(This week I am taking the opportunity to feature a favorite recipe from the earlier days of m.e.l.t. While this recipe is not new, I hope you remember it fondly and take the time to make it again. Enjoy! JC)
This hearty and deliciously different Brain Food Bowl recipe is a great recipe to add to your collection. It’s vegetarian and features roasted beets, dark leafy greens, avocado, and an amazing dressing! Beluga (black) lentils are the main source of protein, along with a fried egg topping.
Tiny and black, beluga lentils are named for the caviar they resemble. Beluga lentils are inexpensive, easy to cook, protein-packed, and delicious. Unlike other lentils that tend to get mushy when cooked, beluga lentils hold their shape and al dente texture during cooking. You can find beluga lentils at Whole Foods, health food stores, or online. Get the organic variety if at all possible!
This Brain Food Bowl is probably unlike most salads you have been enjoying, and that’s precisely why I’m featuring it–new foods are always exciting to make and try! Continually expanding your palate ensures that you get the greatest number of nutrients from the greatest variety of foods!
Brain Food Bowl
Recipe courtesy of Food & Wine
- 1/2 cup walnuts
- 1 Medjool date, pitted
- 1/4 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbl warm water
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup beluga lentils, rinsed and sorted
- 3 cups vegetable broth
- 2 shallots, peeled and chopped
- 3 sprigs thyme
- 2 medium beets, with leaves attached
- 4 cups loosely packed baby spinach
- 2 ripe avocados, peeled and sliced
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 eggs
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper
- Add all of the dressing ingredients to a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Set aside
- COOK THE LENTILS:
Add the lentils to a saucepan with the broth, shallots and thyme over medium high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, partially covered, until the lentils are soft and cooked through, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the shallots and thyme. 1 cup of uncooked beluga lentils will make between 2 to 2-1/2 cups of cooked lentils
- ROAST THE BEETS:
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Remove the beet greens, loosely chop them, and set them aside for later.
Place the whole beets on a foil-lined baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Place in the oven until cooked, about 50 minutes. Remove the sheet from the oven, let cool, peel off the skins, then cut the beets into quarters.
- COOK THE EGGS:
Place a large saucepan over medium high heat and add the coconut oil. Crack four eggs into the pan, making sure the yolks are unbroken and cover the pan with a lid. Let the eggs cook until the whites are set and the yolks are beginning to firm up, about 1 minute. Remove the eggs from the pan.
- ASSEMBLE THE BOWLS:
Divide chopped beet greens and the baby spinach evenly between 4 bowls. Add 1/2 cup of beluga lentils, 1/2 of a beet, and 1/2 of an avocado to each bowl. Lightly drizzle dressing over the top of each bowl and toss to combine. Top each bowl with a coconut-fried egg. Serve each Brain Food Bowl and pass the extra dressing.
Notes: If you have some lentils left over, distribute them amongst the 4 Brain Food Bowls. You can also save them for a delicious breakfast; heated with a fried egg on top!