I love how easy it can be to prepare meals with a crock pot. This is one of my favorites. No cooking beforehand. Simply add all ingredients into the crock pot, set it on low before you leave for class, and voila dinner is already done when you get back from the library!
Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients and Equipment
- 1 c. Dried Lentils
- 3 Medium Carrots (chopped)
- 1 Medium Onion (diced)
- 3 Cloves Garlic (minced)
- 1 tsp. Dried Thyme Leaves
- 2 1/2 c. Water
- 1 can (14.5 oz) Diced Tomatoes (undrained)
- 4 Quart Crock Pot (aka Slow Cooker)
- Cutting Board
- Chef Knife
- Liquid Measuring Cup
- 1 Cup Size Dry Measuring Cup
Step 2: Prep the Veggies
First peel and chop your carrots. You can save the scraps and add them to the compost bin if your school has one.
Next tackle the onion. Cut it in half, chop off the ends, and peel off the outer layer. This leaves you with two clean halves that you can dice away.
Lastly, break off 3 cloves of garlic. Peel off the papery shell with your hands. This can be tricky at times. I find it is easier if I cut of the base of the clove off to give me a good starting point. Once peeled, finely chop with garlic. To cut down on time, you can also use store bought minced garlic in a jar. 1 1/2 tsp is equivalent to 3 cloves.
You should end up with a pile of chopped veggies. Whew that's it; all the annoying prep is done! You can put your peeler and knife away now.
Step 3: Measure Out the Remaining Ingredients
Break open that bag of dried lentils and measure out 1 cup.
Run to the drinking fountain, bathroom sink, or kitchen sink if you're lucky enough to have a kitchenette on your dorm floor and measure out 2 1/2 cups of water.
Measure 1 teaspoon of dried thyme. If you don't have measuring spoons don't fret! You can easily eye ball a similar amount in your palm.
Here's the tough part, find a can opener! This essential kitchen tool went on my Christmas list Freshman year after a couple disastrous recipes. Open your can of diced tomatoes, no measuring required here.
Step 4: Combine All Ingredients in Crock Pot
Now that everything is measured and chopped, throw it all in the crock pot and mix!
Step 5: Cook on Low Setting for 4-6 Hours
Step 6: Dinner Is Served!
Finishing Touch: To make this dish extra delicious, you can top your soup with a dollop of Greek yogurt, shredded coconut, or ground red pepper for some extra spice.
Serves 8 or you 8 times, that's dinner all week!
Nutrition Facts:110 Calories, 7 g Protein, 20 g Carbohydrate, 0 g Fat, 4 g Fiber, 100 mg Sodium
From a dietitian's perspective, this is an awesome dish because it is packed with protein and fiber which will keep you full longer. It is also a low sodium option which can be a tough thing to find in soups. Pair your with a side of fruit and glass of milk to get all your food groups in. This can be an excellent dish to prep Sunday morning and reheat throughout the rest of the week for lunch or dinner.