Once a Month Meals – March 2014: first recipe done!

Y’all might as well know that I am a dedicated freezer cook.  I use the Once a Month Meals/OAMM site (né Once a Month Mom) all the time to simplify batch cooking and freezing.  It has truly enabled our family to eat healthy/healthier foods even though my husband and I both work full-time and I work 12-hour shifts half of the month.  Our family has two preschoolers and on 26 February we welcomed our third, a little baby girl!  I am a vegetarian so I always choose veggie recipes or I vegetarianize 🙂 standard recipes.  I really love that site and how much stress it has relieved from our daily lives–dinner is on the table!!!

So how about a little review of how I hit this month’s menu?  With a newborn in the house a 12-hour cooking day is totally impractical.  So I did my usual: start anywhere, usually with the recipe where I have the most ingredients currently on hand, and freely adapt ingredients and cooking instructions to what I have on hand and how much cooking time I can do.

OAMM published the March menu on the first during daytime hours in the US, and here in Europe when it appeared during my daytime hours on March 2 I cooked up Stephen’s Healthy Lentil Bowl yesterday as I already had everything for the recipe on hand.

Recipe? Stephen’s Healthy Lentil Bowl

Was it easy to make? Is it easy to serve?  Yes, easy with clear instructions.  You simply heat and serve the frozen meal so that’s easy to serve!

Any adjustments?  Yes, I used spinach instead of kale as kale is out of season here in Belgium and I can’t source it.  I always add uncooked spinach to the cooled dish since it will cook during reheating.  I used half red and half Beluga lentils as I didn’t have enough red lentils for the recipe.  I should have ground the cardamom & coriander seeds as my husband and I didn’t care for them whole.  I put them in whole as I was worried baby would wake up imminently so I skipped the spice grinder.  The recipe calls for whole coriander seeds – very traditional in India, but we would have liked it better ground.  I think it needs salt, and/or to cook the lentils in bouillon.

Would you make it again?  Would you recommend it to others?  Not for my family, no, but it was alright for lunch for me.  My preschoolers don’t like spinach yet.  I tried to influence them to eat more by asking DD to stir the spinach into the cooked lentils, and DS to serve but they just ate a little.  Only I ate my bowl.  I froze it in small size freezer bags rather than the recommended larger ones since it’s obvious no one else is going to eat this when I reheat it 😛  It’s in my Google Calendar already scheduled as a lunch for later this month.

Conclusion: A healthy dish and a change of pace recipe, but I doubt I will make it again since only I ate it.  But many, many thanks to the generousity and kindness of the recipe’s author (and husband) for sharing this unique recipe!  You can’t please everyone, and there are plenty of people out there who will like it 🙂

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