I have a funny story for you guys today. So last night, I had my Sweet Potato Lentil Chili (click for recipe! I just updated it to make it clearer since it was an old one) on the brain. I hadn’t made it in forever — it was time for more.
I had some pre-cooked lentils in the fridge so I decided to use those instead of dry lentils, to make the process faster. The recipe calls for 16 oz. of dried lentils, and I had a 16 oz. cooked lentil package from Trader Joe’s. Perfect, right?! Um… not so much, ha. So I start cooking everything and it’s very… liquidy. In my mind, I’m like:
Wtf?! I don’t remember this looking like soup last time I made it…
But then again, I hadn’t made this recipe in ages. So I forged on. While I’m chopping veggies, I debate getting something to bail some of the liquid out like it’s a sinking ship or something. And then… duh. It hits me. Dry lentils suck up a TON of liquid. And cooked lentils… do not. My food science professor would be so embarrassed for me right now.
Good thing I think quickly on my feet. My train of thought:
Let’s see… what do I have on hand that will soak up a TON of liquid… and also take up some space since I also conveniently forgot that 16 oz. of DRY lentils will = way more ounces once cooked…
I added 2 cups of dry quinoa straight into the pot and 10 minutes later — perfection. I am officially a genius. Or something like that. Let’s disregard that whole lentil debacle.
The chili was ready right when Matt arrived home from work! He was pumped.
I actually really loved this with the quinoa added — something fun and different! If you want to try it yourself, just cook about 3/4 cup dry lentils beforehand, and then add them into the chili already cooked along with 2 cups of dry quinoa.
Yum. We have a ton of leftovers — will definitely be freezing a lot of it for quick and easy dinners later this year!
How to Freeze Chili (or Soup):
- Portion out one serving and pour into a freezer-safe ziplock bag (I usually just put the chili into a normal sized bowl and then pour that in to the bag so I know it’s about how much I’d want to eat).
- Repeat until you have as many ziplocks as you want to freeze, then flatten them out and stack them in the freezer on top of each other. This way they won’t take up much space AND it will be easy to defrost since it’s frozen into a thin sheet vs. one large block!
And now, I’m off to biochem! I’m wondering if we’ll get our test back yet… eek.
Also, I have a fun weekend ahead — I’m randomly heading up to DC tomorrow evening to check out some wedding venues with my mom! Super spur of the moment — found a round trip plane ticket for $160 — win. I’m going to Pittsburgh for Thanksgiving with Matt as usual this year, so I wasn’t going to be back in DC until Christmas — and apparently if we want to have a fall wedding next year in the DC area we need to book a venue… um… NOW. Yikes! We have appointments to check out about 5 venues this weekend. I’m excited! Any venue-searching tips from those of you who have planned weddings or gotten married? Any specific things we should look for from the venues or questions we should ask? I’m seriously SO clueless. All advice is much appreciated! In case this helps in terms of advice: we want to do an outdoor ceremony and reception, and it’s going to be a big wedding… probably around 300 people. We’ve already confirmed with the places we’re seeing this weekend that they can hold that many people, so that’s not an issue!
And for those of you that could care less about weddings… have you had any recipe/ingredient fails that ended up turning into a win? Those are the best.