Savory Oats and Lentils

savory oatsHappy New Year!  Sorry for being MIA for the past (gulp) 4 months.  I apologize for my absence.  But guys, grad school is hard.  Especially when you’ve made it through three years and think you’re a pro, and then the hard stuff really starts.  Like real research and writing and presenting and teaching.  Double gulp.

In the past few months, a lot has happened: I defended my dissertation proposal, applied for grants and fellowships, wrote and presented new research, taught a really fun guest lecture and graded 84 papers and 84 exams.  

Now I am halfway through a much needed winter break, resting up for one more semester on campus at Binghamton.  And I have been cooking, baking, and experimenting for most of this break, so I’ve got a stockpile of healthy, delicious, fun, challenging, indulgent, (insert tasty adjective here) recipes for you to try!  

Now, on to serious business.  How are those New Year’s resolutions panning out?  Still going strong?  Maybe you didn’t make any and get to bask in the smug glow of the knowledge while you’re cool as a cucumber, everyone else is out there on cucumber juice cleanses hating their life.  

My resolutions, such as they are, mostly revolve around getting into a regular exercise routine, improving my average minutes per mile for my runs, and eating better (i.e. less sugar- candy canes, I’m sorry, but we have to break up now).  

This recipe is definitely a staple of my new healthy food repertoire.  It is quick, easy to personalize or adjust according to what you have on hand, and best of all, super filling.  

If the idea of savory oats (as opposed to sweet, fruity, or, best of all, chocolatey) turns you off, hey, I’m right there with you.  I didn’t think this would be my cup of tea at first either.  But in that case I would suggest you make “being more adventurous” part of your resolutions, and give this a shot for lunch before diving into the deep end and making oats and lentils for breakfast.

Here’s the easy formula for this tasty bowl (more detailed directions below):

1/3 cup oats
1/4 cup red lentils
1 1/2 cups liquid
your favorite spice (cumin, cayenne, garlic, black pepper, curry powder)
something smooth and creamy (hummus, sour cream, avocado)
something crunchy and maybe salty (nut/flax chips, tortilla chips, triscuits, toast)
something spicy (salsa, jalapenos, hot peppers)
something sweet (cherry tomatoes, bell peppers)
something green (cucumber, spinach, kale, green beans, zucchini)

Mix it all together, and you have something new, interesting, and satisfying.  And it’ll help battle the middle-of-January is it acceptable to give up on my resolutions yet? doldrums.  Because eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring.

Oh, but if you have given up those healthy eating resolutions (or maybe just need a sweet treat as a break from all that kale and greek yogurt) just wait to see what I have for you next week!

Savory Oats and Lentils Bowl
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Ingredients
  1. 1/3 cup oats
  2. 1/4 cup lentils
  3. 1 1/2 cups liquid (water, chicken/vegetable broth, or a combination)
  4. your favorite spices, to taste (I used cumin and cayenne)
  5. salt and pepper, to taste
Toppings
  1. 1/2 avocado
  2. 2 tbs hummus
  3. 2 tbs salsa
  4. 1/2 cucumber, sliced
  5. 4-5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  6. 4-5 crackers
  7. (these toppings are just suggestions- see above for more ideas, or work with what you have on hand!)
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan, combine oats, lentils, liquid, and spices.
  2. Set over medium heat, and cook until liquid is absorbed and oats and lentils are tender (about 5-8 minutes)
  3. Put oats and lentils into a bowl, and top with veggies, dips, and/or crackers as desired.
Notes
  1. This makes 1 large serving, or 2 smaller servings, depending on how many toppings you use!
Adapted from Oh She Glows cookbook
Degrees of Prep http://degreesofprep.com/

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