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Save Time – Cook in Batches

Platter of cut vegetables

Make the most of your precious time by prepping three meals at once. Use these instructions paired with the Moroccan Carrot, Lentil and Prune Soup; Roast a Rainbow; and Spinach Frittata recipes below.

Tips for success: Set aside time in your week to shop for and prepare these recipes. You’ll save time by making multiple meals out of one shopping and cooking experience.

Shopping list:

  • 6 carrots
  • 2 peppers (Don’t like peppers? Choose any other veggies, such as zucchini, broccoli or cauliflower)
  • 3 onions
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¾ cup dried red lentils
  • ½ cup pitted prunes
  • 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (one 32-ounce box)
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Cilantro - fresh or dried (optional)
  • Parsley - fresh or dried (optional)
  • 6 eggs
  • Feta or cheddar cheese (optional)

Pantry list:

  • Olive or canola oil
  • Spices: ground cumin, curry powder, cinnamon, salt, pepper
  • Optional spices: ground coriander, red pepper flakes, dried thyme or oregano

Set up your workstation:

  1. Have recipes handy for reference (Moroccan Carrot, Lentil, and Prune Soup; Roast a Rainbow; and Spinach Frittata).
  2. Set out two large mixing bowls, a large lidded pot for the soup, a cast-iron or other large skillet for the frittata and a rimmed baking sheet for the roasted veggies.
  3. Gather ingredients listed in the Moroccan Carrot, Lentil, and Prune Soup recipe - do not start chopping vegetables yet - proceed to next section once ready.

Prepare the following ingredients:

  • 3 onions: Finely dice 1 onion for the soup (place directly in soup pot), finely dice 1 onion for the frittata (place in bowl set aside for this recipe) and cut the last onion into larger pieces to roast (place directly onto rimmed baking sheet).
  • Carrots: Finely dice 3 carrots for the soup (place in bowl set aside for this recipe), finely dice 1 more for the frittata (place in mixing bowl with finely diced onion) and cut the last 2 into larger pieces to roast (place onto rimmed baking sheet along with onion).
  • Peppers: None for the soup, but cut these while cutting the other veggies. Finely dice 1 for the frittata (or half of one of the peppers, if it’s large and add to existing frittata bowl), and cut remaining into larger chunks to roast, place on rimmed baking sheet.
  • Garlic: Finely dice the 2 cloves and add to diced carrot mixing bowl for soup.

After you have prepared these veggies, proceed with the soup recipe below. While soup simmers (use a timer!) follow Roast a Rainbow recipe below, using the veggies you’ve prepared. Add the oil and spices right to the rimmed baking sheet. If the sheet is too crowded, spread onto a second sheet.

Once the veggies are roasting, begin frittata. You’ll be making a slight variation on the recipe by adding carrots and omitting spinach.

These three recipes are a great start for balanced meals throughout the week! Frittata can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Roasted veggies can be added to salads, eaten as a side at dinner time, or in an omelet for breakfast. Consider freezing extra soup if you live in a small household and might get tired of eating it multiple days in a row. Label freezer containers with the date and the name of food to avoid mystery containers!

Recipes

Moroccan Carrot, Lentil and Prune Soup

4 Servings (1 cup)
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¾ cup dried red lentils
  • ½ cup pitted and chopped prunes
  • 14-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Moroccan Carrot, Lentil and Prune Soup

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Directions

  • Heat oil and onions in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Cook for 5-7 minutes or until softened.
  • Increase heat to medium. Add cumin, coriander, turmeric and cinnamon. Cook for 1 minute.
  • Add carrots, garlic and 1/3 cup water. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes. Check after a couple of minutes. If sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a splash of water to loosen.
  • Add lentils and prunes, mix well. Stir in tomatoes, bring to a boil. Stir in stock and reduce heat. Simmer for 30 minutes or until vegetables and lentils are tender.
  • Stir in lemon juice, coriander, parsley, salt and pepper.

Nutrition information
(per serving; using regular—not low-sodium—broth)

Calories 323 |Total fat 7g | Saturated fat 1g | Sodium 577 mg | Total carbohydrate 53g | Dietary fiber 12g | Sugars 18g | Protein 12g

Alternatives 

  • Swap out different veggies, such as those you like better or those that you have at home.
  • Summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, potatoes, corn, and fresh tomatoes are all excellent additions.
  • Get creative with your spices. Try ground cardamom, coriander, hot pepper flakes, and dried herbs if you’ve not had them before.

Roast a Rainbow

6 Servings (1 cup)
Prep Time: 10-20 minutes / Cook time: 40-50 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 onion
  • 1 pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • Small head of broccoli / cauliflower
  • Optional: ½ pound of Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, winter squash or potatoes
  • ½ cup olive oil*
  • Salt, pepper
  • Spice ideas:
    • ¼ teaspoon each cumin and coriander
    • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • ½ teaspoon fresh or dried herbs (such as dill, oregano, parsley, rosemary or thyme)

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Wash and cut vegetables into the same size pieces. The smaller the pieces, the faster they will cook:
    • Hardy vegetables like Brussel sprouts and carrots take longer to cook and should be cut into smaller pieces if mixed with other veggies like peppers, onions, broccoli and mushrooms.
  • On a cookie sheet, toss the vegetables with the olive oil, salt, pepper and spices (if using).

*You may need to adjust the amount of olive oil. Use enough to coat the veggies until everything is shiny but not dripping.

  • Cook in the oven for 35-45 minutes, checking every 5-10 and stirring if needed, until fork-tender and slightly browned.

Nutrition information
(per 1 cup serving; using 1 onion, 1 red pepper, 1 head broccoli, ½ pound Brussel sprouts, ½ cup olive oil, ½ teaspoon salt)

Calories 219 | Total fat 19g | Saturated fat 2.5g | Sodium 23mg | Total carbohydrate 12g |
Dietary fiber 6g | Sugars 4.5g | Protein 5g (spices and pepper do not contain calories or sodium)

Roast a Rainbow vegetables

Helpful hints 

  • This recipe can be made using only one or two vegetables—choose ones you like! The quantities in the ingredients are not exact. You can use more or less and adjust oil per instructions.
  • This recipe may be made by sautéing in a pan instead of using the oven.
  • Consider microwaving (with a little water, covered) carrots and Brussels sprouts for a couple minutes before baking or sautéing so they cook faster.

Spinach Frittata

4 servings (2 slices)
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 6 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 small red pepper, diced
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • Optional -  ¼ cup crumbled feta or shredded cheddar cheese
  • Optional - dried herbs or spices

Directions

  • Whisk eggs with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tablespoon of the oil to a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium-low heat and sauté onions, peppers and herbs/spices until browned (about 3-5 minutes).
  • Add spinach and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes, or just until wilted.
  • Spread pan contents evenly and add additional oil. Pour eggs in an even layer into the pan (no need to stir) and sprinkle cheese on top, if using. Cook over low heat until set, about 7 minutes.
  • Cool, slice and serve.

Spinach Frittata

 

Nutrition information

(per 2-slice serving= ¼ frittata); using large eggs, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ cup feta cheese, and all other ingredients as listed above)

Calories 220 |Total fat 16g | Saturated fat 5g | Sodium 510mg | Total carbohydrate 7g | Dietary fiber 2g ·| Sugars 4g | Protein 12g (will vary depending on the size of your eggs)

Helpful hints

  • Choose other fillings! Just cook (or warm) completely before adding the eggs.
  • To use frozen spinach, microwave to room temperature and squeeze out excess water with a clean dish towel.
  • If your pan is oven-safe, you can move it to an oven (350°F) to finish cooking after you add the eggs and cheese.

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