On Wednesday nights, I go for a run after the hubby gets home, while he puts Nora to bed. Since I am currently training for the Wine Country Half Marathon next month, those mid-week runs are getting longer, and it’s just hard to fit in a pumping session, then suit up and go for a run… and still be back in time to finish getting dinner ready in order to eat at a marginally reasonable hour. And that’s just if I’ve found the time to do some things ahead during the day. More often, I end up asking Pat to cook, or doing something super-simple.
Enter the slow cooker. That’s right, I have rediscovered this baby lately. It’s lovely to do some simple prep during morning nap time, throw everything in the crock pot, and forget about it until dinnertime. Plus it makes the house smell wonderful all day!
Last week, I had sweet peppers from our CSA to use up, and a Wednesday night in need of a dinner plan. Lentil stew with sweet peppers sounded perfect for the early fall weather (which has since turned back into late summer weather –ugh). Despite the need for a mid-prep run to the store to get lentils (oops, thought I had some in the pantry), it was super-easy to prepare, and the result was tasty.
I had some leftovers for lunch the other day, and I think it was even better after a day or two in the fridge.
Nora approved as well! She stole several spoonfuls from me and kept asking for more. Since lentils are a great source of fiber and iron, I was happy to oblige.
I love meals with plenty of leftovers, since they make easy lunches. I often intentionally make enough for four servings so that both the hubby and I both have lunch the next day. The fact that this was so easy to begin with was a huge plus. I’ll definitely be making it again soon.
Sweet Pepper and Lentil Soup
Adapted from this recipe
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp. smoked paprika*
2 medium sweet peppers, seeded and chopped
1 cup green lentils, picked over and rinsed
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tsp. salt
1 -2 Tbsp. champagne vinegar
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onions and garlic until the onion begins to soften. Add the paprika and cook, stirring, for about a minute more. Add the peppers and cook for another 2-3 minutes, or until everything begins to soften. Add to slow cooker along with lentils, broth and water, and cook on low until the lentils are soft, about 8 hours. Season with the salt and pepper to taste, and stir in the vinegar to taste. Serve with a nice loaf of crusty bread, and dinner is ready!
* Best. Spice. Ever.