This is LITERALLY a one-pot wonder. My favorite kind of meal. This is another reason why I'm obsessed with my pressure cooker
! Easy to make quick meals that taste amazing and clean up is a cinch! Lentils are one of my favorite foods. They are so easy to make (and quick with a pressure cooker), taste delicious, are incredibly filling, and very nutritious! The beauty of lentils is you can make them a million different ways. This is just one example below. Feel free to mix it up with whatever veggies you have, add pancetta, prosciutto, or simply make them plain with just a little garlic, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes with a drizzle of olive oil and shredded Parmesan cheese on top. Oh the possibilities! Oh and did I mention they are cheap?? A one pound bag is only about $4-5 and will make enough food for half the week for two people eating it every day! They are so good for you, I can't get enough! High in protein and fiber, low in calories, carbs, sodium and all the other bad stuff we don't like :) Below is just what I made tonight, but please feel free to mix it up and let me know what your favorite combos are! I make lentils almost weekly and will be sure to post other good combos in the future. I know that when the time comes and I have a family and need a quick nutritious meal on the fly, this will definitely be a good go-to! Let me know what you guys think!
1 package (5 links) turkey sausage (Hot Italian), just like in my last recipe!
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
5 patty pan squash (mine were local from NC!), chopped *In case you don't know what these look like, see below*
3 cloves of garlic, diced
1 lb. bag green lentils8 cups water
1 TBSP salt
1/2 TBSP pepper
A little more on lentils: They are from the legume family. They usually come in bags like this. They come in different varieties, such as Green, Red, etc. Try them all! Be SURE to rinse rinse rinse them! They are similar to mushrooms or leeks in that if you don't rinse them properly you will get a mouthful of grit....yuck, totally unpleasant. I usually take a colander, put it in the sink, pour in the lentils and then run water over them rubbing them to get the grit off with my hands. This has been doing the trick for me, but I'm open to other ideas :)
Read on here
for more info about their nutritional benefits. Oh and notice the expiration date?? You can keep these babies in your pantry for awhile... I always like to have a bag or two on hand as a go-to when I don't feel like actually making a meal.
These are patty pan squash...aren't they adorbs?
Procedure: (see first picture for finished product).
Turn your pressure cooker onto "Browning" and brown the sausage pieces for about 5 minutes.
Switch the electric function to Saute and add in the onions, letting them soften.
Add in the squash, stir to mix it all up. Add in the garlic. Allow all of these to saute for an additional 5-10 minutes until you are sure the sausage is cooked and the onions and squash have softened.
Add in your (cleaned) lentils and about 8 cups of water.
Add the salt and pepper.
Drizzle a little olive oil over the top (this keeps the lentils from rising too high in the pressure cooker and potentially blocking the valve)
Turn off the saute function. Lock in the lid and turn the valve to "pressure". Cook the lentils on High Pressure for 8-9 minutes.
Serve plain, with crackers, with toast, with a bit of olive oil on the top, or with a bit of red pepper flakes on the top! The lentils are your oyster! Do what you wish!
Below are lentils plain, with just a bit of salt, pepper and garlic.
I even got Matt to try them (YES, the infamous meat eater
) without any meat added to them, just the simple lentils (with a bit of squash) and he loved them!
Below you have plain lentils (just a bit of garlic, TRUFFLE SALT
(omg this stuff is amazing), a few sprinkles of Maldon salt
, red pepper flakes, a drizzle of good olive oil and a drizzle of good balsamic) See here
for suggestions on olive oils and balsamic vinegar.
Below are red lentils. These ones got a little jacked up. Either they need to be cooked for less time, or I just cooked them a minute too long (I did these for 10). They all exploded and it was more like mush. The flavor was great (I used carrots and red peppers) but the texture was off. I like my lentils with a good texture. Not quite as much of a bite as al dente pasta but definitely with a slight bite.
Isn't it obvious? I'm obsessed. In love. I could eat lentils almost every day, as they can be prepared in unlimited ways! They are amazing and I really really hope you try them. You could use less water and have it be a little more solid, less soupy. You can also use some Indian seasonings and then serve over basmati rice. Seriously...endless choices. I'll add more to the blog as I find ones that I love. Feel free to add your favorite lentil combos to the comments below. Thanks for tuning in!