crockpot spiced lentils ~freezer meal~

Crockpot Spiced Lentils, cooked and frozen for later!

Crockpot Spiced Lentils ~vegan, gluten free~ All I A freezer meal that you can thaw and serve with rice, potatoes or naan bread for a complete meal with plenty of protein!

This month’s Recipe Redux asked us to share our favorite freezer meal.  Since I’m the only one in the family that doesn’t eat meat, I am often left without a protein source at dinner.  That’s where these little freezer packs of cooked spiced lentils comes into play!  All I have to do is thaw them out and serve with rice, potatoes or naan bread for a complete meal with plenty of protein!

Crockpot Spiced Lentils ~vegan, gluten free~ All I A freezer meal that you can thaw and serve with rice, potatoes or naan bread for a complete meal with plenty of protein!

I use my handy dandy crockpot for this recipe, making it super simple!  Once cooked and cooled, portion lentils into appropriate serving size (~3/4 cup) and freeze!  The cinnamon and raisins give these lentils a sweet flavor that pairs nicely with cooked coconut brown basmati rice (just add coconut oil to rice when cooking!).  I don’t want to call this recipe “dal” because I’m not culinary creative enough to use true Indian spices and seeds, but it tastes similar!

spiced lentils ~freezer meal~
 
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Makes 6 servings
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 4½ cups water
  • 1 cup organic canned diced tomatoes
  • ¼ cup raisins
  • 3 tablespoons onion, minced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Place all ingredients in a crockpot and cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  2. Let cool and scoop individual portions into ziplock bags. Place in the freezer and thaw as needed.
  3. Top with fresh cilantro, roasted pumpkin seeds and serve with brown basmati rice, quinoa or naan, enjoy!

Crockpot Spiced Lentils ~vegan, gluten free~ All I A freezer meal that you can thaw and serve with rice, potatoes or naan bread for a complete meal with plenty of protein!

 Similar to beans, lentils provide fiber, folic acid and are a meat-free source of protein.  Their high fiber content helps control blood glucose levels as well as naturally lower cholesterol.  The Nurses’ Health Study II also shows that increased consumption of beans and lentils reduces the risk of breast cancer.  Researchers found “that women who ate beans or lentils at least twice a week were 24% less likely to develop breast cancer than women who ate those foods less than once a month.”

Fun Fact:  Did you know lentils were one of the first cultivated foods?  Archeologists unearthed lentil seeds in villages of the Middle East that date back 6000 B.C.E.!  These little lentils have come a long way!

Check out the other Recipe Redux freezer meals!

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coconut curry soup

Coconut Curry Soup…

Something about coconut milk and curry gets me every time!  I just  love the way the flavors blend together making for a spicy, yet soothing soup!

Coconut Curry Soup... Something about coconut milk and curry gets me every time! I just love the way the flavors blend together making for a spicy, yet soothing soup!

This is a soup that can be made in very little time and with a variety of vegetables.  I used carrots, green beans and baby corn, but you could add bell peppers, broccoli, sweet potatoes or mushrooms!  I tossed in some tofu cubes for protein and served brown short grain rice on the side rounding this out as a complete meal!

Coconut Curry Soup... Something about coconut milk and curry gets me every time! I just love the way the flavors blend together making for a spicy, yet soothing soup!

coconut curry soup
 
Prep time
Cook time
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Coconut Curry Soup, something about coconut milk and curry gets me every time! I just love the way the flavors blend together making for a spicy, yet soothing soup! !Makes 4 servings
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ¼ cup red curry paste
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 2 tablespoons bragg's amino acids, tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 limes, juiced
  • 1 cup of carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, chopped
  • 8-10 fresh baby corn
  • ½ package (~7 oz.) extra firm tofu, cubed
  • ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
Instructions
  1. In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant.
  2. Add curry paste, brown sugar, ground ginger and Bragg's Amino Acids and sauté for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.
  3. Whisk in coconut milk. Add broth and lime juice. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 30 minutes.
  4. Add carrots, green beans and baby corn and cook until tender crisp. Add tofu before serving and top with fresh cilantro. Serve with short-grain brown rice if desired.
  5. Enjoy!

Coconut Curry Soup... Something about coconut milk and curry gets me every time! I just love the way the flavors blend together making for a spicy, yet soothing soup!

Fun Fact:  Red curry paste contains a whole bunch of amazing superfood ingredients including red chili pepper, lemongrass, garlic, ginger and kaffir lime.  Kaffir limes are native to Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia.  Their leaves contain a volatile oil, which is full of antioxidants as well as properties that serve as a digestive aid.  The combination of ingredients found in red curry paste may prove to be a powerful and therapeutic anti-inflammatory agent.  And it tastes amazing :)

breakfast sweet potatoes

Getting tired of the same old breakfast routine?  Mix it up with a Breakfast Sweet Potato stuffed with granola and almond butter!

Getting tired of the same old breakfast routine? Mix it up with a Breakfast Sweet Potato stuffed with granola and almond butter!

Make a meal out of a sweet potato!

Once a week I bake sweet potatoes to have on hand for a quick meal.  They can be eaten as breakfast (pictured above!) or topped with beans and veggies for a complete dinner (as seen here!).  You can even use them to make brownies (once again, as seen here!).  Sweet potatoes are so versatile and healthy, they go down in my book of superfoods!

Superfood Sweet Potatoes:

~Great source of vitamin C

~Provides a healthy dose of fiber

~Provide B vitamins, manganese, biotin and copper

~High in antioxidants, especially carotenes

~May help stabilize glucose levels in the body

~Provide complex carbohydrates

Getting tired of the same old breakfast routine? Mix it up with a Breakfast Sweet Potato stuffed with granola and almond butter!

breakfast sweet potatoes
 
Cook time
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Makes 2 servings Getting tired of the same old breakfast routine? Mix it up with a Breakfast Sweet Potato stuffed with granola and almond butter!
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: Vegan
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • ½ cup of your favorite granola
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 teaspoons pure maple syrup
  • dash cinnamon
Instructions
To bake sweet potatoes:
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce washed sweet potatoes with a fork. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until tender.
For breakfast sweet potatoes:
  1. Slice baked sweet potato in half. Top each one with ¼ cup granola, 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 teaspoon of maple syrup. Add a dash of cinnamon and enjoy!
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 Calories: 337 Fat: 12 Carbohydrates: 54 Sugar: 19 Fiber: 7 Protein: 9

Getting tired of the same old breakfast routine? Mix it up with a Breakfast Sweet Potato stuffed with granola and almond butter!

 Did you know you can even make sweet potatoes in a crock pot!  Simply add 1/4 cup water to the bottom of a crock pot, add washed sweet potatoes and cook on low for 6 hours, or until tender.  Having baked sweet potatoes to come home to after a long day would make for such an easy dinner!  Or cook overnight to have breakfast ready in the morning!  Cooked sweet potatoes will last 3-5 days refrigerated.

Wishing everyone a wonderful weekend :)

We are making these Peanut & Jam Bars from Happy Healthy Life to bring on our weekend sleepover at my best friends house, I will let you know how they come out!