Red Lentils with Spinach & Yogurt

Prepared in less than 30 minutes from ingredients that are likely in your pantry, this is a fast, easy, filling, and healthy lunch.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp curry
  • generous dash of cinnamon
  • 1 can light coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 package of frozen spinach
  • Plain Greek yogurt (for serving)

Directions

  1. Add the rinsed lentils to a medium put with all the other ingredients minus the spinach and yogurt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the frozen spinach and simmer for 10 more minutes.
  3. Serve with a generous dollop of Greek yogurt.  Mix the yogurt in well; it won’t be pretty, but it will be tasty.

Nut & Fruit Bar

These are delicious and very easy to make!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup toasted cashews
  • 1 cup toasted almonds
  • 2 cups dried dates (pitted)
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
  • 1/2 cup dried figs or cherries
  • 2 Tbsp softened coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • generous pinch of sea salt

Directions

  1. Pulse the nuts in a food processor until they are uniformly finely chopped.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients and pulse until a thick paste forms and clumps together.
  3. Line a pan with parchment paper and transfer mixture.  Press evenly and firmly.  Layer another sheet of parchment paper on top and press down with another pan.
  4. Refrigerate for at least two hours before cutting.  Store in an airtight container in the fridge.

Maple Pecan Pancakes

Makes about 15 pancakes.

These maple pecan pancakes are adapted from a Martha Rose Shulman recipe.  They are absolutely delicious.  I made several changes based on the type of ingredients I generally have on hand.

Ingredients

  •  1 cup flour
  •  1/2 cup almond flour
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 1/2 cups Greek yogurt
  • whole milk to thin batter (use your judgement)
  • optional addition: mashed 1/2 banana
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Directions

  1. Stir together the dry ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients.
  3. Combine all ingredients and add the pecans.  Don’t over mix.
  4. Bake on a nonstick griddle.

Indian Butter Chicken (Instant Pot)

This was delicious!  I mean really, really delicious.  The chicken was so moist, the sauce spot on, and the meal was perfect.  Admittedly, I haven’t found the Instant Pot nearly as fast as advertised.  You will still need to chop and saute, but, and this is key, for this meal, it is totally worth it.

Original recipe source: My Heart Beets Blog

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs skinless chicken thighs cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 2 Tbsp butter (or ghee if you have it– I also added a dollop of coconut oil when my pot seemed dry during sauteing)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1″ ginger, minced
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne (I left this out because I didn’t have any and the sauce was perfect)
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped into large pieces
  • 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 cup coconut cream

Directions

  1. Saute the onion in the Instant Pot with the butter for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add the garlic and ginger, shortly followed by the spices.
  3. The original recipe suggests searing the chicken at this point.  I skipped this step and my chicken was moist and delicious.
  4. Add the tomato sauce and pepper.
  5. Lock the Instant Pot and set to “Poultry” (the default time is 15 minutes).
  6. Allow the pressure to release naturally (or quick release after a few minutes).
  7. Stir in coconut cream and serve with Basmati rice.

Black Beans & Brown Rice

This was my very first Instant Pot meal (made the day the impressively large box arrived at my home) and only my second attempt at making dried beans.  Although it wasn’t amazing, I would definitely call it a success.

Ingredients serves an army as a side

  • 2 cups brown rice
  • 2 cups dried black beans (no need to soak)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 diced onion
  • 3-4 minced cloves garlic
  • 9 cups of water

Directions

  1. Place rice, beans, onion, garlic, water, salt, and bay leaf in the Instant Pot insert.
  2. Set on manual for 28 minutes (be aware that it may take 15 minutes to reach pressure).
  3. Allow natural steam release, at least for 20 minutes, then you can help it along.
  4. I went basic (I was feeding a 2 year old) and just threw cheddar cheese on top, but sour cream, a squirt of lime, and sliced avocado would be a great addition.  You could certainly use this for a soft taco or similar.

French Toast

This is quite literally the best French toast I have ever made. It is rich, decadent, custardy, and the only French toast recipe I will ever return to.  There’s nothing quite as sweet as starting a Sunday splitting French toast with your toddler.  Life is good.

Ingredients

  • 10 slices of bread
  • 4 large eggs, whisked vigorously
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp orange zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh orange juice
  • 4 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt

Directions

  1. Mix together the ingredients.
  2. Let the bread really soak up the wet ingredients.
  3. Cook on griddle for 3+ minutes per side.

Sweet Potato Fries (Baked)

These sweet potato fries are delicious and they are baked.  My one year old thoroughly enjoys them and so do I.  Plus, they’re easy!

Ingredients:

  • 24 oz sweet potatoes
  • olive oil, salt, and pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  2. Cut the potatoes into sticks (like French fries).
  3. Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
  4. Spread the potato onto a baking sheet.  Try not to overcrowd the pan.  Spread into a single layer.
  5. Bake, stirring halfway through, for 25 minutes.