New Year’s Eve & Lucky Lentil-Kale Bowl

First off, Happy Holidays! This will be my last post for 2013. I am traveling over the next two weeks and taking a mini vacation from blogging to spend more time with family and friends. I’ll be back in January with more healthy recipes and a special healthy pantry series!

Before I depart, I am leaving you with a little luck.
The perfect dish to welcome in 2014 with, my Lucky-Lentil Kale Bowl.
Extra points if you enjoy this while listening to Daft Punk.

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As a southern gal, my family always ate black-eyed peas and greens for New Year’s day. One pea for how old you were going to be that year. Uck. I hated black-eyed peas and would secretly hide them when no one was looking. While black-eyed peas still aren’t high on my must-eat list, I’ve transitioned over to my favorite legume- the lentil- to eat on New Year’s.

This recipe is a take on a popular Italian new year’s dish of lentils and sausage. While I enjoy lentils almost every day of the year, I always look forward to my new-er tradition on enjoying them on January 1st. Lentils, with their coin-like shape are meant to represent wealth and prosperity. Seasoned and spiced, these lentils might not make you richer but they are an inexpensive source of quality protein. Kale, a brilliant green shade and the color of you guessed it-money- is also thought to bring luck in the new year. Heap it on I say. Lucky for your taste buds and your body, kale is full of beneficial antioxidants to keep you healthy and strong in 2014.

I topped this bowl off with a creamy miso gravy and seared sausage. The gravy, with a serving of miso, is a lucky tip of the hat to your gut. Miso healthy bacteria that supports intestinal microflora is a good source of fiber. Wait to add the miso paste to gravy off heat, so not to kill the beneficial bacteria.

New Year’s Day & One Lucky Bowl
For Lentil Bowl:
  • 1 cup lentils, french or brown
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 garlic clove, finely minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups tightly packed chopped kale (I used dinosaur/lactino but curly would work)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 vegan sausages (I used Field Roast Apple, Potato, Sage)
For Miso Gravy:
  • 2 tbsp. earth balance margarine
  • ¼ cup flour
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp. nutritional yeast
  • 2 tbsp. miso (yellow or white)
For the Lentil-Kale bowl:
  1. In a large sauce pan, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion, garlic, bay leaf and thyme.
  2. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until the onion is soft and translucent.
  3. Add the lentils, stir to combine, and add 4 cups water.
  4. Reduce heat to low and cook for 40 minutes, until lentils are soft but not mushy.
  5. Once the lentils are done, stir in the chopped kale.
For the sausage:
  1. Slice sausage into 2 lengthwise pieces.
  2. In a lightly-sprayed skillet, add the sausage and brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes.
For the Gravy:
  1. In a sauce pan, melt the butter over medium heat.
  2. Once melted, whisk in the flour to combine. Stir the flour and butter mixture often, until slightly browned and smells nutty.
  3. Whisk in the vegetable broth, soy sauce, and nutritional yeast until combined completely. Reduce the heat to low and cook until thick, about 5 minutes.
  4. While the gravy is cooking, dissolve the miso paste in 2 tbsp. water.
  5. Once the gravy is thick, remove from heat and whisk in the miso paste.
To assemble:
  1. Pile the lentil and kale mixture into a bowl.
  2. Top with miso gravy and sausage slices.
  3. Eat!

Looking for more New Year’s Day meal inspiration? Check out the below healthy recipes in this month’s Recipe Redux!

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