Sparing you from more ramblings about vegivores and labels of personal food consumption, I thought I would share a typical vegetarian lunch that I whipped up with some lentils and half of a baked sweet potato I had in my fridge. The result was a colorful and hearty warm salad.
I love making quick meals like this for lunch or a dinner for one to make good use of my leftovers and spare vegetables. This is when I feel most comfortable in the kitchen – improvising with fresh, healthy ingredients and turning them into a combination of tastes that I hope will work together. Or I should say I am most comfortable cooking this way for one – it takes the pressure off from potentially serving a tasteless bowl o’ lentils to a disappointed dining partner. (Though with my love of garlic and spices, these things seldom end up tasteless but sometimes excessively taste-ful.)
Today’s combo: Lentil salad with sauteed leeks, zucchini, sweet potato and spinach
I sauteed the leeks with a little bit of butter – and I do mean a little. I’m using butter as a seasoning in this instance. A little goes a long way to get that naughty and delicious buttery flavor. I love having aromatics like the mild, sweet leek on hand, (another favorite is roasted garlic) I think they really give a thrown-together dish something special.
After the leaks are slightly golden I add some grated zucchini, which I saute for another couple of minutes, then my pre-cooked lentils and sweet potato. Toss in a dash of smokey paprika, a grinding of salt&pepper with a little olive oil and then some fresh spinach left to wilt for a couple of minutes.
This one happened to be good enough to serve to two. It would be perfect for a side dish and would work with any number of variations on the ingredients. I turned it into a main by adding a fried egg on top, letting the yoke become my favorite velvety golden dressing for the salad.