Warm Lentils With Leeks, Tomatoes & Avocado
There’s a first time for everything and this week was both my first bike accident and my first time making lentils. My weekend started off great with friends and family in town– birthday celebrations, brunches, dinners, a whole lot of cake and a whole lot of love. On Sunday, we decided to make the most of my guests’ last day in town and also take advantage of the fleeting 80 degree weather. So, my friends rented some bikes and we set out for the tour de Brooklyn (not to be confused with the Tour de Taco- an actual annual and awesome event). Things started out great and it was shaping up to be a beautiful afternoon. Then it happened– my tire and the sidewalk got into a little quarrel that resulted in my face meeting the ground.
It was messy but it could have been much worse and I was thankful to have walked away with only a few bad wounds– albeit painful ones. Two days later, I suddenly realized my thumb injury was a bit worse off than I had thought. When I went to chop some garlic in the kitchen, I found myself in mega pain. I gave into it, ate a slice of leftover pizza for dinner, and let myself relax that night.
I was freaked out (and still am until I go to see a hand specialist today). The idea that this possible torn ligament in my hand could prevent me from doing one of my favorite things in the world is out of the question. So, with that spirit, I decided to make myself dinner last night. I thought I could use my other hand to chop some veggies. I was excited too because for some reason I’ve never ever cooked lentils. So, it would be a fresh start and I would maneuver my chopping methods and if need be work through the pain. After one slice of a tomato, I realized I was perhaps being a little bit ambitious. When my doorbell rang a few minutes later, I had to ask my poor friend who had stopped by to say hi after a long day at work to help me make my dinner. She was a gem– a gem who almost sliced off a finger, but thankfully the evening ended with only one of us still injured.
Once my veggies were all chopped, the rest was easy. In fact, I started to embrace the idea of doing everything with one hand. It made me move slower and in fact made the entire experience a bit more special and even more relaxing. Of course, tonight when I got home and it took me a good ten minutes to open up a can of beans, I started to get a bit frustrated, but I made it happen! At any rate, I’m crossing fingers that my doctors appointment goes well and in the meantime, I’d love to share my lentil recipe that, after some hard work, I thoroughly enjoyed. Here’s the recipe, made with gentle care and a lot of love…
1 cup dried lentils
2 cups vegetable broth (for cooking lentils)
1 cup dry white wine
1 medium leek chopped (white and light green parts only)
1 roma tomato chopped
2 cloves of garlic chopped
1/3 cup tomato paste
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1–2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado sliced for topping
Greek yogurt for topping
In a small-medium pot, bring vegetable broth and white wine to boil and add lentils. Cook for 5 minutes, remove from heat, cover and let sit. Lentils will cook further while sitting. Meanwhile, in a pan, sautee the garlic and leeks over medium-high heat until the leeks softened, making sure not to brown. Once leeks are soft, add the tomatoes and stir. Add the tomato paste and stir again for a few minutes and then add the vegetable broth. Continue stirring and add in chili pepper and salt and pepper to taste. Add the lentils and any broth remaining in the pot to the pan and mix together, cover and let cook for about 15–20 minutes (stirring occasionally) or until lentils are cooked through.