A cheap & delicious dinner & lunch idea

February 18, 2009 at 4:07 pm (food) (, )

I was too tired to go to the store last night and I came up with a good way to use up bits and pieces of food around the house, which makes a fabulous dinner and left over lunch. It’s quite inexpensive, too!

Roasted vegetables (my favorite vegetable preparation, like EVER)

Carrots, cut into thin pieces (quartered and in 2-4” lengths)

Onions, sliced into thin long chunks

Red potatoes, cut into small chunks

Fresh rosemary if you have it, or dried herbs de provence if you don’t

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


Chop everything up, put into a oven-proof pan (non-stick if you have it, you’ll use less oil). Drizzle with oil to coat – you can always add more later on, so make sure not to drown it, add salt/pepper and herbs.


Cook at 450 in the oven (middle to upper rack is fine). Cook for up to 45-55 minutes, stirring occasionally to turn the veggies so they don’t just brown on one side. Add more oil if needed. I usually do the first turn after they start sweating, about 20 minutes. They will carmelize more and more, so you can actually cook these until they are quite dark, or stop when they are sweet and not very dark at all. These are super super sweet, very delicious, and a favorite of everyone that has ever tried it. I think the fresh rosemary is ideal. If you don’t live in a climate like Seattle where you can walk down the street, find a ginormous rosemary plant and snip a little off (they are the size of shrubs here, really!), then buy some in the supermarket.


French or Beluga lentils

Cook in 3x the amount of water over a small simmer. Make sure to use the small dark lentils, not the light green ones that you buy for lentil soup – these will totally disintegrate in liquid; the french/beluga varieties will hold their shape better

Add bay leaf, some diced onion and celery


When finished cooking, salt to taste, remove bay leaf. For a non-vegetarian option, add diced ham or sausage and a drizzle of olive oil.


Meat side dish

A third option is to put some nice sausage on the side (one is plenty), or even an egg – poached or fried on top of the lentils, but hard boiled would also work for take-lunch-to-work. My latest favorite is a chicken apple sausage (or pork apple).


This is cheap, relatively easy, you can make a ton, and have several meals out of it. I had it for dinner last night and lunch today. Yum! I’ve been eating too much meat lately and have gotten away from vegetarian roots. Plus there’s something about lentils and winter time that go hand in hand.


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