My Midwest Kitchen

Lentil and Kale Breakfast Bowl

Today marks the start of another school year! Am I alone or did the summer go by especially fast this year?  As any teacher can tell you, the return to work after summer break can be utterly excruciating. While it is fun and exciting to get ready to see our students, we too enjoy the freedom and non-alarm days of summer. Plus, cramming in countless meetings, planning, and preparation in these first days can be super hectic. This marks the beginning of my seventh year of teaching (GASP) and this year I really want to push myself to further embrace an already healthier lifestyle. One way I hope to do this is by eating something in the morning. Like many of you, I grew up being told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, when I wake up at 5:30, the last thing on my mind is food! My focus is on not hitting snooze, not lingering watching the morning news and of course, on COFFEE! I have finally accepted that coffee is not a meal, although I will still maintain its function as a snack and dessert. So, what’s a sleepy girl to do in the morning when one, she isn’t hungry and two, she tends to dilly dally? I tell you what she does. She makes a do ahead breakfast!

By now you may have learned that I do not have a sweet tooth. Savory is my game, people. Although I keep telling myself I have to share some dessert recipes and dabble in the baking arena. One step at a time, Hyam. One step at a time. So, I prefer a savory breakfast as a opposed to sweet/carb-y one. (I don’t think I have actually ever ordered pancakes or waffles in my entire life. Fun fact? More like awkward insert.) This is why I love this make-ahead breakfast bowl because it’s savory as well as jam packed full of fiber, protein, and vitamins A, C and K. Also, this bowl is SUPER DUPER filling. I wrote up the recipe for six servings, but if you want to reduce the fill factor, serve it with one egg instead of two. 

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Like many of my go to recipes, this one uses a lot of staples that many of us have at home. I think I only had to buy the kale, parmesan and sweet potato.

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Starting by cooking the sweet potatoes ensures that they cook through as well as develop flavor with some good browning.IMG_4914

There is nothing quite like the smell of cooking onions…and sweet potatoes.

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Whoa. That is a lot of kale, eh? Like all greens, they will REDUCE big time so don’t be afraid of the amount of kale. By cooking them down in two rounds, you won’t overcrowd your pan and get a nice even cook on the leafy green.

IMG_4938I forgot to take another photo of the tomato sauce. Whoops! But, here you seen what I mean by only cooking the garlic until it starts to develop some color. Add in your crushed tomatoes, heat through and you’re done with the sauce. It really couldn’t be easier or more tasty.

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Look at the FIBER, you guys! And all that Vitamin C (kale) and A (kale and sweet potatoes). It’s like healthy overload. At least that is what I will be telling myself. Maybe I can have some french fries later. Maybe not. 

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You can make your own veggie breakfast bowl with whichever vegetables you like. I love using the lentils for additional substance, and not to mention the punch of fiber and protein. This dish really does save so well all week and to transport, I will mix up my eggs I think and do boiled and even maybe a microwave scramble.

Feel free to share your ideas for fun and healthy breakfast bowls!

Lentil and Kale Breakfast Bowl
Serves 6
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
25 min
Total Time
35 min
Ingredients
  1. 3 tbsp olive oil
  2. 1/2 cup brown lentils
  3. 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
  4. 1/2 white onion, chopped
  5. 1 bunch kale, chopped
  6. 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  7. 1 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  8. 12 eggs, cooked to your preference (for two eggs per person)
  9. Salt and pepper, to taste
  10. Parsley and parmesan to garnish
Instructions
  1. Cook lentils according to directions, careful to not overcook. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add 2 tbsp oil to pan and sauté sweet potatoes with a pinch of salt. Cook for 8 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don't burn
  3. Add in the onion and cook for 5 minutes until onions are soft
  4. Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce by heating remaining oil in the pan with the garlic just until it starts to pick up some color (no more than 3-4 minutes). Add the crushed tomatoes, and allow to heat through. Season to taste and set aside.
  5. Add in half the kale, stir and cover. Let cook 3 minutes, opening and stirring halfway
  6. Add in the rest of the kale, stir and cover. Let cook another 3 minutes, stirring halfway through again
  7. Season to taste with salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon
  8. Combine the cooked lentils with the kale and sweet potato mixture
  9. Add in the tomato sauce, reserving 1/2 cup
  10. Divide mixture into six bowls
  11. Top lentil mixture with two eggs (I like mine baked in a muffin tin)
  12. Garnish with a spoon of tomato sauce, parsley and parmesan
  13. Serve warm
My Midwest Kitchen Blog http://mymidwestkitchenblog.com/

 

Tuna Tapenade

Totally Tasty Tuna Tapenade! I have been wanting to write that for a few weeks now. Ah. I feel so much better having finally typed that out. IMG_4924

What is tuna tapenade? You’ve heard of olive tapenade, you say? Well, this is the seafood version of olive tapenade. It’s great as an hors d’oeuvres spread across your favorite cracker or, as you’ll find below, a meal in itself (that is if you are me). 

With all the warm days we have had, I have really been wanting to continue a pattern of light eating because having a stuffed belly when it’s hot out is terribly uncomfortable. But, even I get sick of salads and I wanted to find a way to incorporate more protein in my meals and snacks. So, this tuna tapenade was perfect since it is packed with protein, light, and also a cinch to make.

I use organic tuna (the Wild Planet brand is a great find at Costco), but feel free to use whichever brand you prefer. Being able to enjoy my favorite foods while working to be more mindful of their sources adds to my own enjoyment, but not necessarily everyone else’s. Combining the tuna with fresh ingredients like shallots and parsley really lightened up the tapenade. And when it comes to olives, I like mine like I like my oysters…BRINY. Kalamata olives are the tangy, salty, briny addition that make this tapenade totally tasty. And if you aren’t a fan of kalamatas, the capers add the salty/briny quality that the tapenade needs.

I ate this for dinner, but then kept it in my fridge for the next couple of days and ate it for lunch and a snack. Serving it with toasted whole wheat bread and sliced cucumbers were my vehicles of choice, but I also ate it straight off of a fork. No judgement, please. If I were making this for guests, I may consider using oil packed tuna for more richness and serving it with a light cracker instead of the bread and cucumbers. IMG_4896

I love this recipe because I tend to have all these ingredients on hand.

Me = easily excited

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Throw everything in the food processor! You see above the tuna, shallots, olives, lemon zest (the juice is hard to see), olive oil (same visual quality as the lemon juice), capers, and parsley. Then pulse to combine! 

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I stop every couple of pulses to make sure I stir everything together/push the ingredients down so they combine evenly.

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And now you have this totally tasty tuna tapenade! Yes! I just wanted to write it again!

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I burned the bread. I’m a flawed person. Ok?

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Cucumbers are my absolute favorite vehicle for dips of all sorts! Try them. You won’t regret it.

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Try out this tuna tapenade and let me know what you think in the comments!

Tuna Tapenade
Serves 6
Write a review
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Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Total Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 10 oz organic tuna packed in water
  2. 1 lemon, zest and juice
  3. 1 tbsp chopped shallot
  4. 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives (or your favorite olive)
  5. 2 tsp capers
  6. 1-2 tsp anchovy paste (to your taste)
  7. 2 tbsp olive oil
  8. Large handful of parsley, about 1/3 cup chopped
  9. Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Drain tuna
  2. Rinse olives in cool water to remove excess salt
  3. Combine all ingredients in the food processor
  4. Pulse until combined to desired consistency
  5. Serve with your favorite bread, cracker or crudite
Notes
  1. The olives, capers and anchovy paste add a lot of salt so the addition of salt is not necessary
  2. Rinsing your olives will help prevent an over salty quality to the tapenade
My Midwest Kitchen Blog http://mymidwestkitchenblog.com/