Lentils with Browned Onions and Veggies

One of the reasons this recipe is so delicious is the browned onions, and a little white wine doesn’t hurt!  It can be a vegetarian main, or a side dish to just about anything.  Salmon worked really well as a pairing for this one, but chicken or just a salad would be great too.  I made this a while ago, but I’m going to make it again this week because it’s one of my new favourites.

I found the recipe on this site.  I made a few changes, such as browning the onions rather than cooking until translucent, I used white wine in place of some of the chicken stock, and I didn’t add the agave nectar that the recipe called for.  The blogger says that both salmon and lentils help de-stress and balance moods, and provides omega-3 and magnesium.  I sure felt happy after eating it, maybe just because it tasted so good.

What you need:

2 cups lentils (french if you have them; I didn’t so I just used green lentils)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 large sweet onion, chopped

2 leeks, sliced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

4 carrots, sliced

3 stalks celery, chopped

1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 cup homemade chicken stock, or vegetable stock for vegetarians (or 1 & 1/2 if you’re not using the wine)

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

salt and pepper

What you do:

1.  Put the lentils into a bowl and cover them with boiling water.  Let this sit for about 15 minutes while you prepare the onions.

2.  Heat the oil in a large frying pan or a pot, then add the onions.  Let them cook on medium low heat, stirring, until they begin to brown.

3.  Add the leeks, and thyme to the onions, cooking for about 10 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes.

4.  Drain the lentils, then add them to the onion mixture, along with the carrots, celery, soup stock, wine and tomato paste.  Cook, covered, over low heat for about 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.  Then add the wine vinegar, and you’re all set.

It’s also good served with a dollop of plain yogurt!

Flax-Bran Raisin Muffins

This recipe is based on my usual bran muffin recipe, but I’ve added flax because of the Omega-3s it contains, and provides even more fibre than a regular bran muffin.  I’ve also lowered the amount of sugar in these, balancing out the sweetness of the raisins. They’re easy to make, taste great, and they’re good for you.  Throw them in the freezer and you’ve got a quick snack whenever you need it.

You need:

1 cup flour

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1 cup bran

1/2 cup ground flax seeds

1 cup raisins

2 eggs

1 cup milk (soy is good too)

2 Tablespoons molasses

1/4 cup butter

What you do:

1.  Preheat the oven to 400F.

2.  Stir dry ingredients  in a large bowl.

3.  Melt butter, then mix in the milk slowly, so the butter doesn’t harden when you add cold milk.  Add molasses.  Pour the liquids, along with the slightly beaten eggs, into the dry ingredients.  Mix by hand only until the ingredients are combined; if you mix more you’ll get tough little muffins.  Mix in the raisins.

4.  Place mixture in muffin tins lined with paper baking cups.

5.  Bake at 400F for 20 minutes.  Take muffins out of tins and cool on a rack for a few minutes before eating.

6.  If you freeze them, make sure they’re completely cool before they go in the freezer.