Monday, September 7, 2009

Mom's Lentil Slowcook Delight

     In honor of labor day, I thought I would share with you a nearly laborless dish. Here in Portland, it is starting to feel like Fall already, the leaves are starting to change and cooler temperatures are here. This  lentil dish will surely warm you up on a cold gloomy day.  As you can imagine, I eat this a lot during Portland's long gloomy winters.
     The best part of this dish is that you can prepare it in the morning by cutting up all the ingredients and throwing them into the slow-cooker. When you get home after work,  you'll have a hot pot of lentils that have slow-cooked to perfection.

The base of this dish is just regular brown lentils, but I encourage you to throw in whatever you like. I almost always use an equal mix of split green peas and lentils. In the picture on the left, I tried a second type of lentils (red lentils) to give the dish another dimension in taste.

Here's my take on my mother's classic recipe:

1 Cup Lentils
1 Cup Split Green Peas
5 Cups Water
1 Bay Leaf (optional)
6-8 quartered cut Potatoes
Handful or more of frozen mixed veggies (carrot, peas, corn, green beans)
1/2 Onion chopped
 Pinch of Salt and Pepper- Optional: Garlic Powder, Basil 
2 Tea Spoons of Olive Oil

Place in crockpot in this order, no need to mix ingredients. Set the temperature from low to high depending on when you want to meal to be finished cooking.
Low- All Day
Mid – 5 Hours
High- 4ish hours

5-10 minutes before serving
Add 2 cans of diced tomatoes (14 oz.) (I recommend trying the various seasoned quarter cut stewed tomatoes).

Realize that this recipe serves probably, about 6 people. It can be cut in half easily. When I was living alone, I would cut this recipe in half and eat it over a couple days. Don't be afraid to make the full recipe, because the dish becomes even tastier after it the flavors have marinated in the fridge for a day or so. The left-overs will not let you down!

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