Let’s talk about resolutions. It’s January. 2016. I seem to have a recurring conversation this year in regards to New Year’s resolutions and it goes something like this:
Me: “Happy New Year! Have you made any New Year’s resolutions?”
Friend: “No, I don’t really do the whole New Year resolution thing.”
Me: “Oh, really? Why’s that?”
Friend: “It’s so cliché and most people wind up not keeping their resolutions anyway.”
Me: “Oh, well that’s probably true, but don’t you think it’s a good idea to set goals?”
Friend looks at me, rolls eyes, and the conversation pretty much ends there.
It seems like it’s not the cool thing to do anymore. Which, okay, in all fairness, these friends that feel this way do make a good point. I believe statistics would show that most people do not keep their resolutions and, in truth, it is a pretty cliché thing to do. But despite the naysayers (who do make good points), I almost always have a list of resolutions when January 1st rolls around. And, sure, I break a few of them. I have wanted to lose 20-30 pounds for about 3 years now and although I’ve lost 10 here or there, I haven’t managed to keep it off. But, I still think I’m better off making the resolution than if I don’t. It’s good to set goals, and yes, you can set goals at any time during the year, but the new year always feels like a fresh start to me. All this to say, I’m pro New Year’s resolutions.
And yes, just as in previous years, one of my resolutions this year is to drop 20-30 pounds. So, in honor of that particular resolution, I made this dish. Yes, it does have bacon. But I promise you it is healthy. My mom found this recipe a long time ago and we’ve been making it ever since. I believe she may have stumbled across it in a cooking light magazine. I haven’t made it in a while and I couldn’t remember exactly how we used to make it, so I did my best to replicate it and, guys, it did not disappoint. D-E-L-I-C-I-O-U-S. So hearty and filling. And so good for you. The bacon is the only naughty part. I promise. And it’s really not that much bacon. Sorry, I’ll stop talking about the bacon. I guess I just feel the need to justify the use of it in a dish that’s supposed to be healthy. But it is healthy. I promise.
One pan healthy lentils with bacon
6 slices of bacon, cut in half
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup of finely chopped carrots
1 cup of finely chopped celery
6 cloves of minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried thyme (or fresh thyme is even better)
1 cup of brown lentils
4 cups of chicken broth (use low sodium good quality chicken broth or home made)
salt and pepper
1 teaspoon dried parsley (or 2 tablespoons fresh parsley)
1. Cook the bacon slices over medium heat in a large skillet (with sides and a lid) until crisp. Remove the bacon to a plate lined with a paper towel and set to the side.
2. Remove most of the bacon fat from the skillet, leaving about 2 tablespoons in the pan.
3. Add the chopped onions, carrots, and celery to the pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and let sauté for about 5 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and thyme and let it sauté for 2 more minutes.
5. Add the lentils and the chicken broth. Season with salt and pepper. Bring it to a boil. Cover the skillet, reduce the heat, and let it simmer for 15-20 minutes stirring occasionally.
6. Uncover the dish and turn up the heat to medium high. Cook about 10 minutes until most of the liquid evaporates. Turn off the heat. Stir in the parsley and taste. Add more salt and pepper if necessary.
7. Crumble or cut the bacon into bite sized pieces and sprinkle it over the top of the dish.