With my MPH classes now in full swing, it is more important than ever for me to schedule time on the weekends to prepare lunches for the busy week ahead. As a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist, I view food as the fuel that keeps my body going all the way from work in the morning to graduate classes at night. In my situation, it would be easy just to choose processed convenience foods instead of spending time in the kitchen, but I would rather choose a smarter, more “efficient” fuel for my body. By preparing balanced, plant-based lunches rich in produce, whole grains, and lean protein, I provide myself with the nutrition that I need to stay focused, engaged, and on top of my game.
For the important task of preparing my meals for the week ahead, I frequently turn to my crockpot, an appliance whose hands-off approach to bulk cooking allows me to spend less of my coveted weekend hours in the kitchen and more time de-stressing with friends or hitting the books.
Crockpot Yellow Split Pea Dal
Yield: 5- 1 ½ cup servings
-1 cup dry yellow split peas, sorted and rinsed
– 2 cups water
– 1 large onion, diced
– 2 cups canned no-added-salt crushed tomatoes
– 1 vegetable broth cube
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic
– 1 tablespoon minced ginger
– 1 tablespoon cumin
– 1 tablespoon whole coriander seeds
– 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
– Optional: cayenne pepper or green chili paste, to taste
1. In a large crockpot, combine all ingredients, and stir together to mix.
2. Cook on low heat for 6-8 hours, or until split peas have absorbed liquid and mixture has thickened. Remember to stir every few hours to ensure even cooking.
3. Sprinkle with cilantro, known as fresh coriander leaves in India, and serve with brown basmati or jasmine rice and roasted vegetables.