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Monday, February 12, 2007

Trader Joe's Lentils

First of all, thank you all so much for your great suggestions for my weeknight dinner dilemma. Most of your suggestions were terrific, and I plan on trying most of them as I make my way through this new world of working long hours outside of the home.

The solution I tried tonight worked out very well. We left work early! Michael and I drive home together, and we were both ready to leave at 4:50, which is rare. Leaving just before 5pm makes a world of difference in terms of traffic. We were home before 5:15, and I think most of the time was spent traveling down in the elevator from the 64th floor!

I also left a note for our nanny on our white board. As soon as I started this job, I hung a giant white board in my kitchen. This is information central. I write down Dylan's daily activity (swimming, stage, dance), tell her about any errands that need to be done, etc. This morning I wrote, "I am making dinner tonight! Please try to hold the kids off with snacks (especially Dylan). Thanks!" Everything worked beautifully. We were home early, dinner came together in minutes, and we were eating dinner as a family before 6pm. I even managed to give both kids a bath before bed.

It should come as no surprise that I relied on Trader Joe's for my dinner. This place was custom-built for the working mom. The star of tonight's meal was their steamed lentils. Made by Melissa's, these are little French lentils, and they are pre-cooked and vacuum sealed. You just cut open the package with a pair of scissors and you are good to go!

Lentils and Greens

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium sweet onion, diced
1 small package diced Pancetta (from Trader Joe's)
1 package Greens with Envy (a frozen mix of spinach, broccoli, asparagus, green beans and edamame from Trader Joe's), defrosted
1 package steamed lentils

Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add olive oil. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add the Pancetta and cook until it starts to render and brown. Put greens in the pan and cook until heated through. Add lentils. Cover pan and turn heat to low. Cook for another five minutes or so.

We served this over white rice and topped with a splash of soy sauce and some Sriracha.

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