Strolling a Seattle sidewalk in heels is like stepping into an obstacle course. You have to look up to catch the cyclist barreling around the corner. You have to look down to avoid the potholes and sewage grates. There’s darting in-between traffic to make your lunch appointment on time and avoiding a jay walking ticket. All the while you’re trying to maintain some semblance of professional hair, makeup, and attire. At some point, you just say forget it. You ditch the umbrella, put your hair in a messy bun, and storm the city like you own the place.
Chances are you’ll get a little wet, a lot cold, and very hungry. Which is why hot showers, warm soup, and crackling fires are the perfect end to the day. I strongly recommend enjoying them with a good book.
I have learned re-charging your batteries can be just as important as work. Which is why, sometimes Saturday night is “me” night. It is big bites of bold flavor with warmth and tang. This recipe is easy, made up almost entirely of pantry ingredients. It’s incredibly cheap and very hearty. Just the thing for a night of relaxing.
Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes
My adaption of the Ina Garten’s Stewed Lentiles and Tomatoes
The ginger here is optional, but I think it adds an extra layer of warmth. But, if you don’t have any fresh ginger, skip the ginger all together. The flavor of ginger powder is significantly different. It doesn’t have the same tang as fresh.
Also, to stretch this dish further, serve it over rice or couscous.
1 cup lentils
2 TBS olive oil
1 medium red onion, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
2 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves (substitute ¼ tsp dried thyme leaves)
1 28 ounce can diced, stewed tomatoes (if they have spices added all the better)
2 cups chicken stock
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp ground black pepper
1½ TBS red wine vinegar
Put lentils in a small bowl and cover with water. Allow to soak for 1 hour.
Heat olive oil in a large stockpot. Add onions and sauté over low heat until caramelized. Add carrots and celery. Continue sautéing until just tender. Add garlic, ginger, thyme. Sauté until fragrant.
Add the tomatoes, chicken broth, turmeric, cumin, salt, and black pepper. Raise heat and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender.
(A special thanks to Mrs. Breckinridge for recommending this recipe to me in the first place. I love how something so simple as a good recipe can make my day.)