“Depending on what they are, our habits will either make us or break us. We become what we repeatedly do.”
A Healthy & Hearty Side or Delicious, Meatless Main
I am a creature of habit. It’s often a very useful way of life and certainly a most minimalist thing to be but it can be a tad, uhhh, boring. Allow me to illustrate.
I’ve eaten the same breakfast for about 5 years in a row… no kidding. Never miss a day. I wear the same series of clothes, (basically leggings and some type of unpatterned grey, blue or black top with boots or sneaks) honestly EVERY.SINGLE.DAY. That wardrobe changes only to a very minor degree seasonally. I wear the same earrings and necklace every day unless I’m going to a “thing” in which case I have two others to choose from, and they’re really weirdly similar.
I believe that living with this type of streamlined simplicity allows me to express my creativity in other areas… you know like, cooking and writing and photography! I must admit however that although I’m continually experimenting with new recipes and techniques for Be Still & Eat and Village Living, there are a few nights of the week that I can pretty much be counted on to prepare a specific meal for my family.
Monday nights are almost without fail fish, greens of some variety and sweet potato generally Herb Roasted. Call it a repentance of sorts for all the extra wine and charcuterie that was likely consumed over the weekend. I could eat fish every night of the week, but there are others around here who feel differently. I can however safely start each week with it without complaint.
In an attempt to get all wild and unpredictable I decided to try this side dish. Yes yes, I know it still has all the same things I always serve on a Monday night but I added lentils thereby making it qualify for #meatlessMonday! Capricious aren’t I?!
So easy to prepare ahead and reheat if that makes life easier. I think next time I’ll double the recipe as it was being snacked upon with enthusiasm.
I chose a rather traditionally French combination of seasoning with bay and thyme, but you could twist that around should you so desire. It might be nice with a bit of oregano and some feta at the last minute and lightly drizzled with red wine vinegar, or maybe rosemary and a more aggressive hit of garlic. Going spicy with the addition of some chilli pepper flakes would be a nice twist as well.It certainly does not fall into the category of ‘beautiful food’ but it is delectable and hearty and oh so amazingly healthy. Versatile too! It could easily be a meatless main served at any meal of the day (yes even breakfast – what a wonderfully healthy way to start the day!) or as a side dish. It’s so simple to make and it’s actually doing all the work unaided by you during the cooking time.
Breaking habits is hard, but when they’re broken so deliciously, the pain is greatly lessened.
Menu suggestion: It’s a great compliment to a simple grilled fish but I might also try it with my very favourite Mediterranean Marinaded Grilled Chicken.
Wine pairing: This week’s suggestion comes from my husband John, the main reason #MeatlessMondays will never take off here at Be Still & Eat HQ… yes I am pointing fingers. Happily, for all of us, he is much more open minded about wine than he is about going meatless! Following is his recommendation.
Enjoy & Namaste!
- Olive oil or bacon fat for pan
- 1 carrot, finely diced
- 1 celery stalk, finely diced
- 1 medium onion, finely diced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into about ¼-1/2 inch cubes
- 1 head fresh spinach, washed and
- ½ cup green lentils
- 1½ to 2 cups chicken or veg broth
- 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1 tsp dried)
- 2 bay leaves
- S&P to taste
- Heat oil in pan
- Add carrot, celery and onion, cook until veg begin to sweat and become slightly translucent
- Add garlic and sweet potato stirring for 2 or three minutes
- Add spinach and cook down until spinach is wilted
- Add lentils, thyme bay leaves and broth, bring to a gentle boil, reduce to simmer
- Cover loosely and cook for about 40 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and lentils are soft. Adding more broth if necessary
- Adjust seasoning as necessary