Happy Earth Day! And what better way to celebrate than to recycle your food?! OK, that doesn’t necessarily scream ‘appetizing’ but here’s my thought. I adore leftovers. With the exception of fish (save salmon for my salad) most foods cooked the day before have had more time to permeate their flavors, especially when it comes to dishes like soup or stews. And not only does eating leftovers maximize your mileage of that item, it also saves on your pocketbook. I call this recipe a transition dishin’, as it combines one item going out of season, and another one coming in (depending on the green you use.) Lentils, of course, are available year round and are a super nutritious, high-fiber protein. Sweet potatoes add a mega-dose of vitamin A, Swiss chard (or spinach or kale) provides everything under the sun, including calcium and antioxidants, and cumin allows for our digestive tract to respond beautifully to it all. But beyond the health benefits, this dish is the recipe that keeps on giving. I added it to my eggs the next day, and then on top of lettuce two days later.
Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Greens – Serves 4
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 large garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 cup lentils, rinsed
21/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
1 medium sweet potato (about 8 ounces), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch cubes
4 cups chopped Swiss chard or other greens (about 3 ounces)
Salt, to taste
1 lime cut into wedges
1 cup plain, whole-milk organic yogurt
1/2 cup chopped raw almonds
1. Heat olive oil in a medium pot; add onion and garlic and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Stir in cumin and cook for 1 minute. Stir in lentils and broth; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, cover, and cook for 10 minutes longer, until water is absorbed and sweet potatoes are just tender. Stir in greens and cook for 1 minute longer, until spinach is just wilted. Add salt and adjust seasonings to taste.
2. Transfer to four serving bowls and top each with 1/4 cup yogurt and 2 tablespoons chopped almonds and lime. Serve immediately.