Meatless Monday with Pasta with Lentils and Kale
Welcome to the Miratel blog for another Meatless Monday recipe share. The Meatless Monday pledge aims to reduce meat consumption 15% by eliminating it one day per week to preserve the health of the planet. Miratel supports this great movement and considers it part of its CSR business strategies as it spreads awareness of the impact of food choices on our environment. Each week we share a vegetarian or vegan recipe to help make going meat-free easier.
Today’s recipe for Pasta with Lentils and Kale is a delicious, healthy and hearty meal perfect for the cooler months. The secret to its success is the caramelized onions and the chef recommends to “cook them long and slow until they are meltingly tender and deep golden brown. Their rich sweetness rounds out the earthy flavor of the lentils and kale.” This amazing recipe comes from Epicurious via Yummly – two amazing resources for all foodies.
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1/2 cup green lentil (french small)
- 2 cups water
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 6 tbsps extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 finely chopped onion (2 cups)
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 3/4 lb kale (preferably tuscan; sometimes labeled lacinato)
- 3/4 lb short pasta (dried)
- Accompaniments: toasted bread-crumb topping and/or grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- Simmer lentils in water (2 cups) with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 1- to 1 1/2-quart saucepan, uncovered, adding more water if necessary to keep lentils barely covered, until tender but not falling apart, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from heat and season with salt.
- While lentils simmer, heat 1/4 cup oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then sauté onion with pepper and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, stirring, 1 minute. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden (stir more frequently toward end of cooking), about 20 minutes. Remove lid and increase heat to moderate, then cook, stirring frequently, until onion is golden brown, 5 to 10 minutes more.
- While onion cooks, cut out and discard stems and center ribs from kale. Cook kale in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 5 to 8 minutes. Transfer kale with tongs to a colander to drain, pressing lightly. Keep pot of water at a boil, covered.
- Coarsely chop kale and add to onion along with lentils (including lentil-cooking liquid), then simmer, stirring, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
- Add pasta to kale-cooking liquid and boil, uncovered, until al dente. Reserve about 1 cup pasta-cooking liquid, then drain pasta in a colander. Add pasta to lentil mixture along with about 1/3 cup of pasta-cooking liquid (or enough to keep pasta moist) and cook over high heat, tossing, 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil.
Cook’s Notes: Lentils and onions can be cooked up to 5 days ahead and chilled, uncovered, until completely cooled, then covered. Reheat over low heat, thinning with water as necessary. Kale can be washed and trimmed 1 day ahead and chilled in a sealed plastic bag lined with dampened paper towels.
Feel free to use the pasta of your choice whether it’s whole wheat, spelt or gluten-free. You can also substitute the kale with another green leafy vegetable you may have on hand. I added some hot pepper flakes because I like a bit of heat in my food and it made it even better for me.
If you haven’t already, we encourage you to visit the Meatless Monday website and join us in taking the Meatless Monday pledge today. Spread the word at home and at work to promote CSR business initiatives and make your green call centre, office, factory, shop, restaurant or salon even greener.
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Miratel Solutions is a Toronto call centre, eBusiness, and letter shop mail house specializing in professional fundraising services including telephone fundraising, online fundraising, lottery services, donation caging, donation processing and other donor management services. We are committed to our CSR business values in all contact centre services and mail house operations and advancing the missions of the nonprofits we proudly serve.