lunchbox life: stewed lentils and tomatoes with slow-cooked turkey


This is one of those times when the picture doesn’t do the dish justice.  When the elves of the internet discover the online equivalent to “smell-o-vision,” this recipe will sing, but until then, I’ll just have to get you to use your imagination.  Think stewed tomatoes with olive oil, tons of aromatic onions, garlic, and thyme simmering on your stove top on a Sunday afternoon full of chores and errands.  Mmmmmm.

So, I featured lentils in last week’s Tasty Tuesday, and I have to tell you that they’re pretty cool.  Lentils are a type of legume that are high in fiber and relatively high in protein.  The high fiber/protein combination is great for digestion and keeping you fuller longer, which is great for a midday meal.  They’re also incredibly easy to cook, so next time you’re making a soup or stew, throw in some green or pink lentils and try them out!

I added the slow-cooked turkey for added protein and layer of flavor.  I bought a package of two turkey tenderloins at Publix that are the same shape as a pork tenderloins, but tend to be smaller in scale.  I really didn’t have a plan in mind, so I broke out the trusty crock-pot and placed the turkey tenderloins inside.  Then, I threw in a few old reliable ingredients: 1 cup of white wine (leftover Trader Joe’s Chardonnay in the refrigerator that had been open too long to drink…oops), 2 cups of chicken stock, about 1 Tbsp. balsamic reduction drizzle,  about 2 Tbsp. dijon mustard, a dash of Worcestershire sauce, five smashed garlic cloves, and salt and pepper.  The only rule here is to add some liquid, so use the chicken stock and take your pick of flavor enhancers.  You could also use sliced lemon, capers, shallots, cumin, curry, or whatever you feel like.

Stewed Lentils and Tomatoes with Slow-Cooked Turkey
Adapted from smitten kitchen, who adapted it from Barefoot Contessa

2 tsp. olive oil
2 cups large-diced yellow onions (2 onions)
2 cups large-diced carrots (3 to 4 carrots)
1 Tbsp. minced garlic (3 cloves)
1 (28-ounce) can whole plum tomatoes
1 cup green lentils
2 cups chicken stock
2 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. dry thyme
2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onions and the carrots and cook over medium-low heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown. Stir occasionally. Add the garlic and cook for one minute.

Take the tomatoes out of the can, give them a rough chop, then place them back in the can with the tomato juice.

Add the tomatoes, lentils, broth, curry powder, thyme, salt and pepper to the pan. Raise the heat to bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer covered for about 40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Top with the shredded slow-cooked turkey and enjoy!

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