Easy Lentil and Kale Ragoût

Hi and happy Wednesday!! I hope none of you are having any mid-week crises!

I, for one, am not. 3pm today marked the beginning of my weekend. Oh, the joys of working 3 days a week. 😀

For dinner I had some yummy ragoût; I’ll share the recipe with you all near the end. 😉

First, here’s a quick recap of my eats:

Last week I made bean burgers again, using black beans instead of kidney beans and replacing the fennel leaves with spinach. I ate one on the spot, tucked in a sandwich with hummus, baby spinach, and cucumber.

Paired with some leftover (cold) veggie stew. I really love the refreshing taste of soups and stews when they’ve been chillin’ in the fridge overnight! I don’t think I can handle too many hot foods at this time of the year.

For lunch on Sunday, I had my dentist appointment at noon. I decided to pack some lunch to-go for the car ride after the appointment. I had 3 black bean burgers left in the freezer so I popped one onto the skillet and made a quick sandwich. One slice of bread with hummus and the other with mashed avocado, with baby spinach, baby bellas, and a tomato fresh from my mom’s backyard garden.

As I mentioned in my last post, my parents are on the prowl–for a new house, that is. 😀 So right after the dentist’s, we drove directly to meet with our buying agent. There was a lot of driving, going from one house to another, either visiting or just passing by. It started to rain, too–thunderstorms galore. As we made our way onto the driveway of the third or fourth house, the storms lashed out full force. It was so scary!!!

For ten minutes our realtor sat in her car and we sat in ours, waiting for the rain to subside. I was telling my mother that your car is one of the safest places to be during a thunderstorm (but I didn’t even know if I could believe my own words!). By the time things had calmed down, the ground had already been flooded by an inch of water.

Have you had any scary thunderstorm experiences?

I think another one I had was when it was around midnight and I was driving back home with my sister after a movie. It was raining really hard and it was difficult to see! Thankfully we made it home safely, but just thinking about how our wipers at max speed could not keep up with the pelting rain still creeps me out!

Throughout the afternoon, I munched on a peach and LaraBar. After all the house hunting and thunderstorm shenanigans were over, we made our way to Wegmans for some grocery shopping and dinner.

Stocking up on berries–when organic berries go on sale I am the crazy girl in line with a basket full of them! 😀

Baby spinach and mixed greens topped with various bean salads, barley, tabouleh, broccoli, and olives. Along with pineapple and cantaloupe chunks–just one of each for good measure.

One thing that I love is that I had almost the same dinner two nights in a row (we went there the day before too) and it was just as tasty the second time around! Wegmans is like a baby version of Whole Foods. Definitely not as many vegetarian/vegan options, but still pretty decent if you ask me.

The same wonderbreakfast that I had for three days in a row:

Easy VOO base prepared the night before, with AM toppings of blueberries, blackberries, papaya, almond butter, crushed pecans and walnuts, and cacao nibs. So freakin’ good!

Work lunches looked something like this: (this is Monday’s)

Quick dip: hummus, avocado, nooch, almonds, dried herbs

Massaged kale salad with grape tomatoes, mushrooms, and cucumbers. Easy peasy.

Tonight I came home and wanted to do absolutely nothing. Seriously though, I wasn’t even hungry for dinner because of all the dates I munched on throughout the day in the office. This past weekend, I found a clamshell of medjool dates at Costco so I insisted that we buy some to try. This was our first time eating dates and dare I say that it was love at first bite. They’re sooo gooood!! They taste like red bean paste. (Growing up, red bean buns were my favorite steamed bun filling. When I was in China I used to eat TONS of them. 4 of these gigantic steamed buns for breakfast. Of course, I was a child and blissfully didn’t know how much sugar went into those fillings. Lucky for me, dates can trick my tongue as I reminisce with sweet nostalgia…)

Anyway, back to what I was saying.

Dinner. Didn’t want to make anything but I obviously couldn’t just skip. I peered into the fridge for inspiration (I do this a lot), pulled a few things out, threw them together, and whaddya know… I cranked out something edible. 🙂

Easy Lentil and Kale Ragoût
(Serves 1)

  • 1/3 cup lentils
  • 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, chopped
  • 3 large or 4 small kale leaves (I used red and dinosaur varieties), roughly chopped
  • 1/2 cup prepared tomato basil pasta sauce (more or less depending on how “saucy” you want it)
  • dried herbs and ground flaxseed to taste (any dried seasonings would work)
  • s&p to taste

Step 1: Rinse and drain the lentils. Add to a pot with 4 cups of hot water. Simmer for 45 minutes or until lentils are soft and chewy.

Step 2: Meanwhile, as the lentils finish cooking, prep the kale. With EVOO in the pot, add onions and saute until caramelized. Add the kale and allow a minute or two for it to wilt. Once they’ve reduced in size, add the tomato sauce. Stir and incorporate well.

Step 3: Drain the cooked lentils and then pour them into the pot with the kale. Mix well and season to taste. Yum yum enjoy!

My ragoût was not very saucy, and the lentils were on the al dente side (cooked for 30 minutes), so I would recommend that you follow my slightly modified recipe above. Nevertheless, this was a quick, tasty meal that took minimal effort. Perfect for those lazy nights, I say!

I had a heaping bowl of salad to go with my ragoût. A hodgepodge of chopped kabocha (steamed), red onions, grape tomatoes, cucumber, baby carrots, and baby portabella mushrooms resulted in a colorful, and might I say photogenic, salad.

The camera seriously loves it.

And that’s it! I shall leave you all tonight with one of my favorite post-storm pictures of the weekend:

Yes, what you see here is the sky and some clouds. But don’t scoff and walk away just yet. Look closely; do you see what I see–ocean waters and barely visible mountains enrobed in foggy mist?

It is amazing how beautiful the simple things in life can be. 🙂

* * *

If patience is worth anything, it must endure to the end of time.
And a living faith will last in the midst of the blackest storm.

-Mohandas K. Gandhi

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