02 March 2011

Love for Lentils

Since I missed the 28 Day Challenge for work because of my Florida vacation, I'm continuing the healthy challenge for the month of March. I'm continuing to stay as Vegan as possible, not drinking, eating more whole foods. Lots more fruits and veggies, more legumes, less wheat and processed carbs. Mostly!

I'm going to try to buy less canned beans, and start buying in bulk... and this week's legume is lentils. They don't have to be soaked overnight, are super quick to cook, and digest easily. Plus they go with EVERYTHING.

First I made a Lentil Salad - a favorite go-to combination. I always wing it with this, but this time I combined lentils, garbanzos, lemon juice, spinach, and spices. Which "spices" you use is always the key. My favorite all-time combination is the following: sea salt, mustard seeds, black peppercorns, whole coriander, dried onion, dried, garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes. (Put all this in an old pepper grinder - it's amazing on basically everything.)

Next was the Rustic Tomato Lentil Soup from How it all Vegan! I'm hating this cold weather, so a hearty soup was a great choice. There was nothing super exciting about this soup, but it hit the spot. The rice pasta substituted fine for the "short pasta" it called for, and tomatoes and carrots added that traditional vegetable soup flavor. I spiced it up (surprise!) with crushed red pepper and tarragon - and it served well the next few days.

I'm noticing a big difference with the thoroughness of Sarah's cookbooks... but it's all about learning, so sometimes I just override the parts that seem off to me. (i.e. I added the lentils after simmering the soup for 10+ minutes, because I know they'd overcook otherwise.) Either way, soup is always a great choice to warm you up in the winter... and to fill you up with healthy goodness!

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