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everyone loves lentils!

On the menu tonight was Heidi Swanson’s Lentil Almond Stir-fry for our dinner party!  It was a huge hit!  Everyone loved it, and so did I.  This is a delicious and easy dish (especially if you use the pre-cooked lentils Heidi suggests).

I bought Trader Joe’s pre-cooked Black Beluga Lentils to make sure this dish was easy to put together.  They sell them in the rice/pasta aisle for around $2 a pack.  They tasted great and all I needed to do was heat them up.

Lentil Almond Stir-fry (with Mint Sauce)

from 101cookbooks.com

Serves 2-3 (I doubled the recipe for 4 people – it was a perfect amount with one serving left over for lunch tomorrow!)

Ingredients:

  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 to 8 very small new potatoes, cut into 1/2 pieces
  • 2 cups cooked brown or black lentils
  • 12 brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt, thinned out with a bit of water, and salted with a pinch of salt
  • 2 dates, pitted and chopped

Mint Sauce (optional)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 serrano chile pepper, de-veined and seeded
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • pinch of salt
  • a touch of sugar, or honey, or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions for stir-fry and mint sauce:

1.  Start by making the mint sauce. Combine the mint leaves, serrano, olive oil, salt, sugar, and lemon juice in a food processor. Give it a few pulses, just enough for the mint to break down a bit.  Set aside.

2.  Heat the olive oil and a pinch of salt over medium heat and cook the potatoes. Cover the skillet and let the potatoes cook through, this will take five minutes or so. The water in the potatoes will help steam and soften them. When the potatoes are just cooked through (not mushy or falling apart) remove the lid and give them a good toss. Turn up the heat to medium-high and stir every minute or so until the potatoes look a bit golden. Stir in the lentils, and cook until heated through. Turn the potatoes and lentils out onto a large plate and set aside.

I used 2 different types of potatoes tonight.

3.  Then cook the brussels sprouts using the same pan. Heat another splash of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Don’t overheat the skillet, or the outsides of the brussels sprouts will cook too quickly.  Place the sprouts in the pan, sprinkle with a pinch of salt, cover, and cook for a few minutes; the bottoms of the sprouts should only show a hint of browning.  Once just tender, uncover, turn up the heat, and cook until the flat sides are deep brown and caramelized.

4.  Add the lentils and potatoes back to the skillet and add most of the sliced almonds. Turn out onto a large platter and drizzle with some of the yogurt and mint sauce. Top with the remaining almonds and the chopped dates.  (I served the yogurt separate for people to use as wanted).

I served the Beer Bread Muffins with this dish, which just came out okay.  The flavor of the muffins was great, but the outsides were a little chewy – opps!  Next time I’ll stick with the loaf.  They still were eaten though!

All in all, a great meal.  I would make this again in a second!  The mint sauce really complimented the dish – it is a must!

And, for dessert?  Blonde brownies!  I like these even better the next day.

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nuts are good for you

Yuck!  What another gross day!  Luckily, I had a gym workout planned so I headed to my spinning class this morning.  Love the instructor on Thursday’s – she kicks your butt!  My legs are literally still shaking 8 hours later.

Breakfast part 1 was eaten right after the gym -a protein smoothie!

  • 1 cup frozen berry mix
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp hemp protein powder
  • 1 tbsp honey

Breakfast part 2 was after I got ready for work – an ezekial cinnamon raisin english muffin with almond haze and blueberry jam.

I love the Futter’s Almond Haze with its chunks of hazelnuts and almonds.  And, the Blueberry (North America) Crofter’s Superfruit Jam is by far the best flavor!

I spread 1/2 with the nut butter and 1/2 with the jam.  Delicious!

The morning flew by, so lunch time came very quickly.  Last night I prepared my lunch for the day so I wouldn’t be rushing – salad, pineapple and yogurt.  All stacked up and ready to go.

My salad contained green leaf lettuce, wheatberries, cheddar cheese and golden beets.

I also packed some snacks for today, since spinning days always seem to make me more hungry!

2 graham crackers, honey peanut butter and an apple!

Dinner will be a little later tonight for our dinner party, so this snack will hopefully hold me over.

In other news, it looks like nuts are finally making a comeback!  For years, so many women have been nervous to eat nuts because of the high fat content.  It is true that you should only eat them in small portions due to the high fat, but it is all good fats which are healthy and essential for your body.  Studies have shown that people who eat more nuts normally eat less overall because they keep them full and satisfied for longer.  Check out this article: Once a diet no-no, nuts are in again.  I have already eaten nut butter twice today!

See you after dinner!