As much as I’d like to start the week with all meals prepped, I’d have to be honest and tell you that does not happen most of the time. Most weekends I will have done the grocery shopping and attended to other household matters in addition to whatever studying I can get done. By the time Sunday evening rolls around, I am flat out tired and have no energy for meal preparation. I tell myself, I’ll do like I always do: wake up at 5 AM every day to get lunches prepared and I’ll figure it out for dinner. Sounds like a great idea until Monday when I arrive home between 6 and 6:30 PM exhausted and hangry! I’m a glutton for punishment because I do this to myself every week and have yet to learn my lesson by week 4 of my third semester in PA school.
I decided to write this post to demonstrate how I get dinner on the table on a weeknight because that’s what I did tonight. Luckily, this morning I baked salmon for my lunch so I had leftovers in the fridge for my little guy. This week mama is running a solo show so I have a little more flexibility in what I prepared for dinner for myself. Below I have shared the recipe with you as well as a picture of the finished product, which I topped off in 0.2 seconds!
1 – 32 oz Trader Joe’s Organic Hearty Vegetable Broth
1 1/4 cups Trader Joe’s small, green lentils (dried)
1 – 10 oz bag Trader Joe’s Organic Tuscan Kale
12 baby carrots, diced in 1/2″ circles
1/4 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 T extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leave
salt and pepper to taste
Note: Many of the ingredients I used are from one of my favorites places to shop, Trader Joe’s, but you can use ingredients from anywhere.
- On medium heat, warm olive oil in a large pot.
- Add onion and sauté 2-3 minutes until soft.
- Add garlic and sauté 1-2 minutes.
- Add broth, bay leave, salt, pepper, and lentils.
- Cover and bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat and simmer until the lentils are slightly tender (about 25-30 minutes).
- Add carrots and cook for about 10 minutes or until they are slightly tender.
- Add kale and cook until it withers and is tender.
- Enjoy alone or with bread, rice, quinoa, or like I did with a gluten-free corn muffin (thanks to my freezer stash)!
This is definitely a go-to one pot meal for me and I like that it can be modified. For example, if I want more substance to my meal, sometimes I’ll substitute in chicken stock and add a few small potatoes and either smoked beef sausage or Applegate Farms turkey bacon (another one of my favorite brands). This dish freezes well! I typically layer quinoa in the bottom of a Mason jar before adding the lentils and I make sure to leave a little space for expansion during freezing. Stay tuned for a future post when I will share some meals I prepare when I actually do weekend meal prep!