Want to know the most draining activity known to man?
It’s worse than doing your taxes. It’s worse than raking leaves. And it’s way worse than spending a day at Home Depot picking out a PVC connector piece (whatever that is).
And then you come home empty handed.
I think we went to 7 stores that day.
Our living room needs seating, and honestly, I didn’t think picking out a couch was going to be so difficult. But everything is made so cheap nowadays! I actually sat on a sectional and heard it crack.
Anyway, like I said, we came home empty handed.
And to refuel our miserable selves we went to Panera Bread for lunch. I haven’t been there in ages.
Figuring I’d settle on a muffin or something, I was surprised to see a lentil and quinoa broth bowl on their menu. It sounded so interesting! It was delicious too. One of my biggest gripes with these types of chain cafes is the lack of menu creativity. It’s usually all the same stuff: grilled chicken salads, broccoli cheddar soup, panini etc. It was nice to see something different for a change. The broth was warm, filling and and I loved the fact that I was eating something healthy at an otherwise predictable lunch spot.
So, this is my at home version. Because I want to eat broth bowls everyday.
It’s similar to the original with lentils, quinoa, and miso- but the coconut, ginger and lemon are my own additions.
Incidentally, I just received 5 gorgeous flats of organic micro greens from Good Water Farms here on Long Island. I’m blown away by their vibrancy. And I couldn’t resist topping these nutritious bowls with a mix of greens- red shiso and purple radish.
Beauties, aren’t they?
To make this, start by cooking your quinoa and lentils together in one pot. I used the tiny French lentils.
I used to cook my quinoa and lentils separately but there’s no need for that- somehow it works. Also, I should mention that this was precooked earlier in the week. I let it sit out at room temperature while I made the rest of this dish.
Next up is the broth. Gently sauté a smashed garlic clove with thick ginger slices (you will pull these out later). Add some chili flakes if you like it spicy. Throw in a couple dollops of creamy white miso paste and coconut milk. Simmer for about 20 minutes for the flavors to infuse.
When you’re ready to eat, add your quinoa mixture to the broth- as much or as little as you’d like. Give it a good squirt of fresh lemon (or lime) juice to brighten the flavors. Top with tomatoes and a generous handful of micro greens.
You will feel instantly nourished.
- The amount of quinoa and lentils yield more than you will need for this recipe. I did that on purpose, so that you’d have extra to add to your soups and salads during the week.
- Miso paste is strong. I’ve given you a range, in tablespoons, so that you can control the proportions.
For the grains
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup lentils (I used French lentils)
- 2 cups water
- pinch of salt
For the bowls
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, smashed
- 2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and sliced into rounds
- pinch of chili flakes
- 1x 14 oz can of coconut milk or coconut cream
- 1/2 cup water
- 1–4 tbsp white miso paste
- 1 lemon or lime
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- generous handful of assorted micro greens
- In a small pot, bring the water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. Pour in the lentils and quinoa and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.
- To make the broth, warm the olive oil over low heat in a mid-sized soup pot. Add the garlic, ginger and chili flakes and sauté for about 2 minutes.
- Add the coconut milk, water, and miso paste to the pot. Start with 1 tablespoon of miso paste and increase as needed to suit your taste. Whisk well to dissolve. Simmer the broth for about 20 minutes or so. If you prefer a thinner consistency, add a little more water. Strain your broth and return the soup to the pot. Add the juice of 1/2 a lemon (or lime) plus more to taste.
- To serve, scoop a good portion of the grain mixture into shallow bowls and pour the broth over the top. Add cherry tomatoes and sprinkle with micro greens.