Is it possible to be a dedicated homeschooling mom while still making time for myself as an individual (a girlie girl who likes cute shoes)? I like to think so. Follow along, and I'll let you know for sure.

Trust me . . . it's not ALL about the shoes.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Time Saving Sunday - 2-in-1 Meals

I've introduced a new feature called Two for Tuesday over at my other blog, Growing Healthy Sprouts, to share recipes for two (or more) meals that are made from the same base ingredients. Saving time in the kitchen is always a help to homeschool moms as well, so I thought I'd also share the recipes here.

First in the lineup are lentils, which were made into Lentil Tacos and Lentil Loaf a few weeks ago.

Don't be scared off by the long list of ingredients in the taco recipe - they're mostly spices for the quick, easy seasoning mix and ingredients for the toppings.

Lentil Tacos


3 cups dried lentils
1 onion, chopped
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon sea salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon cumin
1 package of natural taco shells (we like Garden of Eatin)
1 cup chopped lettuce
1 cup chopped tomato
Other taco toppings (avocado, olives, etc.), optional
Salsa and/or vegan sour cream


1. Place lentils in a large pot, and add 6-8 cups of water (enough to cover the lentils by a few inches). Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes (until tender). Drain lentils if needed, and set aside.

2. While the lentils are cooking, prepare the spice mix (chili powder, sea salt, garlic powder, paprika and cumin) and saute the onion in a little water. When the onions are tender, add the cooked lentils, spice mix and 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil, stirring often, then reduce heat and simmer until the liquid is absorbed. Using a potato masher, mash lentils well until few whole ones are left. Alternately, you could probably run them through a food processor or pulse them in the blender (just be careful - you want mashed, not pureed).

3. Scoop lentil mixture into the taco shells (make sure to reserve at least two cups for the other recipe), and top with lettuce, tomato, salsa, sour cream and other toppings as desired.

Sprout Ratings:
Big Sprout - 5 sprouts
Little Sprout - 5 sprouts
Mama Sprout - 5 sprouts
Daddy Sprout - 5 sprouts

On to the Lentil Loaf . . .

Lentil Loaf is one of Noah's favorite dishes, and I've tried several recipes over the years. He's loved them all, but they've been hit or miss for the rest of us. This post inspired me to come up with my own recipe, and I was thrilled when everyone declared it the best lentil loaf yet. Best of all, it went together very quickly since the lentils were already cooked and seasoned.

Lentil Loaf

2 cups cooked, seasoned lentils (left over from Lentil Taco recipe)
2 carrots, peeled and diced
3 stalks of celery, diced
1 cup oats, coarsely ground
1 tablespoon corn starch or arrowroot powder

2 tablespoons tamari, Bragg's or soy sauce, divided
1/2 cup ketchup1 teaspoon garlic powder


1. In a medium pan, saute the carrots and celery in a little water until tender. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, combine carrots/celery mixture, lentils, oats, cornstarch and 1 tablespoon of the tamari and mix thoroughly. Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil, and form into a loaf shape.

3. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl (ketchup, garlic powder and remaining 1 tablespoon tamari) and spread over top of the lentil loaf.

4. Lightly cover the loaf with the aluminum foil, and bake for 30 minutes.

5. Unwrap, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and let stand for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


  1. Wow, what great ideas. I love lentils and have never used them this way. thanks for sharing!