Practical, healthful eating and living.

Easing into Autumn – Cheesy Lentil Hash August 29, 2011

After a June of cold rain and a July of sweltering humidity, we’ve finally got those ideal days of blue skies that are warm enough for shorts, but make you reach for long sleeves at night.  With great delight, I am pushing aside summer salads and grilling.  I am ready to be gently re-acquainted with my oven.  This recipe is one of my absolute favorites.

Filling, cheesy, high energy, and good if you’re craving something with a salty flavor, this is easy to whip up.  Enjoy with warm tortillas, tortilla chips or as a side to any dinner. It also packs well, and is a great bring-your-own lunch.

Nutrients: Red lentils are reported to contain fiber, folate, magnesium and iron.


1 vegetable bouillon cube or 2 teaspoons of granular bouillon

3 1/2 – 4 cups water

1/2 cup split red lentils (must be red, not green or brown.)

1 Tablespoon soy sauce. (Or Tamari, which is gluten free.)

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely sliced

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

2 Tablespoons tomato paste (Did you know you can freeze leftover tomato paste in a Ziplock bag?)

3 1/2 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Dissolve the bouillon cube in 3 1/2 cups boiling water. Stir well.  Add the lentils.  Bring to a boil again, then reduce the heat and let simmer for 15-20 minutes, adding more water if necessary, until all the liquid is absorbed and the lentils are soft.

Meanwhile, heat the soy sauce and 1/4 cup water in a saute’ pan.  Add the onions, celery, and garlic and saute’  for 8-10 minutes, or until soft.  Add the lentils and the tomato paste to the pan.  Heat, stirring, until piping hot.

Transfer to a baking dish and sprinkle with the cheese.  Heat under a hot broiler for about 2 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt.  Serve immediately.

Serves 4-6

Credit: This recipe is from “The High Energy Cookbook” by Rachael Anne Hill




Spice it up! Thai Green Chicken Curry July 17, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep,Energy,Recipes,What I'm eating now — beansandyoga @ 8:42 pm
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Thai Green Chicken CurryIt’s unseasonably cold.  Normally in the 80s this time of year, the high was 61, and I’ve been bundled up in fleece, jeans; all the clothes I thought I’d put away until October!  Adding insult to injury, I had nothing but salads and fresh fruit on hand – while the chill cried out for baked goods and soup!

Perusing my options, a small, frozen container caught my eye.  Thai Green Chicken Curry sauce that I’d popped into the freezer ages ago.  I sent my former self a message of gratitude.

Into the microwave it went, then over green beans (also from the freezer) and noodles.  The spicy, hot (but not TOO hot) peppers warmed me back into motion.  I can’t wait to make it again.  You can be certain I’ll make extra to tuck away for another surprising day.


Inspired by Rachel Ann Hill’s “The High Energy Cookbook”

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 green chiles, seeded and thinly sliced. (Jalapeno if you like it hot, or green peppers if you prefer mild.)

2-3 tablespoons Thai green curry paste, to taste. (This can be hot, too.)

1 stalk lemongrass, crushed

20 oz. chicken breasts or thigh filets, fate removed and thinly sliced

2 cups hot chicken stock

2/3 cup low-fat coconut milk

8 oz. green beans, diagonally sliced (French sliced)

2-3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based saute’ pan or wok.  Saute the onions and chiles over medium heat for about five minutes.  Add the curry paste and cook, stirring frequenetly, for 2 minutes.  Add the lemongrass and chicken and cook, stirring freequently, for a further 5 minutes.

Add the stock and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes, until the chicken is tender.

Cook the green beans in boiling water for a minute or so, or in a microwave.  Drain and add to the curry.  Remove the lemongrass.  Add most of the cilantro.  Serve the curry on a bed of rice, sprinkled with the remaining cilantro.

Variation: This curry would work well with shrimp, scallops or tofu instead of chicken.  Or, do as I did and freeze the extra sauce to serve over rice or noodles later.


Satisfying Store-Bought Pizza Dough April 9, 2009

Filed under: Easy food prep — beansandyoga @ 1:30 pm
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The thought of making home-made pizza has always intimidated me.  First, it requires making one part in advance; the pizza dough.  Second, I don’t do well with flour.  I am not a baker.  Third, the mixing and kneading of the dough messes up my kitchen to the extent that I don’t even want to begin.

I noticed, however, that Trader Joe’s has ready-made pizza dough.  They offer white or wheat flour dough, and an herb spiced white flour option.  They also sell pizza sauce by the jar.  And shredded cheese.  Before I knew it, I was taking a freshly baked pizza out of my own oven.  Scrumptious!

If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s nearby, check the refrigerated section of your grocery store, or ask at your favorite pizza joint.

Once I had the dough at home, I experimented with using all of it at once, and smaller portions.  It’s pretty forgiving.  It can sit in the fridge for a few days, or go into the freezer.  All I needed to do was apply a little flour to my hands and baking sheet, then work the dough until it was flat.  I do this by hand.

I set the oven to 425, then add the sauce, and whatever toppings I have on hand.  Lately, I’ve been using fresh, sliced mushrooms and green pepper.  I can’t wait to try artichoke hearts, olives, and fresh tomatoes.

Topped with a four-cheese blend, or mozzarella, the pizza cooks in minutes.  Fast, easy and healthy, I couldn’t be happier.