Meatless Monday=Lentils and Collard Greens

Today’s dinner is simple and so yummy. Rice, lentils and collard greens. I cooked the lentils and greens yesterday so all we need to make tonight is the rice. Compared to other types of dried beans, lentils are quick and easy to prepare. They’re high in nutritional value and are available throughout the year. The kids LOVE lentils and it’s one of my favorite dishes for “Meatless Monday”.

If you’re not familiar with Meatless Monday yet check their site http://www.meatlessmonday.com. MM is a non-profit initiative which main goal is to help reduce meat consumption by 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of the planet. Going meatless once a week may reduce risk of chronic preventable conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity. It can also help reduce carbon footprint and save precious resources like fresh water and fossil fuel. Not a bad movement to be part of!

For this Lentil batch I used:

1 16 ounce bag of Arrowhead green lentils (Beluga lentils are a good option too)

1 small onion diced

2 garlic cloves minced/crushed

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp salt

1 tbsp cumin

1 tbsp turmeric

1tbsp celery seeds

2 bay leaves (dry)

1 tbsp blackstrap molasses

3-5 cups of vegetable broth (or water if you don’t have broth available. I used )

Wash lentils on a colander and reserve (no need to presoak). Saute onions and garlic with olive oil. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth (I used Pacific Org. Vegetable broth), dry ingredients and lentils. Let come to a boil and cook it in high heat for 10 minutes. Lower heat and let it simmer for 45 minutes adding more broth/water if necessary. The slower you cook the better they will taste. We love eating them on top of rice with collard greens and “farinha de mandioca torrada” (Brazilian toasted manioc flour available at El Gaucho Market, Rosecrans and Inglewood).

For the Collard Greens:

1 bunch of organic collard greens wahed (avoid the conventional kind. Way too much pesticides residue)

1 clove garlic minced

1 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper

olive oil

Coat a fry pan with olive oil (approximately 1 tbsp). Brown the garlic. Add the green cut in thin slices (the best way to cut them is to stack several leaves on top of each other and roll together. Then using a cutting board and sharp knife, slice the leaves into 1/2 inch thick pieces). Cook it until tender.

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