty aroma. Once cooked, add the lemon juice and stir the lentils.
5. Serve as is, as a side, or on toast.
And that’s all there is to it. I told you it was really easy! It really takes no time at all to whip up this delicious meal, and the flavours were great! It filled the house with a delicious aroma, and I couldn’t stop eating the resulting meal. The lemon juice really lifted the flavours in the dish and made brought out the natural flavours in the lentils. Plus the mushrooms and baby spinach really complemented the dish, making it a more substantial and fulfilling meal.
I ate these on their own, but they taste really great over toast, or as a side dish to lamb. I would eat these for breakfast for a protein boost. It is a really healthy dish but ended up being quite hearty and filling. If you are willing to look past the vegetarianism of the dish, it makes for a quick, simple and delicious weeknight meal that anyone could make!
Until next time, happy cooking!