We've been thinking a lot lately about the chefs, musicians, comedians, actors and others whose career frequently takes them out on the road, into more airplanes, restaurants and hotel bars than they can count. When they finally settle back in at home, what do they want to cook for themselves? We asked, and they just started telling us! Find out their answers in our series, Homecoming Meals.

We should have suspected that most of our Homecoming Meals participants would extoll the virtues of simple comfort food, but the consistency with which they've answered this way has delighted us. From Fabio's risotto to Jeni's unconventional ratatouille, simplicity totally rules. Today's edition is no exception: we caught up with "Top Chef" host, cookbook author and well-exposed food nerd, Padma Lakshmi.

Honestly it’s a simple bowl of lentils and rice. Or beans and rice. I’m very simple! Honestly most of my diet when I’m not working on “Top Chef” is very simple, very plant based. So if it’s cold it will be a noodle soup and if it’s not cold it would probably be like beans and rice or lentils and rice. That’s really what I like.

As for flavors, I always think even dessert should have a hint of salt in it. But in the case of the lentils and rice, it’s actually homey, comfort, savory porridge called Kitchedi. And I add cumin to that and green chilies for a little heat. I also add sometimes some chopped dried plums for a hint of tartness and sweetness. I think –- not to plug my own book but -– the title of my own book actually sums up what I think about food, I like everything a little tangy, a little tart, a little hot and a little sweet. [Padma’s book is called Tangy, Tart, Hot and Sweet: A World of Recipes for Everyday.] I think that’s the perfect bite in your mouth because it hits all the different parts of your palate.

You catch that guys? We think she likes her Homecoming Meals to be simple. In honor of Padma's proclivity towards preparing lentil recipes, we've included some of our very favorites below.

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  • Lentils With Red Wine And Herbs

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lentils-with-red-wine-and_n_1058526.html" target="_hplink">Lentils with Red Wine and Herbs recipe</a></strong>

  • Spicy Lentil Tart With Pomegranate And Mint

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.veggienumnum.com/2011/06/spicy-lentil-tart-w-pomegranate-mint/" target="_hplink">Spicy Lentil Tart with Pomegranate and Mint recipe from Veggie Num Num</a></strong>

  • Lentil, Cilantro And Chili Salad With Warm Cauliflower Florets

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lentil-cilantro-and-chil_n_1057584.html" target="_hplink">Lentil, Cilantro and Chili Salad with Warm Cauliflower Florets recipe</a></strong>

  • Braised French Lentils And Vegetables

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://inspiringtheeveryday.com/2011/12/30/braised-french-lentils-vegetables/" target="_hplink">Braised French Lentils and Vegetables recipe from Inspiring the Everyday</a></strong>

  • French Lentils With Roasted Roots, Caramelized Onions And Thyme

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/french-lentils-with-roast_n_1061280.html" target="_hplink">French Lentils with Roasted Roots, Caramelized Onions and Thyme recipe</a></strong>

  • Lentil Tacos

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.crumblycookie.net/2012/04/23/lentil-tacos/" target="_hplink">Lentil Tacos recipe from The Way the Cookie Crumbles</a></strong>

  • Lentil Veggie Burgers With Pomegranate Ketchup

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/veggie-burgers-with-pomeg_n_1061058.html" target="_hplink">Lentil Veggie Burgers with Pomegranate Ketchup recipe</a></strong>

  • Green-Lentil Curry

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/green-lentil-curry_n_1058427.html" target="_hplink">Green-Lentil Curry recipe</a></strong>

  • Dosa

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.indiansimmer.com/2011/08/art-of-making-crisp-dosa.html" target="_hplink">Dosa recipe from Indian Simmer</a></strong>

  • Lentil Soup With Kielbasa And Kale

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lentil-soup-with-kielbasa_n_1056848.html" target="_hplink">Lentil Soup with Kielbasa and Kale recipe</a></strong>

  • Bulgur And Lentils

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/bulgur--lentils_n_1062560.html" target="_hplink">Bulgur and Lentils recipe</a></strong>

  • Vegan Lentil Chili With Roasted Red Peppers, Olives And Green Onion

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.kalynskitchen.com/2012/01/recipe-for-vegan-lentil-chili-with.html" target="_hplink">Vegan Lentil Chili with Roasted Red Peppers, Olives and Green Onion recipe from Kalyn's Kitchen</a></strong>

  • Lentil Veggie Balls

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/15/veggie-balls_n_1151673.html" target="_hplink">Lentil Veggie Balls recipe</a></strong>

  • Grilled Green Bean Salad With Lentil Vinaigrette

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/grilled-green-bean-salad-_n_1058446.html" target="_hplink">Grilled Green Bean Salad with Lentil Vinaigrette recipe</a></strong>

  • Garlicky Lentil Soup With Vinegar And Olive Oil

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/garlicky-lentil-soup-with_n_1057206.html" target="_hplink">Garlicky Lentil Soup with Vinegar and Olive Oil recipe</a></strong>

  • Stuffed Vegetables With Lentils, Rice, Pine Nuts And Parsley

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/stuffed-vegetables-with-l_n_1057506.html" target="_hplink">Stuffed Vegetables with Lentils, Rice, Pine Nuts and Parsley recipe</a></strong>

  • Birbal Kee Khitcheree

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/06/birbal-kee-khitcheree_n_1324382.html" target="_hplink">Birbal Kee Khitcheree recipe</a></strong>

  • Farro And Lentils With Sauteed Kale And Trumpet Mushrooms

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://tastyeasyhealthygreen.com/?p=1327" target="_hplink">Farro and Lentils with Sauteed Kale and Trumpet Mushrooms recipe from Tasty Easy Healthy Green</a></strong>

  • Green Lentil Salad With Cucumber And Cumin And Lemon Vinaigrette

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/green-lentil-salad-with-c_n_1059864.html" target="_hplink">Green Lentil Salad with Cucumber and Cumin and Lemon Vinaigrette recipe</a></strong>

  • Beef And Lentil Curry

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://bevcooks.com/2012/01/beef-and-lentil-curry/" target="_hplink">Beef and Lentil Curry recipe from Bev Cooks</a></strong>

  • Very Green Lentil Soup

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/very-green-lentil-soup_n_1062559.html" target="_hplink">Very Green Lentil Soup recipe</a></strong>

  • Spiced Eggplant-Lentil Salad With Mango

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/spiced-eggplant-lentil-sa_n_1062159.html" target="_hplink">Spiced Eggplant-Lentil Salad with Mango recipe</a></strong>

  • Lentil Coconut Soup With Lentil Apple Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lentil-coconut-soup-with-_n_1057264.html" target="_hplink">Lentil Coconut Soup with Lentil Apple Salad recipe</a></strong>

  • Black Lentil And Bell Pepper With Mint Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/black-lentil-and-bell-pep_n_1061450.html" target="_hplink">Black Lentil and Bell Pepper with Mint Salad recipe</a></strong>

  • Lentil Loaf

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.keepitsimplefoods.com/vegetarian/meatless-monday-meat-loaf/" target="_hplink">Lentil Loaf recipe from Keep It Simple Foods</a></strong>

  • Squash, Chickpea And Red Lentil Stew

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/squash-chickpea--red-le_n_1049445.html" target="_hplink">Squash, Chickpea and Red Lentil Stew recipe</a></strong>

  • Warm Lentil Salad With Sausage And Apple

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/warm-lentil-salad-with-sa_n_1062568.html" target="_hplink">Warm Lentil Salad with Sausage and Apple recipe</a></strong>

  • Dilled Lentil Soup With Mushrooms And Tomatoes

    <strong>Get the<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/dilled-lentil-soup-with-m_n_1056852.html" target="_hplink"> Dilled Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Tomatoes recipe</a></strong>

  • Rice And Lentil Salad

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/rice--lentil-salad_n_1062030.html" target="_hplink">Rice and Lentil Salad recipe</a></strong>

  • Lentil Burgers

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lentil-burgers_n_1062535.html" target="_hplink">Lentil Burgers recipe</a></strong>

  • Lentil And Sun-Dried Pesto Salad With Roasted Peppers

    <strong>Get the <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/27/lentil-and-sun-dried-pest_n_1057463.html" target="_hplink">Lentil and Sun-dried Pesto Salad with Roasted Peppers recipe</a></strong>

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