Man, oh man, do I HATE packing. Despise it with the power of a thousand suns! When it comes to packing for a holiday, I am eventually able to pull it together and start making lists of what I want to bring. And actually I like lists quite a lot…so in the end, that’s kind of a win-win: I get to make lists and cross things off as I get closer and closer to going on holiday!
Moving to an entirely new country and packing up an apartment you’ve lived in for almost 5 years…that’s a whole other level of packing. I feel like I am legitimately entitled to feel strong loathing at that prospect (for the record, just the packing bit, not the moving bit).
So while I am starting to put together several of the longest lists I’ve ever written and enjoying the Parisian summer with my soon to be long-distance Paris friends, I don’t really have a whole lot of time to think about what’s going to go in my packed lunch. Yet again, my trusty freezer is there to save the day.
Not very weather appropriate, I know
And just for those of you living in the Northern hemisphere, I am aware that it is not winter time and that this hearty dish is not very summery, however, as opposed to salads, stew-like meals are much easier to grab when you’re stretched for time.
And also, I happen to have noticed on my fancy WordPress stats that some of my readers are perusing the little old blog from Australia and New Zealand, so at least you folks will be pleased to see a weather appropriate dish for your side of the world!
Jules and The Stonesoup
Speaking of Australia, this is a shout out to a very special blog I’ve mentioned before that I just cannot get enough of. This blog is the reason I have started to feel more and more comfortable in the kitchen and I will always be indebted to the awesome lady who posts there for encouraging me to try. I encourage you to RUN, not walk, on over to the fabulous Stonesoup where Jules make cooking look like a breeze with 5-ingredient recipes, like the one below that I have barely adapted because it’s so delicious, it just deserves to be shared over and over again!
Mixed Lentil and Sausage “Risotto”
Makes 3-4 servings/lunches and freezes really well in an air-tight container.
What you’ll need:
- generous pour of olive oil
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2-4 neutrally seasoned sausages (depending on their size and the ratio you prefer in the dish)
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1/2 cup brown or green lentils
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 cups stock, chicken or vegetable
- 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan
- shaved parmesan, to serve
- chopped parsley, to serve, optional
- Heat a good pour of oil on medium heat. Cook the onions for about 4 minutes just letting them get tender.
- Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casing and into the pan. Cook for a few minutes until browned.
- Add the lentils and give a good stir.
- Pour in the wine and the stock.
- Simmer and taste around the 20 minute mark, checking for the firmness of the lentils. Red lentils will have turned completely mushy, but the other lentils should be starting to become nice and tender and will add a great element of texture.
- At the 20 minute mark, add the desired amount of grated parmesan.*
- Serve with shaved parmesan and chopped parsley or any other fresh herb of your choice for a nice sharp contrast to the richness of the “risotto”.
* I tend to limit the parmesan at this phase because I think the flavor is so incredible already that it doesn’t really need it. I prefer to add some shaved parmesan right when serving. And if you’re packing it to go, you can shave some parmesan into a Ziploc or a small container to add once you’ve popped it through the microwave.
Recipe very barely adapted from the Stonesoup.