I wasn’t introduced to lentils until I had been a vegetarian for about a year. I spent most of my first year as a vegetarian learning how to pick fresh fruits and vegetables–if they aren’t ripe or if they are too ripe, they don’t taste good.
Lentils are legumes and provide about 21 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces dry or about a cup cooked. A serving also has about 3.1 grams of fiber. They are great as a substitute for ground meat in tacos, sloppy Joe’s, and chilis.
Some time during the winter of my first year as a vegetarian I discovered grains as side and main dishes. As I began to broaden my tastes I discovered how very versatile lintels are. I’ve added them to soups to up the fiber and protein, I’ve used them as a pilaf–yummy, and I recently concocted the dish below on a whim. This dish has a hearty flavor that I like to compliment with an assortment of garnishes: chopped raw carrots, cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, and avocados. My favorite is carrots.
- 1 cup red or green lintels, rinsed and picked over
- 1.5 cups water
- 10 ounces portabello mushrooms, chopped
- 1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon Vegetable
- .33 cup of chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon curry
- 1.5 teaspoon marjoram
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Louisiana Gold to taste
In a heavy sauce pan, put the olive oil and onions, sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes more. Add the water, lentils, and bullion, bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer for about 25 minutes. Add the seasoning and simmer 15 minutes more, check for tenderness. Lentils should be tender but not mushy.
Serve topped with a tablespoon of chopped carrots, cucumbers, or cherry tomatoes. If a mix of warm and cold aren’t your thing, serving this dish of rice makes it a hearty meal that is wonderful during the cold months.
Copyright ElleVeg 2015