December 14, 2011

Quick Holiday Protien & Fiber Fix: Red Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

It's the holiday season, which means my regular food intake is easily composed of, and in excess of, the following: butter, sugar, white flour, and party appetizers. I am sure this is something you can also relate to.

As much as I enjoy all of the above items while I'm eating them, I do not enjoy it when my holiday pants don't fit, my stomach hurts, and I feel lethargic. Those are all unfortunate side effects. So I looked around and found an answer to this problem in my pantry: red lentils.

This is an easy, delicious, and deceivingly sweet tasting way to get a high protein, high fiber, and nutritious lunch or dinner in between all of those other goodies. It's ready in 20 minutes or less and can be portioned out in to lunch for the week, leaving you time and energy enough to deck the halls, scramble for that last minute gift, or simply relax in front of the fire!

Quick Simmered Red Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli:
2 T. canola oil
1 medium Spanish onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 medium to large Sweet Potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2" chunks
1 t. ground cumin
1/4 t. ground ginger
1/4 t. ground cinnamon
1 16oz. bag of red lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
1 bag or box of broccoli florets
Salt & Freshly ground pepper to taste

Put the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat until it shimmers and can be spread around the pan. Add the onions, stir, and cover. Allow them to cook for a few minutes, then add the sweet potatoes, garlic, and spices. Stir and cook 1 minute, then add the lentils and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook until the lentils are just soft, anywhere from 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the broccoli florets and stir until heated through. Season with salt and pepper and serve either alone, with crusty bread, or as a side.

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