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Food

Tasty Options with Veggies and Lentils to Enjoy

November 8, 2021

A well-balanced meal including vegetables and lean proteins can help keep you feeling fuller longer. Traditional Greek cuisine often features healthy proteins from beans and legumes as the main dish. Lentils (faki) are a protein-packed legume, full of nutrients like iron and fiber. Different varieties of lentils are available in most grocery stores. Brown or green lentils of various sizes are probably the most commonly used in traditional Greek lentil soup recipes.

Lentil Soup (Faki)

1 pound dried brown lentils

1 large onion, chopped

1-2 leeks, washed thoroughly and chopped

2 carrots, diced

2 celery stalks, diced

3-4 garlic cloves, peeled

1 can (16 oz.) tomato sauce

1 bay leaf

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup Greek extra virgin olive oil

Water

Greek sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

 

Sort and rinse the lentils. Place them in a large deep pot with enough cold water to cover them by at least two inches. Add the onion, leeks, carrots, celery, garlic cloves, the tomato sauce, bay leaf, salt, freshly ground pepper, and the vinegar and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce to a simmer and continue cooking and stirring occasionally for about twenty minutes. Add the olive oil and continue simmering until the lentils are tender but not disintegrated. Serve hot with fresh bread and stir in some cooked rice, if preferred. Add an additional splash of vinegar, too, if desired. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator. Lentil soup tastes even better reheated the next day after the flavors have marinated. You may need to add a little water when reheating since lentils can absorb a great deal of liquid.

 

Greek Veggie Bowl with Lentils

3 cups grated cauliflower

2 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, plus more to taste, if preferred

1/2 teaspoon Greek dried oregano

1 cup cooked lentils, recipe follows

1 medium cucumber, chopped

1-2 medium fresh, ripe tomatoes, chopped

4 tablespoons sliced Kalamata olives

1 small-medium red onion, finely chopped

4 tablespoons crumbled feta Dodonis

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the grated cauliflower and cook until tender. Transfer to a serving bowl and add the remaining olive oil, vinegar, and the oregano. Stir to combine. Add the lentils, cucumber, tomato, olives, onion, and feta. Stir together and serve immediately.

Cauliflower. Photo by Louis Hansel, via Unsplash

Slow Cooker Veggie Stew

2 (14 ounce) cans no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes

3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth

1 cup coarsely chopped onion

3/4 cup chopped carrot

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano

1/2 teaspoon Greek sea salt

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added chickpeas, rinsed

1 bunch kale, stemmed and chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

3 tablespoons Greek extra virgin olive oil

6 lemon wedges

Combine tomatoes, broth, onion, carrot, garlic, oregano, salt, crushed red pepper and pepper in a 4-quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours.

Add the chickpeas, kale, and lemon juice to the mixture in the slow cooker and stir to combine. Cover and cook on Low until the kale is tender, about 30 minutes. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon wedges.

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