Wednesday, April 6, 2011


    There are many reasons to add a meatless meal or two to your recipe stash be it religious, philosophical, health, or economic.  With the price of meat these days adding a meatless meal a week can be a way to trim the grocery bill.  I never thought I could live without protein at every meal and yet I have recently come to appreciate a good bowl of beans and rice.  I like the convenience of working with legumes.  There is no meat to thaw out or worry about spoiling.  A bag of beans or lentils takes up little room in my pantry and is always there when there is a snowstorm preventing a trip to the market.  My friend has told me that in Peru, lentils are eaten on Monday to bring prosperity.  It was a rainy day Monday, so I cooked up a batch of lentil soup. I had two recipes so I picked the one with the ingredients I had on hand and took some liberties with it.

Lentil and Spinach Soup
from: Vegan Kitchen by J. Bennett

2 diced onions                                                  
1 tsp minced garlic                                            
4 stalks celery                                                    
2 medium diced carrots                                      
1 1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1 bay leaf
2 cups brown lentils, washed
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 cups chopped spinach

Saute vegetables and spices.  Add lentils and 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil. Simmer 15-25 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and spinach.  Discard bay leaf. Serve immediately.

Shorcut Lentil Soup
Well, that's the recipe version.  Here's what I did:

2 cups lentils (green since that's what I had)
1 box Pacific Foods vegetable broth (it was on sale this week)
1/4 cup dehydrated vegetable flakes (mix of carrots, peas, green bean..)
2 tsp each- dehydrated onion, garlic
1 1/2 tsp, basil
1/2 tsp thyme
1/4 cup quinoa (I learned the hard way this stuff expands)

  I set the crockpot on high for 4 hours and dumped all the ingredients in filling it to the top with water. One hour before dinner I added 1/2 bag of frozen spinach.  The soup came out great and I was even asked what kind of meat was in it since it smelled so good.


  1. I use lentils in place of meat. Sloppy Lentils, Lentil Tacos, Lentil Nachos, Lentil goodness. We love lentils in my house and rhey are priced just right, which reminds me I am out.

  2. I NEVER tried lentils until this past year. So far I like lentils and rice and lentil soup. I've never considered lentil tacos...intriguing idea.