Lentils. Why did I wait so long to play with them? I was intimidated. I never ate them growing up and never really had them in anything until I ventured on my path of eating more whole foods. But for some reason, making them just seemed to be over my head.
Once I started making my own beans I thought “well lentils can’t be that different, can they?” And guess what? They are easier. They take less time and are so versatile. They belong anywhere and everywhere. We use a lot of this dried legume. Eliana absolutely adores them and honestly eats them cold. She loves these little guys. As a parent this makes me so happy since they are quick, easy, and cheap AF.
Since I am not as lenient with the lack of flavour or warmth of my food, I decided to come up with a comforting lentil and orzo dish. This dish is super affordable to make, is a complete nutritionally balanced meal, and can be made vegan by using rice instead of orzo.
Lentil & Orzo Dish
- ½ onion, chopped (about ¾ cup)
- 1 large celery stalk, chopped (about ½ cup)
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
- 2 cups cauliflower, chopped in small pieces (or any vegetables you desire amounting up to 2 cups).
- 2 Tbsp. cooking oil of choice or full fat butter
- 5 cups of water or vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried green lentils, rinsed
- ½ Tsp. sea salt
- ½ Tsp. black pepper
- ½ Tsp. ground cumin
- ½ Tsp. marjoram
- 1 ½ cups uncooked orzo (or rice for a plant based recipe)
- ½ cup kale, finely chopped
- Optional: nutritional yeast to sprinkle on top
- In a large skillet, heat the oil or butter over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and cauliflower. Sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).
- Add the water or broth, lentils, and spices. Stir and bring to a boil. Simmer and cover with a lid for 15 minutes.
- Add the orzo and bring to a boil. Keep the skillet at a boil and cook for another 15 minutes or until the pasta is tender and the liquid has been fully absorbed.
- Fold in the kale, sprinkle on the nutritional yeast, and serve warm.