Sunday, March 7, 2010

Recipe of the week challenge

So this past week I started my Recipe a week challenge. I am going to make at least one real recipe every week! This can be baking or cooking, simple or complicated! I think it will be fun!! I've got recipe #1 for you all right now. and some yummy pictures to go along with it! woo hoo!
This is a Rachael Ray recipe that is quite yummy. I realize looking at the picture that it just looks like mush, but it really is quite good. And if you've ever had RR you would know this anyway! haha.

Anyway, here is a link to it. But i'll also copy it here for you, with my tips to make it a little bit healthier at the bottom!


  • 2 cups French lentils
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil, plus some for drizzling
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 to 4 small ribs celery from heart, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 can diced tomatoes or fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained or 1 large ripe tomato, seeded and chopped
  • A couple of pinches ground cloves
  • A pinch of cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • 2 pounds hot sausage – large spiral to roast or links to braise


Place lentils in a pot and cover with stock and at least 1 inch of water, then add bay leaves. Bring the lentils to a boil, reduce heat a bit and cook at a low boil, about 40 minutes until tender. Drain and remove bay leaf.
About 10-15 minute before lentils finish cooking place a skillet on stove and add EVOO, 2 tablespoons, 2 turns of the pan, and heat over medium-high heat. Add carrot, celery, onions, and season with salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes then add garlic and cook a couple of minutes more. Stir in tomatoes, season with cloves, cinnamon and red pepper flakes. Deglaze the vegetables with white wine, stir in parsley and lentils. Then adjust the salt and pepper.
The sausages can be prepared in 2 ways. When I buy a large, thin rope sausage I coat the casing in a drizzle of EVOO and set the sausage up on top of a rack over a baking sheet. Preheat oven to 400 ˚F and roast sausage 20-25 minutes until firm and cooked through.
Link sausages can be braised in a skillet. Fill pan with water to submerge the links by half, about 3/4 inch. Add a drizzle of EVOO to the skillet and place pan over heat. Bring water up to a boil and reduce heat a bit to medium-high. Cook water away completely, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes. The oil will then brown casings up, 2 minutes.
Serve lentils in shallow bowls topped with sausage.

Leslie's Tips: Use a turkey sausage or lower fat version of sausage to cut the calorie content of this recipe. Also use low sodium chicken broth! Enjoy!

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