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Whole Grain Elbows With Lentils

Whole Grain Elbows & Lentils - Clean & Delicious®

Whole Grain Elbows & Lentils – Clean & Delicious®

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a KidBite.

It’s not because my kids don’t eat, rather that I’m not a very good multi-tasker and trying to figure out how to balance two children with everything I would like to be doing in my life without falling into the abyss of complete exhaustion is something I’m still working on.

Everyday I promise myself that I’m gonna share all of the great recipes, tips, ideas, etc. that I have about living a Clean & Delish life (family style) here on the blog, but after the mini’s are in bed and my day of ‘doing’ is over, I just can’t seem to resist the desire to allow my brain to melt into a puddle of ‘being’.

But with that being said, I just couldn’t wait to share this recipe with you guys.

With less than 5 main ingredients this meal cooks up in about 15 minutes and was completely devoured by Katie (now 2yrs 3mo).

It also makes a great side dish for Mommies and Daddies so don’t hesitate to double (or triple) the recipe.

The secret to this quick-cooking meal are these pre-cooked lentils from trader Joe’s

With an ingredient list that reads; lentils and salt, these make a GREAT headstart ingredient to keep on hand.  I’ve used them for soups, salads, pasta dishes, and of course, for Lentil Joe’s.

All I do for this ‘recipe’ is rinse and drain the lentils and then stir them in to fresh cooked, pipping-hot, whole grain pasta.  The cold lentils mixed with hot pasta creates a perfectly warm meal that is just right for your toddler!   No blowing.  No cooling.  Simply season and eat.

My go-to, kid-friendly seasonings are usually  olive oil, salt and garlic powder.  From there I’ll experiment with other spices just to expand the mini’s palates.  In this case I went with ground cumin and some Parmesan cheese.

To make it a meal I served Katie’s pasta with some kale and pan seared fish (from my dinner) and fresh raspberries.

Notice the lemon?  I find that Katie is much more open to trying foods when she can be involved in the preparation.  Getting to squish the lemon on her fish all by herself can be what makes or breaks her desire to give something a try.  (it’s the little things!).

As for the kale and raspberries – I’m a big believer in presenting fruits and veggies with every meal.  I honestly don’t care whether she eats them or not…I just keep on making them an option.  I want her to continually see what a balanced meal looks like.

Here’s how she did with this meal…

Final Plate

Not too bad and that was after a second helping of the Elbows and Lentils.  She wasn’t super excited by the Kale at this meal but that won’t stop me from serving it again and again.  As many of you Mommies already know, what a child eats on Monday they may not touch on Tuesday, we’ve just gotta keep giving them the options!

Whole Grain Elbows With Lentils


  • 1 cup of pre-cooked brown lentils (I used Trader Joe's)
  • 1.5 cups small whole wheat pasta (i.e.. elbows, shells, orzo)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Garlic powder
  • Ground cumin
  • Salt and peper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese


Cook whole wheat pasta according to the instructions.  Combine pasta and lentils together and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.

Season with garlic powder, cumin, salt and pepper before topping with some fresh Parmasean cheese.

Makes about 2-1/2 cups (5 servings).

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10 comments on “Whole Grain Elbows With Lentils

  1. I’ve been a long time follower of your site but never commented before! I love your attitude to feeding your kids great, nutritious foods but not forcing them to eat things they don’t want to. In my opinion forcing anything always backfires. This looks like such a fantastic and yummy recipe. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Sarah -Thanks for the input! I agree with the you… forcing anything in life (both in the kitchen and out!) always seems to backfire:)

  2. Thanks for sharing this! I just bought that box of lentils at Trader Joe’s and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now I know! :)

  3. Could you give an idea of how much pasta to use for a package of Trader Joe lentils and amounts of seasonings you would use for adults. This looks yummy!

  4. Jamie – Anytime:) This one could’t be any easier!

  5. Hi Nancy – I just added the recipe… not sure why it didn’t show up the first time. As for the seasonings, I did’t really measure, so you just have to trust your instincts with this one!

  6. Great tips Dani, I will definitely share this with my mommy friends!

  7. I just read that if you give your kids a cute name they seem to eat the veggies better. I know for a fact that my kids love their trees and flowers and hate Brussel sprouts. I love the idea to keep presenting the veggie to the even better.

  8. I’m the same way about just presenting my kids with whatever vegetable I’m preparing no matter what it is or if they ‘like’ it. Eventually, and you never know when, they may try it and like it. I’ve learned it really does happen!

    This meal looks awesome, I am really into experimenting with adding lentils to dishes right now. I’m so sad that I don’t have TJs near me.

  9. Instead of using the trader joes lentils I made this using your warm lentil salad (minus the pomegranate) mixed with pasta. My 18 month old even ate the kale in it, and he normally doesn’t eat a lot of kale if I serve it by itself. Thanks for a great idea and a kid friendly meal that mom can eat as a healthy snack too. I loved your lentil salad by itself too!

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