Inga's Indulgence

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Lucky Beans

Yesterday I found myself staring at a giant canister of beautifully vibrant red lentils.

Waiting patiently in the back of my pantry cabinet for what seemed like eternity, these lentils were straight up looking up at me with sad puppy dog eyes. I couldn't let them down this time, so I grabbed them, and the staring contest persisted.

It was for the sake of love that I parted with these velvety, meaty vessels of protein, and countless other nutrients, in the first place. My husband claims to be allergic to them. I say diarrhea is not an allergy. In any case, I pretty much stopped cooking with them because it's no fun cooking for yourself, and frankly, you can't eat lentil soup all year round.

But now it was time for a reunion. It was time to use lentils in something other than soup. They were far too healthy and pretty to disregard. So I made something a little different, and scoffed it down all by myself.

       Red Lentil Salad with Mustard Vinaigrette
    (yield: 2-3 servings)

    1 cup red lentils 
    2 cups water
    1/2 tbsp dijon mustard 
    1 clove garlic, finely minced
    1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    1 tsp lemon juice
    2 oz olive oil  
    4 tbsp red onion, finely chopped 
    1 plum tomato, pulp & seeds removed, small dice 
    4 kalamata olives, small dice
    1 tbsp parsley, finely chopped
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp pepper

    Rinse the lentils under cold, running water. Place into medium pot with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 5-7 minutes, until lentils are cooked through but still have a bite. Drain, and rinse again under cold, running water. Transfer to a bowl, and set aside.

    While the lentils cook, make the vinaigrette: In a small bowl, whisk together Dijon mustard, garlic, lemon juice, and red wine vinegar. Whisk in the olive oil. Pour vinaigrette over warm lentils, and mix in remaining ingredients

    You may eat right away, but this salad is best after spending a few hours in the fridge. 
    Lentils are great sources of protein, fiber, iron, and phospherous.

    Super rich in folate, you should sneak lentils into your diet as often as possible if you're pregnant.

    Oh, and I'm not really even sure that they are beans, but with a resume like this, they've gotta be lucky!

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