I am, very easily, one of the world’s lightest sleepers. Somehow, I’ve honed the ability to sleep more soundly as I get older, but I only attribute that to the fact that I get less sleep and therefore, I crash harder when I eventually do drag myself to bed.
Very early Wednesday morning, there was a small earthquake in the Western suburbs of Chicago. I slept straight through it, which was fine by me, because if I had been awake I might not have noticed it anyway and wouldn’t that be embarrassing?
Between the earthquake – however mild – and the foot of snow that was concurrently being dumped on Chicagoland, this week was a little surreal. The kind of week where at the end of the day, you don’t feel like grocery shopping, you don’t feel like going to the gym and you don’t feel like spending two hours cooking dinner.
Lentils are legumes and like other dried beans, are a great source of cholesterol-lowering fiber. They also help manage blood-sugar disorders, since their high fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising rapidly after a meal. As an added bonus: lentils have about 200 calories per cup and very little fat.
Lentils are also easy on the wallet – a $2 bag of them is enough for countless lunches and dinners and they freeze beautifully.This recipe from Bon Appetit is still holding space in my freezer.
Lentil Soup with Spicy Italian Sausage
What You Need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fully cooked hot Italian sausage, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 large onion, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 large carrots, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 large parsnips, peeled, chopped (about 1 3/4 cups)
2 large celery stalks, chopped about 1 cup
2 1/2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning blend
1 pound brown lentils (about 2 1/3 cups)
3 quarts (or more) low-salt chicken broth
1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves
1. Heat oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer sausage to bowl. Add onion, carrots, parsnips, celery, and Italian seasoning blend to drippings in pot; cook until onion is translucent and vegetables begin to soften, stirring often, 7 to 8 minutes. Add lentils; stir to coat.
2. Add 3 quarts broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls if soup is too thick, 20 minutes.
3. Add sausage to soup and simmer until vegetables are tender and flavors blend, 10 to 12 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 3 minutes.