Kalyn combines red and brown lentils in this flavor-packed vegan lentil chili with roasted red peppers, olives and green onion. The red lentils "melt" into the dish to thicken and sweeten it, while the brown lentils stand up to the roasted red peppers and olives. This is a make-ahead-and-freeze dish, perfect for any time of the year. A squirt of lime makes a great finish; if you're not vegan, add some cheese or sour cream.
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I love cooking lentils in the slow cooker. You can let them go until they absolutely fall apart, or stop the cooking when the lentils are soft but still holding together. This Moroccan lentil stew, from Taste and Tell, cooks lentils, potatoes and butternut squash at the same time, allowing them to meld into a uniformly creamy stew, and adds green beans at the end to keep the beans just a bit crunchy. The seasoning comes from curry powder, which I don't usually think of as particularly Moroccan; you could substitute a Syrian or Arabic spice blend for a nice effect.
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This sausage, cabbage and barley soup
, from Thyme for Cooking, could have sprung fully formed from my own pantry, and from yours, too. With the exception of the cabbage, all of the ingredients are things you keep on hand. Follow Katie's lead and be fearless when combining things you find in your refrigerator. Add fresh vegetables, if you have them, and lots of herbs and spices. Toss in some grains, too, and voila! I'm trying to include more cabbage (oh so healthy) in my diet, and delicious soups like this make it easy.
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