Christina Clark 15 min. 20 min.

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Hooray for leftovers! Leftover day at our house is when I challenge myself, Chopped! style, to use up most, if not all, of the residual ingredients in my fridge. Today I found myself faced with rice, kale, half an onion, chipotle peppers, mozzarella, and tortillas. I didn’t use all of those things, but what I did use proved to be a fantastic combination. I added some lentils and corn from the freezer to add protein and color, spiced it up with cumin, salt, and oregano, and the result is a satisfying vegetarian main dish!

This is the perfect kind of dish to use up a marginal amount of leftover rice, which we always seem to have. We never seem to have enough rice to serve with curry or other sauce on top, but it’s enough that I don’t want to discard it. Throwing it into a stir-fry is the ideal solution. If you also have some tortillas and mozzarella to use up, you can make some mozzarella quesadillas to go on the side like I did. 🙂

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Stir-Fried Chipotle Lentils with Kale

Serves 4
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 35 minutes


1/2 onion
1 tbsp olive oil
1-1/4 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 bunch of kale
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
2 tsp lime juice
1-3/4 cups cooked lentils (or 1 can)
1-1/2 cups frozen corn


Chop the onion. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring occasionally over medium heat, for 15 minutes until brown and carmelized. Meanwhile, remove the ribs from the kale and chop. Remove seeds from the chipotle pepper and mince finely. Rinse and drain the lentils if needed.

When the onion is browned, add the rice, kale, cumin, oregano, minced chipotle, lime juice, and 1 additional tsp of adobo sauce, or to taste if you are sensitive to spicy foods. Salt and pepper generously and cook for 5 more minutes, wilting the kale. Then add the lentils and corn and stir until warmed through.

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