Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Simple Lentil

There is something incredibly satisfying about making an entirely vegan meal and feeling full afterwards. Before I went gluten and casein(dairy)-free I equated vegan eating with salads and feeling hungry; little did I know that my gluten and dairy intolerances would lead me to eat naturally vegan foods that now make up a large part of my diet. Foods that are satisfying, healthy and simple to put together.

Lentils are pretty cool. There are many different varieties of this round legume: brown, green, black, and yellow just to name a few; brown are the easiest to find around here. They are filling, probably due to the high amount of protein in them and have a good deal of dietary fiber. Also, for the ladies out there -- they're high in folate which is an important to have in your diet if you're thinking about reproducing.

I don't know if anyone else out there is like me, but I often cook right when I get up in the morning. Sure, a lot people probably cook eggs and pancakes first thing in the morning, but for some reason this morning I wanted lentils -- so lentils it is. I adapted a lentil recipe in Mark Bittman's book How to Cook Everything Vegetarian and I do enjoy it quite a bit. I hope you do too.

Simple Lentil (gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan)

serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 celery stalk (including leaves)
1 carrot, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon saffron threads (optional)
1 cup of dried lentils
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
2 cups of water
salt and pepper to taste

Add the olive oil to a pan on medium high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrot and saute for about five minutes. Add the garlic, saffron, cayenne pepper and lentils and saute for one minute. Then, add the water, bring to a boil and then down to a simmer for at least thirty minutes until the majority of the liquid has reduced. It shouldn't be a soup, but it shouldn't be dry either.

I'm hoping at some point to ground dry lentil into a flour and create a batter to replicate the Indian daal wraps (they have a name that I cannot remember) that I get at Indian restaurants. They are amaaaazing.


Ricki said...

That does sound good--I bet it was great for breakfast! I can see how that would be totally satisfying and filling as well (and Henry seems to think so, too) ;)

Emilia said...

Did you mean papadoums? I like them too, a lot.

Sometimes you can find lentil flour at eastern shops, but ready made papadoums are available everywhere here; they usually just contain lentil flour, salt and water.

I can't have a dinner without enough protein, otherwise I get muscle pain and don't feel very good, so eating lentils and beans are not a protein option for me, but I still like lentils, especially beluga lentils.

When I was still a vegetarian I ate a lot of meals with just beans, rice and veggies and always wondered why I never felt good eating that way, so I started eating a lot of soy products for protein; I ended up with a slow thyroid (it's ok now) and an allergy to soy :/

Liz said...

It was good for breakfast Ricki, though I like sweet breakfasts too. As I was eating it, I realized that was the first time I ever had red wine in my breakfast!

Yes! Papadoums!!! Thanks emilia! They are sooo good. I have a nearby Indian grocer that I'll have to check out. I actually stay away from soy too. I used to drink a lot of soy milk, and now it upsets my stomach, so I feel your pain. It's funny, if I've had a particularly difficult workout I don't feel satiated until I have some sort of lean meat protein.

Jenny said...

The body knows what it wants and lean meat protein is definitely something we are in need of. I'm a firm believer in that! It's funny when you are craving nothing but chicken, who craves chicken? I do! I always know when my body wants some protein.

Thanks for the comments! I am so glad I went to class last night and getting to beat up Steve made it that much more fun. I really do love that class as much... as I've been skipping it lately.

heacollins said...

They actually have some papadums at Whole Foods that say gluten-free. You just heat them up by holding them with tongs over a burner on low-to-medium (at least, that's how we do it :)

I also love, love, love dosas. Some (or all maybe) are gluten-free because they use urad dal... My mission is to make my own dosas at home. I haven't had one in a long long time.

I love your dog. hehe... that just makes the picture even better :)