Friday, November 14, 2014

Comfort food with minimal guilt

As the weather inevitably turns colder, grayer, and drier in November it's common to crave warm and satisfying "comfort foods". However, contrary to popular belief, comfort foods don't need to be heavy, bloat-inducing, cheese-laden, gluten-worshiping feasts. Here's a recipe that satisfies the comfort food craving by combining healthy lentils and vegetables with small indulgences of potatoes and red wine.

Green Lentils and Wine Glazed Vegetables

1 ½ cups green lentils
3 cups vegetable broth
2 bay leaves
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3-4 leeks, sliced
4 carrots, diced
2-4 small potatoes, diced
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/3 cup red wine
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
fresh parsley

Combine lentils, broth and bay leaves in a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer for 25 minutes, covered.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a skillet, add onion, leeks, carrots and potatoes, cook for 10 minutes. Then add garlic and tomato paste, cook for an additional minute while stirring. Add wine, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes until syrupy.
When lentils are cooked, remove bay leaves and add lentils plus remaining liquid to vegetables, add mustard and remove from heat. Garnish with fresh parsley.

Serve alone or along side a fresh greens salad.

This recipe is adapted from Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone, I varied and increased the vegetable content of the dish.