Sunday, November 9, 2014

im all about da beets, bout da beets and lentils

Feelin da beets. Like many deeply colored veggies, beets are full of cancer-fighting phytonutrients and packed with vitamins and nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin B, potassium, and manganese. Betalin, which gives beets their scarlet hue, helps the body detoxify. And... they taste good! Lots of reasons to eat beets today. And heres how...

Beet braised lentils overflowing out of a crunchy green bell pepper? Yes please! I got the idea for these beautiful lentils (that will stain your napkins but are so good that you don't even care) from Feasting at Home. My version is slightly different; it doesn't call for beet juice or veggie stock, making it a bit simpler. 
  • 1 large beet (or two small)
  • 2-3 carrots
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 1 sweet onion, yellow or white
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • two sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 1 cup of dry lentils, soaked overnight (should be about 2 1/2 cups soaked lentils) (I used french green lentils, but any will do)
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 teaspoons balsamic

Roughly chop the beet and carrots and throw them in the food processor, chop until all the big chunks are broken down. Roughly chop the onion and peel the garlic, add to the beets and carrots and process until all are finely chopped, this stage is up to you, if you want bigger chunks of veggies, just process less! Heat olive oil in a pot, add chopped veggies and cook until soft, about 5 to 7 min. 

Now, lets take a step back... If you didn't soak your lentils, you are going to need a lot more water, and a lot more cooking time, so I suggest that you just soak them, at least for the day, or you are just making more work for yourself.

Okay, moving on. Since everyone has soaked their lentils, strain and rinse them and then add them to the pot. I like to add the same amount of water as there are soaked lentils, in this case, about 2 1/2 cups. Throw in rosemary, add some salt and pepper, and cover. Cook for about 10 minutes covered, stirring occasionally, and 10 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally. Liquid should be cooked off and lentils should be tender, don't eat them if they are hard! Just add some more water and cook them until they're done. When they are done, stir in the balsamic vinegar, I would suggest starting with 2 tsp and tasting them to see if you want the third! 

I have had these with grilled veggies, like zucchini and green beans, or with fish! Or, in my husband's case, under a steak. They are an excellent side dish that adds bulk to a vegetarian meal. And the leftovers are outstanding. This was lunch today...

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