Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Lentil Weekend

I wrote over on Lynn’s Weigh yesterday on Facebook (come join us over there!) that when I get a hankering for a particular food, I eat it to death over the course of a few weeks then forget about it for awhile. This weekend lentils sounded really good, so I dug out my favorite lentil soup recipe and tried a new lentil “burger” recipe. Thought I’d share them both with you.

I can’t remember where I got this soup recipe, so I apologize to whomever I lifted this from. I modified it a bit, but it’s not originally my recipe.

Lentil Vegetable Soup
Makes 6 2-cup servings

1 large onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 t ground cumin
2 t chili powder
3 C veggie broth
1 C dried lentils (I sometimes use ½ C of lentils to make it more soupy)
1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained (fire-roasted is fabulous!)
1 can (8 oz) tomato sauce
1 can (4.5 oz) chopped green chilies, undrained
1 C frozen corn
2 medium carrots, chopped (about 2 cups)
2 small zucchini, diced (about 2 cups)

Spray a 3-quart saucepan with cooking spray and sauté onion, garlic, spices in a little veggie broth until veggies are soft. Add everything else, cover and simmer for 35-45 minutes, depending on how soft you like your lentils.

I modified a lentil meatball recipe that I found through Loser For Life Marisa’s blog. She originally got from In Jennie’s Kitchen. I made 8 patties rather than 18 meatballs and I’m using them like veggie burgers.

The original recipe is below with my modifications in parenthesis.

Lentil Ricotta Meatballs
Makes about 18

2 cups cooked lentils, pureed (I cooked them in vegetable broth rather than plain water)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten (1/2 C Egg Beaters)
2/3 cup plain breadcrumbs (I ground 2/3 C regular oatmeal)
1/2 cup fresh ricotta (I used low-fat ricotta)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Jennie’s cooking instructions: Add all ingredients to a deep bowl. Mix very well, using hands or a wooden spoon. Cover and refrigerate for two hours or overnight.

When ready to cook, shape mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls. Heat about 1/2-inch of oil in a nonstick skillet over medium flame. Add shaped “meatballs” and cook until browned all around, turning only once. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and let excess drain off. Add to simmering marinara sauce if serving immediately, or store in a tightly covered container up to three days.

Lynn’s burger instructions: Preheat oven to 375. Lightly spray a baking sheet. Add all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Form into 8 patties (they will seem runny, but they’ll hold together, I promise) and place on baking sheet. Bake 20-30 minutes and flip them. Bake an additional 15-20 minutes or until they are brown.

Note: I didn’t cover and refrigerate for two hours, but I might try that next time if I’m not pressed for time. They turned out very nicely anyway. I’m having a leftover burger for lunch today so I’ll see how well they do in the fridge. I also put three in the freezer to see how they fare that way, too.

I’ll probably make them as meatballs at some point, too, and mix them with my homemade sauce and Shiratake noodles.

Forgive the short blog. The first Sunday of daylight savings is always a catch-up day. Why is losing an hour like losing a whole day? LOL


Lori said...

I must try those meatballs. I saw them on Marissa's blog, too!

Thanks for the reminder!

Gina said...

Thanks for the lentil idea. I wanted to share my absolute favorite bean burger recipe. It's super flavorful, and best of all, you cook it in a dry skilled so no added fat.

Margie M. said...

Both of the lentil recipes you posted today sound great, and I will have to try them. Even though we are not vegetarian eaters per se, we often eat vegetarian meals. Many years ago, I tried a recipe I found in a magazine for Lentil Loaf. There wasn't enough ketchup in the world to make that thing go down!! I still like using lentils in soups in spite of the previous *loaf disaster*.

empower me photo guy said...

Thanks for sharing these recipe ideas, they sound great! I really like your ideas to experiment with them too, it's so empowering to take a great recipe and put your own stamp on it!

Dutch said...

I love lentils and both these recipes sound delicious. thanks

Lynn P. said...

I very much do the same thing with food ideas & recipes, eating the same thing for a few weeks and putting it aside for awhile. Lentils and beans in general freeze well so starting out with dried and cooking ends up with a better bean in my opinion without all of the salt from the canned variety.

Thank you so much for sharing your favorite lentil soup recipe and new lentil “burger” recipe!

Debbie said...

I am going to try those meatballs. Daylight savings time is tough. I have to leave my house before it even gets daylight to get to work now. Thanks for the recipes.

Lynn Haraldson-Bering said...

Gina, thanks for the link! I'm going to try that bean burger. I laughed, though, at the photo they used. Did you notice the HUGE white bun they had it on? LOL