Tuesday lunch: Lentils, tomatoes, peppers, spinach, cheese, fruit
Spinach and cheddar savoury muffin slices. Based on a recipe for spinach and feta muffins. I used grated mature cheddar instead of the feta. I also baked the mixture in the base of a silicone 1 kg loaf pan for 30 minutes at Gas Mark 4, to get a more easily-sliceable end result. Adults and 10-month-old baby ate this, plain or spread with cream cheese.
Puy lentil salad. Canned Puy lentils, drained and mixed with finely-chopped red onion, halved cherry tomatoes, and roasted red pepper slices, then dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Only people with molars ate this.
Halved cherry tomatoes and roasted red pepper slices. Alternative to the above for younger persons with fewer teeth.
Clementine segments. (The ones with pips were eaten by the chef in the kitchen before serving. You can see which ones have pips by holding them up to the light.)
Sliced plums. Zapped in the microwave for a minute to soften, then left to cool. Enjoyed by adults and baby.
Saturday dinner: Sausages, bacon, lentils, bread
Sausage and Puy lentil stew. Sauté chopped onion and chopped bacon in a bit of olive oil until onion is soft. Add chopped carrots and leeks and cook for a bit longer, then deglaze the pan with a slosh of red wine.
Add a tin of chopped tomatoes, a handful of Puy lentils, and vegetable stock to cover. Season with soy sauce, black vinegar (Chinese or balsamic), and Worcestershire sauce; balance the sharpness with some jaggery (brown sugar would do).
Simmer until the lentils are nearly cooked. While this is happening, grill some sausages, let them cool enough to handle, then slice them thickly. Add the sausages to the pan and continue to simmer until the lentils are done.
Serve with sourdough bread.
Sunday dinner: Lentils, sausages, spinach, onions
I have been under the weather for the past week due to food poisoning, and I’m only just getting back to the point where I really feel like eating. Last night, bob made pork sausages, Marmite roast potatoes, steamed green beans, and anchovy gravy. Tonight I used the leftover sausages and anchovy gravy to make…
Puy lentil, spinach, and sausage stew. Cook Puy lentils in vegetable stock until done; meanwhile, fry sliced onions until nicely browned. Combine the cooked Puy lentils, the cooked onions, some frozen whole-leaf spinach, a sliced cooked sausage or two, and some anchovy gravy. Simmer down until the spinach is thawed and cooked, and the liquid is mostly gone.
You could serve this with bread or potatoes, but I just had it on its own.
Sunday lunch: Puy lentils, courgettes, aubergines, leeks, rice, vermicelli
Puy lentil stew. Finely-chopped onions, cubed aubergines and courgettes, tinned tomatoes, veg stock, squeezy garlic, puy lentils, bit of sugar and salt.
Sweet and sour leeks. Sliced leeks wilted in olive oil then braised with balsamic vinegar, jaggery, veg stock, and a pinch of salt. Made up while staring at the fridge contents an hour before lunch guests were due, turned out even better than I’d hoped.
Vermicelli rice. Done in the rice cooker, with the vermicelli cooked separately in olive oil in a frying pan and added to the rice cooker along with the normal amount of rice and water. Stirred well before serving.
Thursday dinner: Pork, lentils, greens, radishes, bread
Pork and lentil soup. Made with leftover roast pork from Tuesday, plus onions (fried in the pork fat that came off the roast), garlic, split red lentils, finely-chopped greens, chopped radishes, veg stock. Served with sourdough bread.
Saturday dinner: Lentils, chicken, kohlrabi, bacon
Chicken and lentil soup. Render fat from chopped bacon, add chopped onion, garlic, and celery; cook until onion is lightly browned. Add red lentils and plenty of chicken or vegetable stock; bring to boil and simmer until lentils are softened. Add peeled cubed kohlrabi and simmer until kohlrabi is cooked; add cooked shredded chicken and heat through.
For the chicken, I used grilled spicy chicken left over from a takeaway a couple of nights ago. It came on the bone, so after stripping the meat I made a small amount of chicken stock from the bones (just put in a small pan, cover with cold water, bring slowly to the boil, reduce heat to minimum and leave for 3 hours). The rest of the stock was made up with Touch of Taste veg stock concentrate (an ingredient I recommend highly).
I used kohlrabi mainly because I had some to use up, but it worked very well and I might put it in lentil soup again on purpose.
Friday dinner: Lentils, sausages, red pepper, quinoa, rice
Everything came from the freezer except the red pepper, parsley, olives, and Worcestershire sauce.
Puy lentil and sausage stew. Puy lentils from the freezer stash (previously cooked in bulk with onion, carrot, garlic, and tomato; portioned out and frozen), sliced previously cooked sausages from the freezer stash (if I only need a couple of cooked sausages, I cook the whole pack and freeze the rest), halved green olives, splash of Worcestershire sauce, chopped red pepper. Simmer all together with a splash of water until the pepper is cooked, then add chopped parsley.
Quinoa with preserved lemon. From the freezer, previously cooked in vegetable stock (from a bottle, Touch of Taste brand) and mixed with chopped spring onions and preserved lemons. This was left over from a large batch I cooked a few months ago.
Jollof rice. Also from the freezer, left over from the Nigerian dinner I cooked last month.
Monday dinner: Sausages, courgettes, lentils, bread
A quick, low-effort dinner tonight, based on a Stone Soup recipe.
Fry sausages in a bit of olive oil in a frying pan until brown on all sides. Pour off most of the fat. Pile the sausages up at the side of the pan, and add chopped courgette in the space cleared; sauté these until they take on a brown colour from the sausage fat. Add some pre-made tomato sauce (I used Loyd Grossman’s puttanesca) and some water, mix it all up, and let it simmer until the courgettes are almost cooked. Add pre-cooked lentils (I used Merchant Gourmet puy lentils cooked with mushrooms and thyme), mix gently, and cook for another couple of minutes to let the flavours blend. Serve with bread and/or a side salad.
I used pork sausages, but this would work with veggie sausages too; you’d just need to make sure to add more olive oil to make up for the fat that would normally come out of the sausages.
Wednesday lunch: Puy lentils, vegetarian sausages, quinoa, peppers, mushrooms, beetroot, olives
Bento lunch: Leftover Puy lentil and veggie sausage stew from yesterday; leftover quinoa with preserved lemons, also from yesterday; sliced sautéed peppers, from the freezer; sliced sautéed mushrooms with celery salt, also from the freezer; sliced pickled beetroot, from a jar; mixed marinated olives, from a deli tub.
This didn’t work too well as a bento. I think it was too similar to yesterday’s dinner, so felt too leftoverish. Also, the olives had stones in, which is OK when I’m eating them as a snack but annoying when they’re in my lunchbox.
Tuesday dinner: Puy lentils, vegetarian sausages, quinoa
Puy lentil and veggie sausage stew. I try to keep a stash of portioned-out cooked lentils in the freezer, so I can make stews and things quickly. At the moment I have some packages of Puy lentils cooked with onion, carrot, garlic, and tomato. I just defrosted one of these, mixed in some cooked, sliced vegetarian sausages, and simmered it for about 5 minutes to let the flavours of the sauce get into the sausages.
Served with quinoa, also from the freezer, which I’d previously cooked in vegetable stock (from a bottle, Touch of Taste brand) and mixed with chopped spring onions and preserved lemons.