I was going through the pantry the other day and noticed an overabundance of lentils. There must’ve been a sale. After I made my good buddy Kim’s cabbage & lentil soup, then turned those leftovers into a lentil meatloaf, I realized these little legumes are pretty dang versatile. And they’re loaded with protein (18 grams per serving) and iron (37% of daily value). They’ve been consumed since aceramic (pottery non-producing) neolithic times so if they were good enough for Stone Age peeps to survive and thrive then surely they’re good enough for my cavemen.
I hadn’t planned to make a lentil soup, but I didn’t feel like slaving over anything in the kitchen yesterday. The lentils came to mind and I had a vision of throwing some stuff in a pot and walking away. So I did. Plus, I’ve been experimenting with frozen bread dough in the crock pot. This time it worked out pretty well!
What I threw in the stock pot for Lis’Anne’s Leftovers Lentils Soup:
1 lb. carrots, sliced/diced (doesn’t matter which)
Leftover seasoned green beans
Leftover buttered corn
Leftover meatloaf, chopped up
1 bag of lentils
8 cups water
8 chicken bouillon cubes (or you could use 8 cups of chicken broth in place of the water and bouillon)
1 tsp. thyme
1 tsp. rosemary
1 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. pepper
1 tbsp. garlic powder
2 tbsp. sea salt
Saute the onions in a dab of oil then toss everything in the pot. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and let cook for 2 hours, or until the lentils and carrots are tender. Taste test to make sure there’s enough salt, but don’t overdo.
This stuff was SO good! I think Mr. Trim Man ate 3 bowls and I know I had 2!
During my last attempt at baking frozen bread in a crock pot, I greased the liner, coated the bread log with oil and set it in the pot with the lid on, but the machine turned off. It rose and rose until it doubled in size. I turned the crock pot on low, but many hours later the dough was still doughy and it had risen to the point of almost pushing the lid off! I poked it with a skewer and watched it deflate like a tired balloon. Needless to say (but I’m going to say it anyway ), the bread was an abysmal failure. It was as hard as a rock on the outside and gooey on the inside.
This time, I thought I should put crumpled up balls of foil in the bottom of the crock with a loaf pan sitting on top of them. I couldn’t find either one of my loaf pans. Who the heck would take them? I had visions of my 2nd son, Mechanic Man, using them to soak engine parts in gasoline. Of course, he and everyone else in the house denied any knowledge of the whereabouts of my pans.
So, I searched my cupboards for a bowl that would fit in the pot, but be big enough to hold a round loaf of bread. (I knew it would rise to fill the dimensions of the vessel, no matter what the shape). I greased the dough and the bowl, set it on the foil and put the lid on the crock. I turned the machine to high and walked away. Five hours later I had a somewhat lovely loaf of bread! It didn’t get a nice, light brown crust on top, but it smelled and tasted like a yummy yeast roll. The bottom had a good crust, though. I slathered a hot slice in butter and called it a success!
I could’ve gone a step further and browned it a little under the oven broiler, but it wasn’t necessary. The guys loved it so much that when I went back to the kitchen to have one more slice, it was all gone!
P.S. I just had a wild thought! What if I could make my leftover Lis’Anne’s Leftover Lentils Soup into lentil burgers on the grill?! You know I’m going to try it.