We’ve talked about the benefits of lentils on here before, these power grains pack a full punch. Lentils are jam packed with nutrients: protein, fiber, vitamin b1 and iron, just to name a few. They are also, generally, naturally gluten free (some say to buy organic gluten free lentils just to be sure). What all this adds up to is a very filling, healthy, and low calorie grain in other words: exactly what you should be eating before you fly away take off for spring break.
Anyone else in serious spring break prep food wise? They say health and weight loss is 80% what you take in, 20% exercise. Those are some serious odds. The next few weeks I’m all about a lot of lemon basil water, minimal alcohol (there is plenty of time for that on the beach) and light, slimming recipes. Because, you know….swimsuits.
To start, let’s go with what’s pictured above. Those are some seriously healthy lentils packed with spinach, carrots, and celery. The perfect recipe to whip together on a Sunday for easy and healthy go to lunches for your week. Need some more ideas? Here are some of my favorites to help keep things, well…..in line. Happy and healthy eating everyone!
- Old bay skillet
- Pan Bagnat
- Rolled up chicken parm meatballs (go easy on the cheese)
- Spring chicken soup
- Garden skinny soup (healthiest soup on the blog)
- Grilled turkey burgers
- Mexican quinoa (even M ate this!)
- Black bean burgers
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- half a yellow onion, diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 sticks celery, chopped
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 cups uncooked lentils, rinsed
- 2 medium Yukon potatoes, chopped (about 1 cup total)
- 4 cups chicken broth (you may need a bit more while cooking, I used about 5 cups total)
- 1 bay leaf
- a few sprigs fresh parsley
- a few springs fresh thyme
- 4 cups packed fresh baby spinach
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil, red wine vinegar, and parm for topping
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute for 10 minutes until the vegetables are nice and fragrant and soft. Add the wine slowly - it should give a little sizzle and get all the browned bits off the bottom.
- Add the lentils, potatoes, and broth. Tie the bay leaf, parsley, and thyme together and toss in the pot. Simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, adding more broth as necessary so the lentils are just barely covered in liquid. When the lentils and potatoes are soft, gently mash the potatoes against the side of the pot with the back of the wooden spoon to make the mixture creamy.
- Remove the tied herbs and add spinach. Stir to incorporate.
- Season with salt and pepper (and plan on tasting and adjusting). Serve each serving with a drizzle of good olive oil and a splash of red wine vinegar and a sprinkling of parm!