Lentils with Spinach and Quinoa

Lentil Spinach a

Lentils are one of Veronika’s favorite foods, and this is an easy way to jazz them up. Cooking the quinoa in the microwave means you only need one saucepan, a bonus come clean-up time!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 cups chopped fresh baby spinach
  1. To prepare the quinoa, combine the quinoa and water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes. Stir, recover, and return to the microwave for a final 2 minutes. Set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the lentils and vegetable broth. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly all absorbed.
  4. Stir in the spinach and cook for a final 2 to 3 minutes, until the spinach wilts.
  5. Add the lentil mixture to the quinoa mixture, then let cool before serving.

Lentil Spinach b

 

First Instrument

first instrument (4)

We’ve played several games focused on hearing for Veronika lately, and today I made her her first “instrument”. Essentially a maraca, this easy little project had Veronika fascinated!

First, I showed her the two things we would need to make it: an empty plastic water bottle and dried lentils. Be sure to use a small water bottle, so that it fits in your little one’s hands.

first instrument (2)

I carefully spooned in the lentils, letting Veronika watch wide-eyed, until the bottle was about one-quarter full. Replace the cap, and shake shake shake!

first instrument (3)

First I just demonstrated shaking, but then we shook it rhythmically and sang some of her favorite songs like Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star and Row, Row, Row Your Boat.

Wheels on the Bus was fun because I could move the bottle along with the words of the song – up and town for the windows, around and around the town, etc.

first instrument (6)

Next, let your child try to hold the bottle and shake along with you, so they can feel the rhythm. He or she probably won’t be able to grasp it solo, but let them feel the rhythmic motion and associate it with the visual of the lentils.

first instrument (5)

In sum, this toy makes a great musical intro.

Red Lentil and Rice Hummus

Red Lentil Hummus (2)

This recipe features the same tahini sauce that I used a while back in a rice and lentil bowl. Make a big batch of the sauce now, and reserve the rest for a lentil bowl supper tomorrow night!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup tahini
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 cup fresh-squeezed lemon juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup cooked red lentils
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  1. In a food processor, combine the tahini, garlic, 1/4 cup lemon juice, cumin, and salt. Transfer 1/2 cup of the tahini mixture to a blender; reserve the remaining tahini sauce for another use.
  2. Add the red lentils, rice, and remaining 1/4 cup lemon juice to the blender with the tahini mixture, and process until smooth.

Try serving this with crackers or veggies – we particularly like this one with bell pepper strips! It also makes a great sandwich spread.

Note: Looking for another way to use up that leftover tahini sauce? Try this easy lunch idea: Spread a little sauce on a whole wheat tortilla. Place a little bit of cooked rice and cooked red lentils in the center of the tortilla, then top with mixed greens to taste. Roll up to serve.

Red Lentil Hummus (4)