Friday, January 29, 2010

Lentil Soup that was suppose to be Lentils which was suppose to be Lentil Soup

When you read blogs you think everyone is highly creative and individual. When you start blogging you quickly realize anything you want to blog has been done before, and possibly better. I used to think I stole all of my blogging ideas from Smitten Kitchen's blog but now I realize the woman has just cooked EVERYTHING... even recipes I do not get from her are still on her site from year's before I even thought of making it.

There also tends to be trends for what kinds of foods are cooked.  I recently made corneal-blueberry pancakes and found at least three other blogs featuring them.  This is probably why blogs that feature original recipes do so well.  I have a few up my sleeve, I just need time to make them since they are from my pre-baby, pre-Master, pre-no time days.  The latest trend has been lentils, lentils, everywhere....

So this recipe is semi-mine and came about from a desire for lentils, and a desire to use my new slow cooker.  I've told you all about the slow cooker of course... No?  Well pull up a seat li' darling and have a listen.

Until recently I had a horrible reaction to slow cookers.  Sure they are fine for chili or to melt a big vat of cheese for a dip or something along those lines, but for the past few years I have had a love-hate relationship, and by that I always say I hate that my slow cooker loves to burn my food!

I consider myself to have ample cooking skills.  I may not be ready to take on a restaurant or even a cook book of my own, but I am willing to bet that I cook more diverse things than the average person, not the average blogger mind you but the average person.

However, I have not cooked a successful slow cooker meal in years, and I finally know why!  It was the horrid slow cooker I had.  After burning one too many meals I decided to do an experiment.  I found a recipe that had great reviews.  I put it all together, and I came home two hours early to the smell of char.  It wasn't good.  I got on-line the next day and found hundreds of reviews complaining about the brand of slow cooker I had and that was it.  Out with the old in with the new.  And I now love my little slow cooker and want to try it out as much as possible.  Enter the lentil recipe.

I make a stove top Indian lentil recipe from my dear friend Dharini that I assumed I could make in the slow cooker.  Easy, high portein, low fat.  Yes!  I took the ingredients I put into that recipe and then searched for a slow cooker lentil recipe that I found on-line.  She had said she wanted lentil soup, put all this stuff into her slow cooker and ended up with lentils.  I thought perfect I merged it with my Indian recipe, dialed down the spice a little since I was told flavors intesify in a slow cooker, and when I was done... viola.  The lentil soup (minus any hint of Indian spice) the woman was going for.  It was simple, it was fast, it required only a mixing step so it was perfect, but it was not what I was hoping for, I also forgot to add the cilantro which makes something taste more Indian to me, since it ended up being just regular soup I suggest you leave it out too.

My husband, having no preconceived notions loved it, although it was a little salty so I deleted the salt from the recipe.  I also recommend using low-sodium broth, or what I've done here is 1 cup of better than bullion (super salty) made from the paste and the rest water.

Crock Pot Lentils


2 cup(s) dry lentils
1 small onion(s)
2 tsp McCormick Ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3 clove(s) garlic clove(s)
4 oz Ortega Diced Green Chiles
1 teaspoon garam masala
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon of Amchur powder
1 cup(s) vegetable broth
7 cup(s) water


Rinse lentils with cold water until they run clear.  Mix everything together in a pot.  Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 6 hours.

My first 4 week experiment in budgeting and lowering my carbon footprint has come to a close. Here are the results (averaged to the best of my memory because I am being oh so official in my tracking... really who has time).

Excuse the mess... I can't get a table in here yet. Must figure out how to use crazy things called computers one of these days.

Food Budget:

Never used to track but this month I was $150 over.  Just imagine how bad it was!  I can do better.

Going Green:

Non-biodegradable garbage bags:  From 34 to 18 much better
Biodegrable garbage bags: N/A  to still 0 (I forgot to pick them up)
Recycling pick ups: From 0 to 2
Disposable cups: 56 to 3 (YES! That's a good improvement)
Plastic grocery bags: From 60 to 4 (also a huge improvement)

Look at the impact one family can make in 4 months with minimal effort!

1 comment:

  1. Great lentil recipe! I think I'll use it this week. Lentils may be my husband's absolute favorite food.