Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Poached Eggs on Spicy Lentils & A Slow Cooker Giveaway!


By: Lynn Stevens

In a recent article in the New York Times entitled, The ‘Busy’ Trap, Tim Kreider states, “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness.” True. We like to “be” busy, don’t we? We feel like we have accomplished something when, by the end of the day, those idle moments have been kept to a minimum and each moment packed without “wasted” relaxation or laziness. Astonishingly, Kreider takes a different approach: “I am not busy,” he says. “I am the laziest ambitious person I know.” Defending that, he claims “the space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole… it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done.” Deep thoughts; but, rather than just sit around and think about that, I’ll think about it while I stay busy in the meantime.


So, how busy are you? Just last week, I attended 6 baseball games and 4 practices, as well as another three piano practices after the kids finished school, most of which occurred during the ‘normal’ dinner hours. Despite our ‘busyness’, we didn’t miss a meal. Food requires and demands our attention regardless of life’s circumstances. So, we welcome the slow cooker into our chaotic lives. But, will that slow cooker meal deliver the nutritional punch with ease that will overcome the temptation to grab dinner out? Well, it takes two things: (1) some good recipes and (2) a good slow cooker. I believe I may have found both.

The Healthy Slow Cooker cookbook, 135 Gluten-Free Recipes for Health and Wellness, by Judith Finlayson, is a cookbook that highlights nutrient dense foods in easy to follow recipes. Finlayson pinpoints fundamental nutritional truths, balancing macronutrients (protein, fat, and carbohydrate) in the recipes and including a variety of micronutrients from various nutritional powerhouse foods to contribute to long-term health. Each recipe includes a nutritional analysis, as well as a “Natural Wonders” section that highlights recent research related to a star recipe ingredient. Perhaps the best part of this book is that you actually learn to understand and use your slow cooker appropriately. The recipes utilize different slow cooker sizes depending on what is being prepared and the finished products were creative, tasty, and nutritious. One that was a big hit with my family was the Poached Eggs on Spicy Lentils.(recipe below)




For the slow cooker, I tried the new Hamilton Beach, Set & Forget 6 Qt. Programmable Slow Cooker to achieve great results from these recipes. Keep in mind, the slow cooker should be half full to avoid overcooking, so if you don’t already own a slow cooker, be sure to choose a size appropriate for your family. The technology in the Set and Forget allows for three different settings for cooking: program, probe, and manual mode. The program mode allows it to automatically shift to a warm setting when the cooking time is up. This holds your food at a safe temperature, without continuing to cook it, which is perfect for those days when you want to turn it on in the morning and eat when you come home in the evening. The meat probe allows you to insert the probe into the meat and set the desired temperature and it will automatically shift to warm when the temperature is reached. An added benefit to this remarkable slow cooker is the clip-locked, secure lid that allows you to travel without a mess. This slow cooker was a big improvement over my previous one. I highly recommend it.

If you’re like me, the rest of your life is busy, so the food experience should not be rushed, but rather a necessary indulgence. The slow cooker can be the star of the show on those busy days when you don’t have the time to be in the kitchen; or, maybe even, as Kreider would say, on those lazy days, when idleness is a necessity to our souls and the kitchen a hindrance.


Poached Eggs on Spicy Lentils
(printable recipe)

Medium (approx. 4 quart) slow cooker
1 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp minced ginger root
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp cracked black peppercorns
1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 can (28 oz) no-salt-added tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
Salt
1 long green chile pepper or 2 Thai bird’s-eye chiles, finely chopped, optional
6 eggs
1⁄4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, coriander, cumin and peppercorns and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add lentils, tomatoes with juice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Transfer to slow cooker stoneware.

2. Cover and cook on Low for 6 hours or on High for 4 hours, until lentils are tender and mixture is bubbly. Stir in coconut milk, salt, to taste, and chile pepper, if using. Cover and cook for 20 to 30 minutes until heated through.

3. When ready to serve, ladle into soup bowls and top each serving with a poached egg (see Tip). Garnish with parsley.

Tip
To poach eggs: In a deep skillet, bring about 2 inches (5 cm) lightly salted water to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low. Break eggs into a measuring cup and, holding the cup close to the surface of the water, slip the eggs into the pan. Cook until whites are set and centers are still soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon.

Makes 6 servings

a Rafflecopter giveaway


In order for me to support my knowledge-sharing/writing/blogging activities, I occasionally may receive monetary compensation and or product in exchange for my recommendation, and/or testimonial. However, I only recommend products or services I have personally used myself and trust.    

52 comments:

  1. I could sure use that shiny "NEW" Hamilton Beach slow cooker! What a beauty

    ReplyDelete
  2. Sad day when ours had cooked it's last meal.... Corned beef and potatoes...

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have never used a slow cooker and would love to have one of my own...i have, however, watched my son and daughter in law use theirs a few times each week and more so for Friday night thru Saturday and it is such a blessing to just place your ingredients in and forget about it .... i would love to try making my grandmothers Hungarian goulash which i remember fondly from childhood....thank you for this opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I slow cook at least once a week, and there is no way I could pick one favorite. Corn chowder, chili, Puerto Rican pork, whole chicken, Buffalo chicken sliders, and French dip subs are a handful of our family's favorites. Now I'm hungry!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Recipe sounds delish! An upgrade on the crockpot sounds great, too! (Still using mine from 1980-something!)

    ReplyDelete
  6. my mom's pot roast is my absolute fave slow cooker recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  7. I don't have one so I need one! :)

    ReplyDelete
  8. My favorite thing is a roast and veggies.

    ReplyDelete
  9. What a great recipe for a hectic day! BTW, I am tired for you given your schedule last week!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like to make Ham & Beans in the slow cooker.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I keep saying I'm going to try lentils every time I see a delicious looking recipe like this one

    ReplyDelete
  12. I am just starting to get into lentils, this looks great! Awesome giveaway too!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Poached eggs and lentils? I'm in!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This looks great -- I love poached eggs on just about every savory dish you can think of. And slow cookers? They are a godsend to busy moms like me.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This sounds really delicious. I love lentil dishes. I must confess that even though I own a slow cooker (and am certainly as busy as can be!) I very rarely use it. I may dust it off to try this recipe though. Thanks for joining #CookBlogShare

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love my slow cooker. and poached eggs are the way to my heart!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I like the idea of busyness vs. ambition. I can be ambitious and want to succeed without having to sacrifice all the time I have. Meal times are important to us in our house, no matter how busy. And this meal, these lentils with that fantastic drippy egg, is one that is sure to make it into our regular rotation! It looks amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  18. I love making pulled pork in the crock pot! Thanks for the great giveaway!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I cannot agree more with people wanting/needing to be busy most of the time to feel accomplished! It/s pretty amazing how much stuff we can get done in one day! And have a meal on the table when we get home!
    I love my slow cooker as well and try to use it as often as I can for those busy days! This looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  20. Pulled Pork or Pot Roast. It's a tie!

    ReplyDelete
  21. I love to cook BBQ Pork in the slow cooker.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I sure could use that ..mine is getting old

    ReplyDelete
  23. That poached egg is perfection!

    ReplyDelete
  24. I'm not an egg person but those spicy lentils look great!

    ReplyDelete
  25. What a fun and interesting recipe. I would have never thought of this but now I don't think I can get the deliciousness out of my head! Love the poached egg topping! YUM!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

    ReplyDelete
  26. I'm having some serious slow cooker envy right now. I just entered!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm always busy, like always running around! This looks delish!

    ReplyDelete
  28. My slow cooker just broke and this one looks like it would bean awesome replacement! I would love to tryout this egg recipe.

    ReplyDelete
  29. This looks like something my fiance would love! He loves spicy food AND he loves lentils.

    ReplyDelete
  30. Hands down, Pot Roast is my favorite thing to cook in a slow cooker.

    ReplyDelete
  31. This looks like a great and easy recipe on a busy day. Plus I'll take anything with an egg on top!

    ReplyDelete
  32. I hopped on the overnight oat kick and haven't jumped down yet!

    ReplyDelete
  33. I love to make my homemade sausage chili

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would make a big beef roast with carrots,potatoes,and onions!

    ReplyDelete
  35. I love to cook a pork roast with enchilada sauce

    ReplyDelete
  36. Looks incredible! Thank you so much for linking up at Tasty Tuesday! Your recipe has been pinned to the Tasty Tuesday Pinterest board! Please join us again this week!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Here is a link to my favorite recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Jennies-Heavenly-Slow-Cooker-Chicken/Detail.aspx?event8=1&prop24=SR_Title&e11=heavenly&e8=Quick%20Search&event10=1&e7=Home%20Page&soid=sr_results_p1i2&rank=2

    ReplyDelete
  38. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  39. I already own an older version of Hamilton Beach and love it, but this newer model looks great! I would love to win this! I almost forgot...my favorite thing to cook in a slow cooker is my barbecue pulled pork!

    ReplyDelete
  40. My favorite thing to cook in a slow cooker is pot roast, especially on a cool/cold day.

    ReplyDelete
  41. Beef stew. The meat comes out so tender!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Everything is better in a slow cooker but my favorite to make is ham

    ReplyDelete
  43. Chili and pot roasts are my favorite!

    ReplyDelete
  44. Anything i can!
    meatballs, chicken, chili, cheese dip
    I can go on & on!

    ReplyDelete
  45. I love cooking a big roast, with potatoes, and carrots.

    ReplyDelete
  46. My husband's chili is my favorite thing to cook!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Roast beef and Yorkshire Pudding on the side

    ReplyDelete