Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Winging It

I really do not want to go to the grocery store this week.  I typically like going grocery shopping, but my local Stop & Shop has been totally reorganized and I don't agree with the layout!  And it takes me about double the time to do my shopping.

Instead of making a list of what we would eat for dinner and then going grocery shopping I picked up some food when I went to BJ's this weekend.  I bought chicken breast, london broil, a three pack of kielbasa (!), strawberries, spinach, sweet potatoes and Chobani yogurt.  And milk and cream.

So, I am totally winging it this week.  Everyday's dinner will be a surprise!  Even to me.

First up: Sunday night.  That was easy - grilled london broil, sweet potato and spinach salad.  Yesterday, Monday, was a little trickier.  Even though we had a lot of leftovers from Sunday, I didn't want to eat that again.  Plus I usually pack leftovers for lunch the following day.

To figure out dinner for Monday I went to www.allrecipes.com and searched the recipes by using their "Ingredient Search".  Have you used this?  It can be hit or miss, but it is a pretty neat tool since you can type in the ingredients you want to use and exclude the ingredients you do not want to use.

I typed in: kielbasa.  (remember - I bought a THREE pack!!!) 

I came up with Sausage and Lentils:


  • 3 C water
  • 1 cup dried lentils
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 8 ounces fully cooked kielbasa or Polish sausage, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine water, lentils and onion in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, and cook for about 15 minutes. Add sliced sausage, and season with cumin, salt and pepper. Simmer until lentils are tender, about 5 to 10 more minutes.
The best thing (I think) about AllRecipes.com is the comments.  The comments to this recipes said it was a little bland.  So I made the following changes:
  • used shallot and 1 large garlic clove, sauteed in olive oil along with kielbasa
  • added 1 tsp. chili powder and 1 tsp. cumin after the shallot, etc. had been sauteed until tender.  I sauteed the mixture a little more until fragrant
  • added lentils and water (I used 1.5 cups lentils to finish my bag so I increased the water by 1/2 C at first)
Then, after the desired cooking time was up, I thought the dish looked, well - a little brown!  So I quickly diced up the single carrot I had in the fridge and threw that in as well. The lentils were still a little crunchy anyway, so after I added the carrot I poured some water in and covered the pot and set the burner to low.
And this is how she turned out:
Without carrots - brown :-(  With carrots - color!
I got rave reviews from the Husband and the Toddler!  So the recipe is definitely a keeper.
She couldn't get the lentils in her mouth fast enough!


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