lovely lentils

If you haven't cooked with lentils before, they are so easy to make and can be adapted to fit into almost any recipe. We have been making what I call "Lovely Lentils" since Olivia was 6 months old when we first introduced solid foods. After sharing an instastory about them this weekend, I had lots of you asking for the recipe so I wanted to share it here. The best part is that it's so simple! I usually make a large batch (75-100 oz at once), freeze them in our favorite 1 oz ice cube trays and then am set for about a month and can just take them out and heat them anytime.

The recipe incorporates tons of vegetables and is so hearty and delicious for babies, children and adults. My 31 year old husband even loves them! It is a great way to encourage your child to eat more vegetables and the split red lentils provide protein and tons of fiber. It's a great make-ahead dish that I make sure to always have on hand for easy dinner sides, a snack, etc.


what you'll need:
+ base vegetables: onion, carrots & celery with leafy tops, all finely diced (I usually do 1-2 large yellow onions, about 1 cup of chopped carrots and about 1 cup of chopped celery, but it doesn't need to be measured at all)

+ assorted vegetables: rainbow carrots, root vegetables (like parsnips, beets, turnips), bell peppers, butternut squash, kale, swiss chard, asparagus, green beans, zucchini, yellow squash, spinach, peas, etc. 

We also throw in cubes of tri-colored sweet potatoes and/or regular sweet potatoes. Basically any veggies you have on hand can be used in this recipe. I buy most of ours frozen from Whole Foods and then keep a bunch in our freezer so I can make this anytime. Our favorite brand of frozen veggies is Stahlbush Island Farms. The point is really just to add in tons of nutrients through high quality vegetables, including ones your children may not normally eat.

+ 1-2 cups Red split lentils (I just eyeball it, literally I just cover the veggies in them and call it good)
+ 1 quart of low sodium organic chicken stock (You could also do vegetable stock to keep it vegetarian)
+ Coconut oil (make sure it is virgin/unrefined)
+ Large food processor / trays to freeze if desired (our favorite here

what you'll do:
+ In a large dutch oven or pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat and all diced onion, celery and carrots; cook through and season with salt + pepper

+ Add in assorted vegetables and sauté 5-7 minutes until tender

+ Add in split red lentils

+ Add chicken stock

+ Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer; cover and let cook for approximately 15 minutes or until lentils have softened and most of the liquid has been absorbed

While still warm, using a large food processor, blend lentils until smooth. For an older child, you can leave them with some texture if you want, but I find its better if they are smooth if you plan to freeze them

+ Serve warm or freeze in cubes / Store up to 3 months in labeled freezer bags

Our girls usually eat 3-4 oz of lentils every night with dinner, so in the morning I will take the cubes from the freezer and put them in two ramekins to soften in the fridge all day. Then I warm them in the oven or on the stove, adding a little more coconut oil (a great source of healthy fats). I serve them warm and they absolutely love it! Hope this helps!! Happy Sunday!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing this! So everyone in your family eats this as a purée? I wonder if a crockpot would work just because I don't have a Dutch oven. ��


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