Fall Lentil Bowl

Fall Lentil Bowl

I spent the last two weeks traveling across the country to two very good workforce development conferences.  I ate some great food, but to be honest, I was so ready to be eating at home again.  This week, in addition to feeling like I’m going to have to crawl out from a mountain of paperwork and emails, I’m also eager to eat healthy, satisfying, and low-salt lunches at my desk, which is what inspired me to create this recipe for fall lentil bowls.

I also have been feeling like it’s time to clean out the pantry.  I have a habit of buying interesting ingredients, whether it be lentils or pasta or winter squash, and thinking that I’ll eventually get around to cooking with them.  In this case, I purchased some beluga lentils from Trader Joe’s months ago and decided today that I was really in the mood for a lentil dish.  Beluga lentils are tiny black lentils that keep their shape and don’t get mushy.  They are perfect for a base for adding various toppings.  And since it’s fall, I thought it might be time to start eating the winter squash that are hanging out in storage in our garage.

I used Delicata squash, parsnips, almonds, hard-boiled eggs, and avocado for this recipe, but you could certainly add other ingredients – other squash, other nuts, maybe even spinach or other greens.  If you wanted to create a vegan dish, leave the eggs out.  I would imagine that this would also be good with a fried egg or poached egg, but I didn’t think either would hold up well for a night in the fridge before I go to work.

fall-lentil-bowl-undressed

fall-lentil-bowl-dressed-and-ready-for-lunch

Fall Lentil Bowl
Serves 4

1 cup beluga lentils
2 cups water
1 teaspoon salt
1 Delicata squash
2 parsnips
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup almonds
2 avocados
4 hard boiled eggs

Tahini Dressing
1/2 cup tahini
1/2 cup water
Juice from 1/2 a lemon
Pinch of salt
A few grinds of fresh pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add the lentils and salt, cover, and turn the heat down to a simmer.  Simmer for 20-25 minutes or until lentils are soft and water is absorbed.  Set aside.

While the lentils are cooking, prepare the squash and parsnips.  Cut the squash into 1/2 inch slices and de-seed each slice.  Cut the parsnips into cubes.  Put the squash and parsnip cubes in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil.  Roast for 50-60 minutes, flipping the squash and parsnip cubes once so both sides get golden brown.

Make the tahini dressing by combining the tahini, water, lemon, salt and pepper in a small bowl or jar.  Whisk until thoroughly combined.

To assemble the bowls, split the lentils between four bowls.  Divide the squash, parsnips, avocado, almonds, and hard-boiled eggs between each.  Spoon the tahini dressing over the top and enjoy!

(I assemble part of the bowls in advance – the lentils, the squash, the parsnips, the almonds and the dressing, and then add the avocado and egg the night before I plan to eat the bowl for lunch).

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