Lentil & Kale Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce

Lentil & Kale Burrito with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce

Do you have the burrito blues because you use the same ingredients over and over? Try something a little different like this recipe for Lentil & Kale Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce. It’ll brighten your day!

I’ve been wanting to make a fab and filling burrito, but wasn’t feeling up for using black beans in the mix like I usually do. I also needed to remind myself not to overdo it with the ingredients (I have a tendency to, shall we say, “overfill” my burritos).

Lentil & Kale Burritos

Solution: use lentils instead of black beans (I used red lentils for a bit of color), kale instead of lettuce, and go a little crazy with extra ingredients to make a flavorful sauce.

Mission accomplished: my burrito blues were banished thanks to these Lentil & Kale Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce. Very simple and very tasty.

A veggie burrito: Lentil & Kale Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce

So let’s talk about the sauce: I added it IN the burrito, and drizzled it OVER the burrito, too. It’s basically a ranch dressing recipe with roasted red peppers and garlic – a few of my favorite things. It’s tangy and colorful, and since it’s also rich and creamy, you can eliminate the cheese you might normally add to a burrito.

Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce

I wrapped my Lentil & Kale Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce in foil and popped them in the oven for about 20 minutes to add a touch of crisp to them. (If you’re looking for a full-proof way to wrap burritos, I highly recommend this tutorial from TheKitchn.)

Serve these up with some chips and sliced avocado on the side and you’ve got yourself a filling and unique burrito!

Recipe for Lentil & Kale Burritos with Roasted Red Pepper-Ranch Sauce
Makes 4 large burritos

Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing

Lately all I’ve been craving is “cookies and cake and junk & stuff” (a favorite line from Will Smith in Men in Black). But cookies only last so long on the counter, and even longer on parts of my body, so it was time to break out the good stuff: lentils and salads, more specifically, lentil salad with roasted red pepper dressing.

The family that eats lentils together

Growing up, my family ate lentils pretty often, mostly in the winter, and always in the form of soups (try my recipe for lentil soup with veggies and pasta). When I told my mom I was making lentil salad with roasted red pepper dressing, she was intrigued. She wasn’t sure how I was going to incorporate lentils into a salad. I explained my recipe to her, and she was clearly interested since I got a call from her later in the day anxious to know how it turned out.

Lentil lesson

Brown lentils are easy to cook and I usually always have them in the house. I was surprised when I opened the door to my crammed cupboard (and nothing fell out) to find only red lentils tucked waaaay back in the corner of the shelf. Even though I’d never cooked red lentils before, I was confident they’d be great in this recipe. From what I read after the fact, red lentils tend to get mushy when you cook them (they do). You’ve been advised.

When I got my hands on some brown lentils, I got nervous about cooking them and started to second-guess myself. Maybe lentils are hard to cook? When was the last time I made them? What should I do now! For reassurance, I consulted The Kitchn for a fool-proof method to cook brown lentils. I’m glad I did, because their tutorial not only gave me my lentil-cooking confidence back, but I learned about holding off on adding salt to the lentils until after they’re cooked. Glad I double-checked! My lentil salad with roasted red pepper dressing turned out great! Nice firm lentils for a great cold salad. The cookies and cake and junk & stuff have been put off…for now.

Note: Although this recipe is labeled as gluten free, if you follow a gluten-free diet, you should always carefully read the ingredient labels of all food and food products you use to ensure they are also gluten free.

Recipe for Lentil Salad with Roasted Red Pepper Dressing
Serves 4-6

Rice and Lentil Loaf (Vegetarian recipe)

Main rice & lentil loaf

I love to make this dish for dinner, mostly because I love the leftovers even more! I love cold, leftover meatloaf – I mean rice and lentil loaf – better than the first serving of it!

Most everyone has an opinion about meatloaf. Some love its homey comfort made from their mom’s recipe. Some think of it as a heavy-duty boring blast from the past. Some would never eat it. Enter rice and lentil loaf with mass appeal!

Whether you’re a meat eater, vegetarian or trying to cut meat from your meals more often (think Meatless Monday), this loaf is a great option for you to try.

Second Rice & Lentil Loaf

Whatever your opinion of the classic dish, this recipe is meatloaf-like enough for fans, but different enough for meatloaf foes. The addition of rice, lentils and vegetables makes it a healthy dish, and although it has almost the same texture as meatloaf, it gives you the chance to try something a little out-of-the ordinary.

Best of all, the leftovers are amazing, cold and straight from the fridge!

Recipe for Rice and Lentil Loaf:

Serves 6-8 people

Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta

Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta:

My mom was recently visiting. Like most moms, mine is known for throwing ingredients together and coming up with something delicious to eat — without even having a written recipe. Not a big deal, right? It’s a bit of an issue for me since I’m not really one to wing it much when cooking (I’m a little Type A — maybe that has something to do with it?). So to finally get a written recipe for this soup makes me very happy!

I used to think there was a big secret or heavy lifting behind cooking lentils, but I was wrong. Lentils are quick-cooking and easy to make, and so is lentil soup. This version, my mom’s go-to for years (and now mine), includes veggies and pasta in the mix. I make mine more thick and creamy, but either way, it’s super hearty (don’t forget the health benefits of lentils) and delicious.

Add just about anything to this soup

I had to run out on a few quick errands and my mom stayed behind in my kitchen. When I got home, something smelled too good to be true — it was lentil soup with veggies and pasta! I wondered how this happened so quickly — did I even have the right ingredients in the house? My mom told me that all she did was open the fridge and a few cupboards and suddenly, soup was on.

The beauty of this recipe is that you can pretty much add whatever vegetables and seasonings you have available and it’ll likely be delicious. My mom told me that she often uses leftover mashed potatoes instead of the cream of mushroom (or celery) soup, and adds a bit of milk to thin them in place of the water. I once used salsa when I was out of tomato sauce. It worked out really well!

After we each ate a bowl I had her sit with me so she could walk me through her steps to soup. This is her “recipe.” It can be hard to give someone a written recipe that’s in your head — especially this one where substitutions are likely. I used my mom’s version and tweaked it a little, which you’ll probably do, too.

My post originally appeared on The Daily Meal.

Retouched mom and soup

Mom enjoys her soup

Recipe for Lentil Soup with Veggies and Pasta:

Serves 6-8 people