The other day I read a post on facebook that a friend of mine wrote about cooking in his truck. He sounded somewhat disgusted because nothing he cooked came out as it did when he was cooking in his home kitchen. He made a comment about getting rid of his crockpot and fridge, and that he may as well just go back to eating at Subway. That made me sad to say the least.
The biggest thing that I thought when I read this was you are NOT in your kitchen. You are sitting in a small truck sleeper and ‘cooking’ in a truck is not anything like cooking in the kitchen.
You must first adapt to truck cooking. Secondly a crock pot is not the same as your home oven. You must plan ahead, and lastly if you are going to make meals with different side dishes, you must be patient and give it time. Something I’m always short on it seems.
That being said, to keep it fun and easy for myself, I have meals ready before I ever even jump into my truck. This way if I want to cook a steak, burger or what have you, there are sides sitting in my refrigerator ready to go along side of it. If I don’t have the time to whip something up I have other options that are still healthy for me, and I’m not tempted to go into a truck stop or fast food joint. Also, I see a lot of people ‘cooking’ in their truck yet they are making the same fatty, processed ‘fast’ foods they could be buying at a truck stop or fast food joint. In my opinion, you may be saving some money, but you’re still killing yourself just the same.
This Lentil & Kale salad is one of those options that I have on hand in the truck more often than not. The only bad thing in this dish is the salt, which I go pretty easy on. And even though this dish is good for you, the lentils make it feel like a meaty dish and I get my protein which is something I especially crave when I’m tired.
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 4 carrots, peeled and diced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- Sea salt, to taste
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- Leaves from 1 large bunch kale, thinly sliced
- 1 cup brown lentils, picked over and rinsed
- 2 fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 large garlic cloves diced
- 4 cups chicken broth
- In a heavy saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the carrots and onion, a dash of salt and several grindings of pepper. Sauté until the onion is very soft and lightly caramelized, about 15 minutes. Add the garlic and saute' another 1 -2 minutes before adding the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5-6 minutes. Scrape the contents of the pan into a bowl and set aside.
- In the same pan over high heat, combine the lentils, thyme, chicken or vegetable broth, a few grindings of salt and pepper then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are tender but firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Drain the lentils in a colander, and remove and discard the thyme stem. Mix the lentils into the bowl that holds the carrot, onion, garlic and kale and stir to mix together. Eat warm or cold out of the refrigerator. It's great either way!
- * I also save the remaining juice from the lentils and make rice with it which can then be mixed with the lentil mixture if you so choose.