Over the past few weeks there has been a certain lightness to the air. The change of season mingles among us: A cool breeze, usually starting in the late afternoon, gently swoops its way over the Midwestern plains and into our homes. Fewer hours of daylight, shorter days and less time spent outside means more time to spend with your family over a bowl of lentils. Fall is officially here, and I am very ready for this change of seasons.
I am ready for all that fall stands for: milder temperatures and bundling up in cozy sweaters, scarves and boots. I am ready to go apple picking and to make apple pie. I am looking forward to picking out the best pumpkin, to roasting it for fresh pumpkin purée and to spicy pepitas. I am ready for football. I am ready for chili, and soup, and stews, and roasted everything. I am especially looking forward to all that the fall harvest brings us like squash, root vegetables and dark leafy greens.
But, amid this change and excitement, I try to remind myself often to stay present in this moment. Because my garden has plenty of summer still left in it. There are dozens of green tomatoes still ripening on the vine. My peppers are still growing like crazy. My eggplants are putting out beautiful, plump purple beauties every day. Am I crazy for not wanting to fully embrace the autumnal season yet?
So as we transition from late summer into fall, I plan to do so in a slow, intentional way. Starting with roasting more vegetables and making more bowls of warmth and goodness like this spicy roasted carrot-and-lentil dish. Carrots will be some of the first fall vegetables to sprout up in my garden, so I think it is only appropriate to start here. This easy recipe only takes 40 minutes to make, and it is incredibly filling to eat. It's a great weeknight meal, especially for Meatless Monday.
Sherrie Castellano is a certified Health Coach, food writer and photographer based in St. Louis. She writes the vegetarian and naturally gluten-free food blog With Food + Love. You can keep up with her on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter.
Spicy Roasted Carrots and Lentils with Parsley Oil
Serves | 4 |
Carrot and Lentils
- 2 cups green lentils
- 4 cups water or vegetable stock
- 1 bay leaf
- ½ tsp sea salt, more to taste
- 10 medium-sized carrots (about 1 pound), sliced into thin medallions
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- ¼ tsp garlic powder
- ½ tsp crushed red pepper, more to taste and to serve
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, more to taste
- ½ cup fresh parsley
- juice from 1 lemon
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
| Preparation – Carrots and Lentils | Preheat oven to 450°F and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a medium saucepan combine lentils, water, bay leaf and pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cover and cook for 35 to 40 minutes or until lentils are tender and most water has been absorbed.
While lentils are cooking, toss sliced carrots in olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, ½ tsp salt and pepper. Spread in thin layer over baking sheets and roast for 15 to 20 minutes, flipping halfway through. Carrots are done roasting when lightly browned on both sides.
| Preparation – Parsley Oil | In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
| To Serve | Divide lentils into 4 even portions, about 1 cup for each serving, and top evenly with carrots. Drizzle parsley oil on top and serve warm with more crushed red pepper and pinch of salt if desired.