Healthy, hearty new year made easy with meatless meal
In my home, January is a month to reset. After the king cake is enjoyed on Jan. 6 and the tree comes down, we set about clearing out the clutter both in our home and our diet. I love the abundance of the holidays – eating and decorating with much abandon. I am equally grateful for the time to embrace the starkness of the winter season by clearing shelves and serving more vegetarian recipes.
Cooking meatless can be fast and simple. Take for instance the easy Mediterranean bowls we so love. Using quick cooking quinoa or reheated, frozen brown rice as the base, we pile on garbanzo beans, feta, tomatoes, cucumbers, herbs and lemon juice for a quick and filling meal.
On days when I have more time to prepare dinner, I love a veggie sheet pan meal. My root veggie and red lentil tray bake is maxed out in flavor and nutrition. It’s warm and nourishing – just perfect for a January dinner.
(written for the Los Altos Town Crier)
Root vegetable and red lentil tray bake
My mom would proclaim that she could live on pasta alone. Funnily enough, I don’t recall pasta featuring heavily on her dinner rotation when her dining room was full of kiddos. But I totally get her. It’s how I feel about this vegetarian tray bake. I could eat it noon and night for weeks on end before I grew tired. As I don’t just cook for myself, it is a dish that makes it onto the table every few months. It will show up more often in January, and I couldn’t be more delighted.
The warm Ethiopian spices scatter on before baking and drizzle of dressings at serving, make this a meal fit to impress should you wish to go meatless for company. The quick clean up afforded by preparing the entire meal on a single sheet pan, adds to the overall joy of the dish.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 1 pinch of ground cloves
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
- 2 carrots, washed and rough cut
- 2 turnips, peeled and rough cut
- 2 parsnips, peeled, cored, and rough cut
- 3 large shallots, peeled and rough cut
- 2 tablespoons grapeseed or avocado oil
- 1 cup red lentils, sorted
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- Salt to taste
- Tahini dressing for garnish (see below)
- Mixed herb and walnut pesto for garnish (see below)
- Handful of torn mint leaves for garnish
- 1/3 cup tahini
- 1/3 cup water
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 2 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mixed green herbs (I used Italian parsley, dill, and mint)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1 garlic clove
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 teaspoon salt