Rice, Lentils, and Greens – Oh My!

Going on week three of the job hunt, and trying to do more cooking, even if it’s just throwing some stuff together for a quick dinner. That’s pretty much what I did last night, using some basic pantry staples and a few other ingredients to whip up a quick and delicious meal. You can sub other grains, protein, and/or greens in this recipe, adjusting cooking times as needed.

Quick Meal: Rice, Lentils, and Greens

Rice, Lentils, Greens

Yield: Approximately two servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown rice (I used the instant kind)
  • 1/2 cup pink lentils
  • 2 – 2 1/2 cups low sodium vegetable broth, divided use
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tbsp garlic scapes, minced
  • one large handful of baby spinach ( or other leafy greens)

Instructions

  1. Prepare rice as directed on box/bag, using vegetable broth in place of water. Set aside.
  2. Rinse and sort lentils, removing any rocks or debris. Pour lentils into a medium saucepan and add 1 to 1 1/2 cups vegetable broth. Simmer for 15-20 minutes,or until lentils have reached desired consistency.
  3. When lentils have about 5 minutes of cook time left, pour olive oil into small skillet. Add garlic scapes and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted.
  4. Combine rice, lentils, and spinach, and enjoy.

Source: My own culinary genius ; )

My Attempt at Making Spaetzle

It’s been a busy couple of weeks…took come vacation days and spent some time in Winona visiting a friend from college, finished up my VISTA term, and am now full time job hunting. I thought that having all this extra “free” time would mean more cooking, but it’s really just made me kind of lazy. And when I think lazy I think spaetzle… don’t you?

Spaetzle (pronounced SHPET-sluh, not spetzel, as I and others unfamiliar with the German dumplings have called it) is pretty easy to make. The hardest part is figuring out the best way to drop the dumplings into the pan of boiling water without creating a mess and/or burning yourself with the steam/boiling water. The method used in this recipe SEEMED easy, but ended up being a lot trickier and messier than I anticipated. This recipe from smitten kitchen using the colander and spatula method seems like it might be a better way to go for those of us who haven’t made spaetzle before.

Spaetzle

Spaetzle

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • unsalted butter (for browning the spaetzle)

Instructions

  1. In a medium sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and salt.
  2. Place the flour in a large bowl and add the egg mixture, whisking until the batter is smooth.
  3. Transfer the batter to a large, heavy-duty plastic bag and seal. This is a bit difficult to do by oneself (or maybe just for me), so you may need a helper. Cut a bit out of one corner of the bag.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Hold the plastic bag over the pot and squeeze out a few bits of batter into the water. Let them cook until they rise to the top, then remove with a slotted spoon and place on a large plate or platter lined with a few paper towels. Continue with this method until all of the batter is cooked.
  5. Drain the spaetzle well before cooking/storing it. If you want to eat the spaetzle right away you can melt some of the butter in a skillet and cook however many dumplings you’re planning to consume for 2-3 minutes until they’re lightly browned. Season with salt, pepper, and whatever else seems appealing. If you aren’t planning to eat the spaetzle right away toss it in some olive oil and store it in the fridge.

Source: Slightly adapted from It’s All American Food, with some tidbits of wisdom from smitten kitchen.