New Year Resolution Lentils

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Ah, the end of the year.  This past year has flown by and while I’ve made amazing memories and hit some pretty awesome achievements, there are still things I want to work on.

I love the last few days of the year.  It’s a cosmic limbo between the old and the new, a bridge from where you currently are and where you are going.  I believe the start of the year brings an energy that’s important to tap into.  Take some time to reflect on everything you’ve done in 2016 and where you want to be in 2017.  The most important part is to bridge that gap.  Don’t just set goals for yourself and expect them to happen because you want them to.  Take the time to figure out exactly what it will take to achieve them.

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There is no better way to channel all the good energy at the start of the new year than with lentils.  Or any beans for that matter, however lentils are one of my favorites and a delicious way to ring in 2017!  Legumes and lentils are said to bring luck in the new year, and who am I to question that delicious logic 😉  This dish is a warm salad, with the base of caramelized onions and french lentils.  I love the al-dente texture of french lentils and their deep green/black color.  Not to mention they offer 9 grams of protein per serving, as well as fiber and a slew of vitamins and minerals.  Maybe that’s what makes them so lucky!

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My absolute favorite thing to do these days is caramelize onions, low and slow, until they achieve a deep golden brown color and are so sweet and utterly delicious. I use them for the base of squash soups, collard greens, and just about every other vegetable you can think of.  Seriously nothing tastes bad with caramelized onions.

For this dish, I used the sweet onions as a sauce for the lentils and tossed them with cheesy roasted cauliflower and sage squash.  The result is this amazing melt-in-your-mouth warm salad that is hearty, filling, and will last you days.  I like to pair this warm salad with nutty millet, however you can use any grain you want or a crusty loaf of bread.  Trying to cut back on the carbs?  Simply serve the lentils over a bed of chopped kale or leafy greens.

Get ready for a big year on Margaret’s Dish in 2017 :)  I have a ton of recipes and a new direction that I’m excited to share.  I wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous new year!

 

New Year Resolutions Lentils

 

2 cups dry french lentils, soaked overnight or for at least 3 hrs

 

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cups sliced onions

 

1 medium cauliflower, cut into small florets

1 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 Tbsp pecorino romano cheese*

 

3 cups diced butternut squash (about 1/2″ pieces)

1/2 tsp each garlic powder and onion powder

1/2 tsp dried sage

1 Tbsp olive oil

 

4 large carrots, diced

4 stalks celery, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tbsp olive oil

 

pecorino romano cheese, for topping*

salt and pepper

*to make this recipe vegan, sub nutritional yeast 1:1 for pecorino romano cheese

Directions:

  1.  Add the onions and 1/4 cup olive oil to a pan on medium heat.  Get the onions sizzling, then turn the heat down and let them caramelize on low for 1-2 hours, stirring every 20 min or so to prevent burning.  This step seems long and unnecessary, but trust me it makes the dish!  While the onions are doing their thing, you can prepare the rest of the salad, have a glass of wine, and go for a nice walk with your dog (hint: new years resolutions!).
  2. Preheat the oven to 400 F.  Line a two baking sheets with parchment paper.  Toss the cauliflower florets with 1 Tbsp olive oil,  1 tsp each garlic and onion powder and 3 Tbsp pecorino romano cheese.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Lay the seasoned florets on the one of the prepared baking pans in an even layer.  Toss the squash with 1 Tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tsp each garlic powder, onion powder, and dried sage.  Season with salt and pepper then place in the other baking pan, in one even layer.  Bake both for 35-45 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so.  When the edges are crispy on the squash they are done.  The cauliflower will start to turn golden brown when ready.
  3. Drain and rinse the lentils, then place them in a pot with 3-4 inches of water over the top of the beans.  Add a pinch of salt to the water, then bring to a boil.  Immediately turn down to a simmer and place a lid over the lentils.  Simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the lentils are cooked to your preference. Drain the lentils when cooked.
  4. Saute the garlic in a pan with 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until golden brown, add the carrots and celery and saute for 3-5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  5.  To assemble add the lentils in a large bowl and toss with the caramelized onions. Add the sautéed carrots and celery and toss to combined.  Gently mix in the roasted cauliflower, squash, and a generous handful of cheese.

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