Lentil Pot Pies

Growing up, chicken pot pies were the ultimate comfort food. Now that I’m grown, and currently not eating meat, lentil pot pies are the ultimate comfort food.

And even though I replaced the chicken with lentils and exchanged the pie shell for a simple puff pastry top (if you don’t have puff pastry, just top with a biscuit!)…

I’m gonna let you in on a little secret: It still tastes just as good!

Lentil Pot Pies

by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 20 min

Cook Time: 20 min

Keywords: bake saute entree vegetarian healthy low-carb lentils vegetables



Ingredients (3 pot pies)

  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetables, diced
  • 1 ½ c lentils, cooked
  • 1 ½ c low-sodium vegetable broth
  • ½ c skim milk
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 sheet puff pastry


1. In a large skillet, saute the butter, garlic and veggies over medium high heat until just tender.

2. Add lentils and heat through.

3. Sprinkle flour over lentil and veggie mixture, add broth, milk and spices and stir to combine.

4. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly.

5. Lay the puff pastry sheet flat on a cutting board, turn a ramekin upside down and press lightly to make circles. Cut out two circles and two squares and set aside.

6. Grease 3 ramekins and divide mixture evenly among them. Top two with circles of puff pastry and one with a leftover square. Make two slits in the middle of each pastry to let steam out.

7. Bake at 375 degrees F for approximately 20 minutes, or until puff pastry is golden brown.

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What’s your favorite comfort food?

Happy Weekend!


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Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Peach Rainbow Salsa

Hi Friends!

Just popping in with a quick post about this super simple meal I whipped up earlier this week.

I picked up a pork tenderloin at the store last time I was there and knew I wanted to make it on the grill. I loosely followed the recipe for this marinade. By loosely I mean I used all the same ingredients but didn’t measure a darn thing. I just poured a little bit of everything into a bag, added the pork and let it sit in the fridge for about 3 hours. Turned out great 🙂

As you recall, I had some peaches hanging around from my trip to the Farmer’s Market last week. I’ve been seeing lots of recipes for nectarine salsas in my cooking magazines and I decided to whip up one of my own, using peaches.

Here’s what I did:

In a small bowl I combined peaches (peeled), avocado, tomato, red onion, the juice of one lime and a jalapeno.


I let the salsa meld while the pork was marinating and it turned out great as well! It’s super simple and has great flavor, with a kick! I knew I wanted the peaches to be the star which is why I only used a little bit of avocado and tomato but the hubby still said he thought there should be no tomato.

Grilled Pork Tenderloin w/ Rainbow Salsa

by Lindsay L

Keywords: grill entree healthy

Ingredients (Serves 4)

for the pork

  • 1 pork tenderloin, seasoned and grilled as desired

for the salsa

  • 2 large peaches, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 an avocado, diced
  • 1/2 a medium tomato, diced
  • 1/4 c red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • juice of one lime


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour before serving.

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Even though I made this to go with the pork, we ended up eating some of it with some blue corn tortilla chips and it was just as delicious. We both agreed, however, that it’s super spicy. We love spicy salsa, but to really enjoy it with the pork, you might want to scale back a bit on the jalapeno 🙂

Doesn’t it just scream summer?!




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Mexican Cornbread Skillet

Last week I bought my first cast iron skillet with the help of a graduation gift card from one of my lovely friends 🙂 I also got all this awesome stuff! World Market is the best!

Anyways..I’ve been dying to try it out and the first thing that came to mind was cornbread. Duh. I wanted to spice it up a little bit, both literally and figuratively! Considering I had some black beans and an avocado that needed to be used up, I decided to go the Mexican route.

This dinner came together quickly and easily! I started by sauteing some onion and garlic in a hot pan (*Side note: I wonder what percentage of my dinners start off that way?!). Then I added some green and red peppers, the leftover black beans and a couple of tomatoes that were on their last leg. I also chopped up two turkey burgers from the freezer and added those to the pan. I seasoned the mixture with 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder and some black pepper. Then I set the mixture aside while I made the cornbread batter.

To keep things simple, I just used the recipe on the cornmeal container. I greased my pan, and spread half the batter over the bottom. Then I added the filling and a tiny bit of Mexican cheese.

Finally I spread the rest of the batter on top. This takes a little time so be patient. I used the back of a regular spoon to slowly spread the batter all over the top and then put it in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Slice into wedges and serve!

Since I had that avocado to use up, I diced it up along with the rest of my kamatos and placed a scoopful on top of each piece.

Mexican Cornbread Skillet


by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 10 min

Cook Time: 25 min

Keywords: bake entree black beans avocado tomato ground turkey Mexican

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/3 c onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup black beans
  • 1/2 lb ground turkey
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced and divided
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 c low-fat Mexican cheese
  • 1 batch of cornbread batter (use your favorite recipe)
  • 1/2 an avocado


1. In a hot skillet, saute the garlic, onion and ground turkey.

2. Add the peppers and black beans and cook until the turkey is cook through and the peppers are crisp tender.

3. Add the spices and tomatoes.

4. Prepare the cornbread batter according to the recipe or package directions.

5. Grease a cast-iron skillet and spread half of the cornbread batter over the bottom.

6. Top with the turkey and bean mixture and sprinkle with cheese.

7. Pour the remaining cornbread batter over the top, using a spoon to spread it out and cover up the filling.

8. Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes.

9. Slice and top with tomato and avocado.

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Carnitas Taco Pie

Last week while I was reading blogs, I came upon this recipe from Tessa @ Handle the Heat. I’d been looking for something to do with the pork tenderloin I had thawing in the fridge so I thought I’d giving it a whirl using pork instead of beef.

I made a spice rub using chili powder, cumin and paprika and rubbed it on the pork. Then I seared all sides in a hot pan before transferring it to my crockpot.Then I added lots of garlic (about 4 cloves), 1/2 an onion, a jar of hot salsa and about 2 cups of veggie broth.

After about 6 hours in the crockpot on low, I removed the pork and shredded it with two forks.

When it was time for dinner, I decided to use the pork to make a taco pie of sorts. I pulled out a cake pan and greased the bottom. Then I started with a whole wheat tortilla. I added a layer of pork, then topped it with another tortilla. For the next layer I used some leftover corn and black beans, along with a little cheese. Another tortilla, more pork and another sprinkle of cheese and into the oven it went! Since nothing really needed to cook, I just used the oven to melt the cheese and warm everything up. I had planned to add some enchilada sauce as well, but I didn’t have any!

While the pie was in the oven, I made some fresh guacamole. When we were ready to eat, I cut us each a wedge of pie, and topped them with a blob of guac!

Carnitas Taco Pie

by Lindsay L

Keywords: slow-cooker bake entree healthy avocado black beans pork

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1.5 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 1 jar of hot salsa
  • 2 cups veggie broth (or chicken broth)
  • 3 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 c black beans
  • 1/2 c corn
  • 1/2 c low-fat Mexican cheese
  • enchilada sauce & guacamole optional


1. Mix together the spices and rub all over the pork tenderloin.

2. Sear all sides of the tenderloin in a hot pan with some EVOO.

3. Place the pork, garlic, onion, salsa and broth in a crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours.

4. Remove the pork from the crockpot and shred using 2 forks.

5. Grease the bottom of a cake pan and place a tortilla flat against the bottom.

6. Add a layer of pork and top with another toritlla.

7. Add a layer of black beans, corn, 1/4 c cheese and enchilada sauce (if desired).

8. Add another tortilla, more pork and another sprinkle of cheese and place in the oven at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

9. Remove from the oven, slice and serve topped with guacamole.


-You may not use all the pork and that’s ok!

-I think my cake pan was 8 inches and the tortillas fit in there perfectly.

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This was the first time I’d done pork tenderloin in the crockpot and the hubby has since declared that shredded pork is now his favorite way to eat pork and he will no longer eat it any other way 🙂



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Balsamic Onion & Jalapeno Turkey Burgers

So remember when Erica posted these Jalapeno Cheddar Turkey Burgers?

Well, I tried really hard to wait patiently for nice grilling weather so I could make some burgers on the grill….but apparently we’re heading straight into another week of rain, so this weekend I just gave into my craving and made a batch of burgers indoors.

I was drawn to her recipe because I just so happened to have a random jalapeno that needed to to be used up. However, over the past couple of years, I’ve had a few issues with making things so spicy they they are almost inedible. So, I knew I wanted to tone down the spice a bit.

I’ve also been thinking about making burgers stuffed with caramelized onions for a while now. While I didn’t end up doing that exactly, I used that idea to make my own burger.

Here’s what I did:

I diced up about 1/2 c onion and put it in a hot pan. I made sure not to stir it too often so that it started to caramelize.

After the onions began to caramelize, I added some balsamic vinegar.

The onions soaked up almost all of the yummy balsamic! I removed them from the pan and set them aside to cool.

Next, I put 1 lb of lean ground turkey in a bowl, added one jalapeno (minced) and two cloves of garlic. When the onions were cool enough to handle, I added them to the bowl along with about 1/4 c shredded low-fat Mexican cheese and some McCormick’s Grill Seasoning.

When everything was mixed together, I had five nice sized burgers:

Balsamic Onion & Jalapeno Turkey Burgers

by Lindsay L

Keywords: grill pan sear burger sandwich entree healthy turkey

Ingredients (4-6 burgers)

  • 1/2 c onion, diced
  • 1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 tsp McCormick’s Grill Seasoning
  • 1/4 c low-fat Mexican cheese


1. In a small pan, caramelize the onions. Add the balsamic vinegar and stir to combine.

2. Combine the turkey, onions, jalapeno, seasoning and cheese in a small bowl.

3. Form into 4-5 patties.

4. Cook on the grill or in a pan, top with cheese if desired and serve.

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I cooked them in a pan and topped with some pepperjack cheese when they were almost done. Yes, I tear my cheese to fit the size of the burger. I hate when it drips down over the sides and gets in the pan!

Now I’ve gotta tell you, my friends, I’m not one to get all that excited about burgers. I don’t eat them if they’re beef and usually when I cook burgers for the hubby I end up eating something else. In fact, the night I made these, I didn’t even eat one. But I did eat one the second night and let me tell you…these are GOOD! I was only planning on eating half a burger along with a bowl of Nutrition Soup, but after I ate the first half, I put that soup right back in the fridge and ate the other half! I love the flavor the onions give them…and the jalapeno gives them a little kick, but not a ton of heat.

Oh, if you’re wondering why it’s cut up like that, it’s because the hubby informed me -just as I was about to get up and make these burgers that I’d been planning in my head ALL DAY- that he wanted something light for dinner…like tapas. Well, that just wasn’t happening. So cutting his burger into “burger bites” was my solution. Makes the burger seem less overwhelming!

Serve with some roasted fingerling potatoes and you’re good to go!



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Meatloaf with Cajun Spices

Tonight I have another family recipe for you! My mom used to make this meatloaf all the time when I was growing up. I never ate it. BUT, it wasn’t because it wasn’t good. I was just picky and hated pretty much everything that wasn’t Cheerios 🙂

My sister loves this meatloaf. My parents love it. My husband loves it. I, in my wise older years, have come to like it. Trust me, it’s a good one! While we were visiting my parents for Christmas, my dad suggested that I put it on the blog so that all of you could enjoy it to!

*If you’ve looked at my last few posts, you’ll notice I’ve started putting a printable recipe at the bottom. This was a reader request and I’m doing my best. As you know, I don’t usually measure things…so please understand that some of the recipes are not set in stone, I’m just giving you my best estimation on how much of each ingredient I used. Feel free to adjust as necessary. (Eventually I’ll hopefully add printable recipes to everything I’ve posted so far…but it might take a while).

That being said, this is the only meatloaf that I make where I actually follow the recipe!

So here we go!

Dice your veggies and saute in butter. Add the spices, Tabasco and Worcestershire.

Next, add the ketchup and evaporated milk and cook for another two minutes:

Transfer the veggies to a bowl and let them cool. Once they’ve cooled, add the meat (I used 1 lb ground pork and 1 lb ground turkey), 2 eggs and breadcrumbs. You can either mix everything together right on the pan, or in a bowl. Then form the mixture into a loaf (or two).

Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

This is one of those recipes that I can never make quite as well as my mom did, so my loaves were a little loose, but after I let them rest, they were sliceable!

Cajun Meatloaf


by Lindsay L

Prep Time: 15 min

Cook Time: 30 min

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 3/4 cup onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup green or red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 c green onion
  • 2 Tbsp Tabasco
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire
  • 1/2 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 2 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef (or turkey)
  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Melt butter in a large pan. Add onions, celery, peppers, green onion, garlic, Tabasco, Worcestershire, and seasonings.

3. Saute until soft, then stir in milk and ketchup. Cook 2 min more.

4. Remove from heat and cool to room temp.

5. Put meat in bowl or pan. Add eggs, breadcrumbs and vegetables (take out bay leaves if using).

6. Shape into one large loaf or two smaller loaves.

7. Bake 25-30 minutes or until meat is cooked through.

8. Let rest 10 minutes, slice and serve!

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So tell me, do you like meatloaf?



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Turkey Dumpling Soup

This Turkey Dumpling Soup is the perfect day after Thanksgiving meal. Use your turkey bones to make homemade broth, then add veggies, leftover turkey and dumplings for a warm, hearty meal!

**Post and photos updated 12/8/15*

Hi Friends!

This soup is my grandma’s recipe. Every year while I was growing up, my grandparents used to make the drive from Minnesota to Kansas to spend Thanksgiving with us. I loved helping my mom and grandma make all the traditional Thanksgiving foods, but my favorite part of the weekend was the day after Thanksgiving, when my grandma would make this soup. The dumplings are by far the best part. Note that I like my dumplings pretty firm so I only use 1 tsp baking powder. If you’re looking for a softer dumpling, try 2-3 tsp baking powder.

Older kids might enjoy helping you plop the dumplings into the pot…just be mindful that the liquid might splash.

This Turkey Dumpling Soup is nothing fancy, but it’s a great way to get an extra bang for your turkey buck by using the bones to make homemade broth, and it’s an easy way to transform some of your leftover turkey into a new meal.

Here’s how you make it:


Turkey Dumpling Soup

Print Recipe

5 from 1 review

The perfect way to transform your leftover turkey.

  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: serves 4-6 1x



  • 2 cups sliced carrots
  • 1 cup sliced celery
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 23 cups leftover turkey, chopped
  • 46 cups broth
  • 1 egg + enough milk to make 1 cup
  • 2 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder


  1. Add celery, onion and carrots to a large pan and saute for 5 minutes.
  2. Add turkey and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Put the milk and egg mixture in a bowl.
  4. Add the flour, salt and baking powder.
  5. Drop by the spoonful into simmering soup. (They will EXPAND so start small)
  6. Let them simmer for 10 minutes, then put the lid on and let them simmer 10-20 minutes more.
  7. Serve warm.


Add seasonings as desired. I like mine with just a little salt and pepper but you could try adding some cayenne pepper for an extra kick or some herbs like a bay leaf, rosemary, thyme, etc!

Did you make this recipe?

Tag @theleangreenbean on Instagram

 It just doesn’t feel like Black Friday without a bowl of this soup and now that my grandma is gone, I’ll continue to honor her by making it for my own family every year![Tweet “Transform your leftover turkey into this Turkey Dumpling Soup via @leangrnbeanblog!”]Enjoy!–Lindsay–LEARN HOW FOOD AFFECTS YOUR BODY.

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Clam Spaghetti

Hi Friends-

Let me start this post by saying two things:
1) I have been looking forward to making this dish since Sunday, when I decided to make it. Now that I’ve had it, I’m already looking forward to eating it tomorrow. Once it’s gone, I will begin to look forward to the next time I make it. I LOVE IT.
2) This dish is not for everyone.

Ok, so I know that was more than two things…but sometimes I just can’t help but get carried away! This is one of the two things I requested that my mom immediately make every single time I came home from college. It’s an old family recipe…and by that I mean both the recipe itself and the recipe card:

It’s wrinkled and stained and edited and has probably been made a thousand times in several different kitchens. And I’m so lucky to have the actual recipe card in my possession. Some day, just for kicks, I’m going to follow this recipe exactly…just to see how much it actually makes. I have a hard time even envisioning it. To start with, the recipe calls for 4 large onions, chopped. This is one of the very few recipes where I even use one whole onion, let alone four. I don’t think I have a cutting board big enough for four of them! So, I scale things back a bit, but this is still a recipe of lots. Lots of everything…So let’s begin shall we?

Chop up an onion (yes a whole onion) and lots of garlic. Saute them over low heat in a big pan with some olive oil and some dried chilies.


Leave the seeds in for a kick like I do, or take them out.

Saute over low heat, until the onions become translucent. Now is also the time to start heating some water for the spaghetti.

Add one tablespoon of basil and one tablespoon of oregano (seems like a lot, but trust me)

Then add the juice from one can of minced clams and 1/2 a cup of white wine. *Now pay attention here…this is the most important part. The recipe SPECIFICALLY says that the cook may drink the wine instead. I do both 🙂

When your water is ready, add the spaghetti and cook as directed. Add some green onions, some fresh parsley, some pimentos, two cans of diced clams and one can of baby shrimp to the onion mixture. I usually rinse the canned stuff to get rid of most of the salt. Also, for the record, I have no idea what pimentos are, or really even what they taste like, or what else you would ever use them for except stuffing olives…but for as long as I can remember, my mom has been buying them in their little glass jar at the grocery store. So I buy them too.


It looks like Christmas doesn’t it?! Finally, mix in the spaghetti, toss and serve.


You can top with Parmesan cheese if you want to. SO GOOD!

Clam Spaghetti

by Lindsay L

Keywords: saute entree clams spaghetti Italian

Ingredients (Serves 4)

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 dried red peppers, minced
  • 1 Tbsp dried basil
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 cans chopped clams, reserve juice from one
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 1 can baby shrimp
  • 1/2 box spaghetti
  • 1 jar pimentos
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced
  • Parmesan cheese


1. Add the onion and garlic to a large pan with some EVOO and saute over LOW heat until onions are translucent (about 30 minutes).

2. Add the dried basil, oregano and red peppers and saute for 2 more minutes.

3. Add the juice from one can of clams, the wine, the clams, shrimp and fresh parsley. Let simmer while you cook the pasta according to package directions.

4. When the pasta is done, add the pimentos, green onions and spaghetti to the pan and toss to combine.

5. Serve warm and top with Parmesan cheese if desired.

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