Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Meatless Monday! Lentils with Sauteed Veggies over Quinoa

There has been a lot of press about how eating less meat is better for your health as well as the earth.  Meatless Mondays are promoted as a way to reduce how much meat you eat on a regular basis, and as such every Monday I receive many emails about vegetarian cooking.
I do like to cook vegetarian dishes, but have not gotten into doing it with much consistency.  However, yesterday I wanted to cook mostly with ingredients I had on hand.  I also wanted to go only to the local store (which will remain nameless), and which does not have such a good selection for meats.  So, Meatless Monday it was!  It also helped that Corey was going out after work.  Whenever I cook a main dish without meat, he usually says it would taste better with chicken haha.
My inspiration for my dinner came from a dish I saw on the blog Liberty London Girl.  I made quite a few changes and additions, and was very happy with the results.  With 5 ingredients from the list of the 30 healthiest foods (see my previous post Healthy Ideas - 30 Healthiest Foods), this dish is packed with vitamins and protein, and low in carbs.
Here's how it looked-

Green lentils
Olive Oil
Red onion - diced
Garlic - chopped
Mushrooms - sliced (I used baby bellas)
Chicken or veggie broth, or water if needed
Spinach (I used baby spinach)
Salt & Pepper
Lemon juice

1. Cook the lentils (I had some precooked in the freezer).
2. Rinse and cook the quinoa - I used about 3/4C, added to 1 1/2C boiling water and simmered for 15 minutes.
3. In a large saute pan, heat 1T olive oil on medium.  Add 1/2 of a red onion, diced.  Cook for about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the sliced mushrooms, sprinkle with salt, and cook for another 10 minutes.

It needed a little moisture while cooking, so I'll admit I added a little chicken broth here, but I think it still counts as meatless.  Remove to a bowl.
4. Add the spinach to the same pan and cook, covered, until wilted.  Stir while cooking to help the process.
Add the lentils (I used maybe 1C) and cook until heated.

Return the mushroom mixture to the pan, stir to combine, and cook for a few minutes.  Season with pepper.  Add the feta (I used about 3oz, diced) and stir in so it will start to melt.
5. Spoon quinoa onto a plate and make a well in the center.  Spoon the veggies over the quinoa.
6. In a small bowl, whisk together a little olive oil and lemon juice (I used about 2T each).  Drizzle a little over the vegetables.
I'll admit I did have some toasted naan with this, which did up the carbs, as you can see it the 1st photo.
The whole meal was delicious!

Do you observe Meatless Mondays?
What is your favorite meatless main dish?

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