Vegetarian Christmas Dinner
My daughter is a vegetarian. She’s not into big fancy dinners. In fact, I had a different side planned to go with this dinner, Floret Strudel, but she didn’t want it. She did want the broccoli and cauliflower but wanted them roasted instead. So, that’s what I did. I added one sliced portabella mushroom. That was a delicious addition.
Making the Lentil Soup
In a previous post, I gave instructions for making Lentil Soup. Here’s how we made it today. Dice or slice carrot, celery, and onion. My daughter likes them sliced, so I sliced. The soup was her treat, and the extras were going home with her, so it was important to me to make it the way she wanted. Saute the veggies in a little olive oil or butter, if desired (not necessary).
Add the stock or water. I added water.
If you added water, add any broth powder or paste to make the vegetable broth equivalent and any herbs and spices for your flavor profile. We used ground cumin seed. That’s our favorite. We didn’t add any salt or pepper knowing it was already in the broth powder.
Add the sorted and rinsed brown lentils.
Then I added the red lentils. We use a 50-50 blend so we don’t need to process half the soup in the blender. Red lentil will break down into a mush in about 20 minutes.
Bring to a boil, then turn down to a simmer until the brown lentils are softened – about 45 minutes.
When the soup is done, add some lemon juice, liquid aminos (completes the protein profile, which is necessary for vegetarians), and some butter for flavor. Allow to simmer another 15 minutes. Then add some lightly chopped parsley.
Stir and serve. Often we stir in some frozen chopped kale or spinach when it’s in the bowl. Today my daughter wanted roasted veggies. So, while the soup was simmering, I roasted some veggies.
Roasted Veggies Side Dish
My daughter decided she wanted Broccoli, Cauliflower, and a jumbo Portabella mushroom. I sliced them about 1/4 inch thick and placed them on a silicone lined baking tray. Then I drizzled it with some clarified butter. I used clarified butter because I’m allergic to olive oil and my daughter doesn’t like coconut oil. She’s never had avocado oil and decided Christmas wasn’t the meal to try it. So, clarified butter it was. The reason I used clarified butter was so it wouldn’t burn. The milk solids in butter are what cause butter to burn. Remove them and it has a pretty high smoke point. I seasoned only with salt and pepper. Most people would add rosemary or oregano.
After roasting the veggies at 450° for 20 minutes they will be crisp-tender and ready to eat. This is what it looked like:
Here is a picture of our finished vegetarian dinner:
If you missed my earlier post on making lentil soup, here’s the link. I made a double batch and sent home 4 filled 20-ounce soup mugs. The mugs were on sale at Aldi’s a couple months go. I bought them knowing this would be part of her Christmas present. There was also enough for 2 more cups of soup for me, too.
Are Lentils Healthy?
Lentils are a very healthful food. I did 2 posts on the health benefits previously: How Lentils Reduce Cancer and More Reasons to Eat Lentils with additional recipes. Check them out, if you haven’t already.