Recipe from Cook Like a Champion

I love Indian flavors.  And so does J.  But this was a dish a bit outside of our normal comfort zone.  The big red flag for J?  No meat!  But I actually think he really liked it. 

This was an extremely simple meal to cook, although you do need about an hour to thicken.  I served it with Naan I picked up at the grocery store.

Ingredients:
1 c dry lentils
1 (14 ou) can crushed tomatoes
1 T fresh grated ginger
1 T minced garlic
1 t cayenne
1 c water
4 T unsalted butter
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 c heavy cream
2 T minced fresh cilantro

Directions:
In a large saucepan, add lentils and enough water to cover by 2 inches.  Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer.  Simmer for about 10 minutes, until lentils are open and tender.  Drain and return to pot.

Stir lentils around pot, using a spoon to smash some of them against the sides.  Add tomatoes, ginger, garlic, cayenne, water, butter, salt and pepper.  Cook over medium heat for about 1 hour, until thickened.  Periodically check to make sure water has not cooked out.  If it has, add a bit more water and then cover for remaining cook time.

Stir in cream, garnish with cilantro and serve immediately.

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Recipe from Cooking Light

I paired this soup with grilled cheese sandwiches.  This recipe took maybe 20 minutes to come together.  It was a great weeknight meal for a cold day.

Ingredients:
14 ou chicken broth, divided
2 t chili powder
1 t ground cumin
1 can navy beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium poblano chile, halved and seeded
1/2 onion, cut into wedges
1 pint grape tomatoes
1/4 c chopped cilantro
2 T fresh lime juice
1 T olive oil
1/2 t salt

Directions:
Combine 1 c broth, chili powder, cumin and beans in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Combine remaining broth, poblano and onion in the food processor and pulse until vegetables are chopped, then add to the Dutch oven.

Add tomatoes and cilantro to the food process and process until coarsely chopped, then add to pan.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in juice, olive oil and salt.

Recipe from Cooking Light

This was a simple recipe to throw together on a busy Sunday.  I let this cook while I did some work around the house.  The house smelled delicious as it cooked! 

Ingredients:
3 c water
1 c dried kidney beans
1 c chopped onion
1 c chopped green pepper
3/4 c chopped celery
1 t thyme
1 t paprika
3/4 t cayenne pepper
1/2 t black pepper
14 ou smoked sausage, thinly sliced
1 bay leaf
5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t salt
3 c hot cooked rice
1/4 c chopped green onions

Directions:
Combine ingredients through the garlic in the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 5 hours.  Discard the bay leaf and then mix in the salt.  Serve over rice and sprinkle servings with green onion.

Recipe from Cooking Light

I came across this recipe as I was searching for some meat-free, easy recipes that would be great for weeknight meals.  It was extremely quick and easy to make, and I was actually surprised at how good and flavorful it turned out. 

I think I slightly over blended the beans, however.  I used my immersion blender instead of transferring half of them to my blender, and I slightly overdid it.  I didn’t mind it, but J does like some chunks in his soups, so that was his one complaint. But he also really liked the flavor.

I served it with cheesy tortillas.  I just piled some cheese onto half a tortilla shell, then heated it up in the skillet until both sides were lightly browned and the cheese was melted.

Ingredients:
1 t vegetable oil
1 T minced garlic (about 2-3 cloves)
2 c water
1/2 t chipotle chili powder
3 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
8 ounce salsa
1 T fresh lime juice
1/2 c chopped fresh cilantro (didn’t have this so I skipped it)
1/2 c shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Directions:
Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and saute until fragrant, then mix in water, chili powder, beans and salsa.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and then simmer for one minute.

Place 3 cups of the black bean mixture into your blender and blend until smooth. (I used the immersion blender here, just be careful of how much you blend it.) 

Return the pureed mixture to the pan and add in the lime juice, then simmer for 10 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in cilantro, if using.

Serve sprinkled with Monterey Jack cheese.