Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Dinner by Chance...

I recently had a serendipitous congruence of leftovers.  (Whew!  Dragged out the $5 words for that one!)  Not long ago, I spent a large portion of a two days putting up tomatoes.  It just so happens to have been the same week I made the quinoa kale wraps.  I ended up with a few large tomatoes that I had broiled for canning, but didn't have enough to make a whole jar.  I wasn't sure what to do with them till I scrounged around and found the leftover lentils and quinoa and I also had some baby bella mushrooms.  A wonder was born.  Can I just say how much I love this?

The tomatoes are barely cooked, paired with fresh basil and roast vegetables.  Mix in a little quinoa and french lentils?  It's just wonderful...

Start with a few demure ingredients...  I used chanterelle mushrooms this time and French lentils.  I will forever be indebted to my friend Matt who introduced me to French lentils...  They hold their shape so much better than regular green or brown lentils.  Also, I really liked the earthiness of the chanterelles in this tonight, though the baby bellas were nice, too.  (P.S. I grew that basil!)

Cut X's in the bottoms of your tomatoes.  Remove stems, and place them on a roasting pan with the X's up.

Place vegetables in the center of a roasting pan with a little olive oil drizzled over top.

Roast veggies at 450° for 10-15 minutes until garlic is soft.  Remove herbs after roasting.

Broil tomatoes.  Once tomato skins blacken slightly and crack, remove from oven and let cool until you can handle them enough to remove skins. 

Chop tomatoes, mix with vegetables, warmed quinoa and lentils.  Garnish with chopped basil, and serve!

Roast Vegetables with Quinoa and Lentils
5 medium or 2 large tomatoes
1-2 C leftover quinoa cooked with veggie bullion
1-2 C leftover lentils
5-6 cloves garlic, in skins
1 medium onion, cut into 8 chunks
1 sprig fresh rosemary
4 sprigs fresh thyme
1 C whole baby bella, white, or chantrelle mushrooms
1 stem fresh basil, chopped
olive oil

Place garlic, onion, and mushrooms on pan, drizzle with oil.  Place rosemary and thyme sprigs on top of mound.  Bake at 450° for 10-15 minutes, until garlic is soft.  Remove from oven.  Switch oven to "Broil" and place tomatoes on top rack.  Broil tomatoes until skins begin to crack and blacken, between 5 and 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and let cool.  Meanwhile, reheat quinoa and lentils in a pan or the microwave.  Once roast vegetables have cooled slightly, squeeze garlic from paper shell and discard shell.  Peel tomatoes and chop, roughly.  Combine quinoa, lentils, tomatoes, garlic, and onion blend, top with basil.  Serve warm or cold. 

Salt and pepper as you wish, though I find it unnecessary.

For instructions on cooking the quinoa and lentils from scratch, see my previous post.

The nearly raw tomatoes and the fresh basil make this very "new" tasting, while the mushrooms and roasted garlic really mellow it out.  Quinoa is my favorite grain so I am always happy to find new uses for it.  The Littles will eat everything but the onions, which is great because there's so much healthy stuff going on here!  It is one of the few dishes that really is good warm, room temp, or cold.  Hope you enjoy this as much as we do!


  1. Fantastic... I have just discovered quinoa... and was trying out recipe. I could add this to my list ... thank you :D

  2. Hope you like it, Lisa! Quinoa is so yummy and versatile, it quickly beat rice out as most used grain at my house!

  3. I love quinoa and lentils...this looks delicious with the roasted veggies!

    Happy to discover your blog! I, too, am a vegetarian in a meat eating family. Lovely photos, too! :)

  4. Thanks, Hannah! I'm glad to know I'm no the only veggie Mama out there feeding a bunch of carnivores! Try this, it comes together surprisingly fast!

  5. Thanks for the comment on my site. I can't wait to look though your site as well. I see that we're in the same boat: my husband is a carnivore and I'm veggie. Looks like we have some more stuff in comment too: I love lentils!
    I like it! :)


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