Some weekends I just spend entirely in the kitchen trying out new recipes. This was one of those weekends. As I try to reduce my sugar intake, I look for recipes that will provide a satisfying balance so that I feel full and do not crave sweet or unhealthy foods to supplement my meal. I also went to Whole Foods this weekend for my weekly supply of fresh fruits and veggies! I did not need to buy as much on this trip to the store because I have a good stock of staples in the pantry.
I tried several new recipe variations this weekend involving beans and lentils. The fiber and protein in beans is great for diets with limited animal proteins. Lentils and red beans are the most nutrient dense, so I try to incorporate these as often as possible.
I have been looking for a solid red beans and rice recipe because this is a great dish to take to work for lunch because it really satisfies- and it is delicious! I usually make recipes for two servings- one for dinner and one for a work lunch. I always modify recipes for this size especially if they are new recipes- I do not want four servings if it turns out I don’t like the recipe!
For this recipe I used:
- Cooked brown rice- I usually add more water than called for and probably cook a bit longer than needed because I like a fluffier rice texture.
- Red kidney beans- soaked overnight then boiled for 50 minutes
- 1/4 small onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 1 bay leaf
- sea salt
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 8oz carton of vegetable broth (many recipes call for celery and green pepper, since I did not have green pepper I opted for broth instead of water)
After sauteeing the garlic and onion for 3 minutes, I added the broth, beans, and spices and simmered until most of the broth was absorbed. I let stand for about 10 minutes then added the beans to the brown rice then lunched!
My second recipe used lentils and garbanzo beans- a second attempt at Indian food! This recipe for dal– one of my favorite Indian dishes- came from the NY Times. I followed this recipe pretty closely but did not include yogurt of cilantro (I did not have fresh cilantro on hand). However, the onion came apart while simmering (you are supposed to remove the onion before the final step), so it was a bit difficult to remove- I love onion, so I just kept some of the pieces in!
The chickpea flatbread will be a new go-to recipe for me. I found this through a new blog I just discovered. It is very simple, and tastes great without any toppings, but I thought it went well with the dal. I was hoping to find a recipe that includes chickpea flour- and this did it!