Sunday, August 29, 2010

just call me a lentil convert

First, let's talk about lentils.

I apologize in advance to lentil-lovers out there, but I've never really been able to get behind lentils . . . now, I love red lentils in all their buttery, golden-orange, lucious splendor, but any other lentil? In my opinion, brown and green lentils kind of taste like dirt. Not an appetizing meal addition!

But, I keep trying -- I know how nutritionally powerful lentils are, and I really WANT to like lentils! So, I made a lentil salad last night:

Ingredients in my lentil salad: 1 1/2 cups cooked regular lentils, 3/4 cup dry orzo pasta (cooked according to the package diretions,) 2 tbsp chopped parsley, 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion, 3 1/2 ounces feta (crumbled,) juice of one lemon, 1 tbsp olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Verdict? I LOVED this! Yum! What a light, yet filling dinner, served over a bed of salad greens. I bet the leftovers are going to be even better, once the flavors have had a chance to marry.

Anyone have lentil recipes they love? I want to keep getting to know lentils!

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Summer in Minnesota is very, very short. This is sort of bittersweet for me, because I love being able to shop the farmer's market weekly, stock up on gorgeous produce, and support my local farmers, but at the same time . . . I HATE THE WEATHER. I turn into a lazy, whining pile of sweat in the heat and humidity! So, I try to make the best of it.

My farmer's market has been flooded with gorgeous produce of every color these past few weeks, and I've been trying to pick up something (or a couple somethings) at least weekly to preserve for the coming winter. This week, I grabbed three huge bunches of Chinese water spinach to steam, chop, and freeze, (Dan and I are becoming quite good at sitting around on the couch prepping veggies,) and I also found a good deal on red bell peppers -- 9 gorgeous peppers for $5! They were destined for my broiler. :) Result:

Last year, I read that one could freeze roasted red peppers, and I tried that out, but wasn't terribly happy with my results. The peppers seemed to lose some of their rich, smoky flavor in the freezer, and were also pretty mushy after thawing. Inspired by Liz, I decided to try pickling my peppers. Although I don't have canning skillz, I decided to try a refrigerator pickle with these guys -- they won't last an eternity, but they'll last long enough. I threw in 1/2 teaspoon salt and three chopped cloves of garlic, covered everything with a light vinegar brine (1 part vinegar to three parts water -- I don't want the peppers too sour!), and parked the jar in my fridge. We'll see how this works!

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Last but not least, remember I used to bake bread? Well, the humidity is down and the weather is slightly cooler, so I can do that again!

Our bake-a-long has been on hiatus this summer, (and rightly so -- no one wants to heat the oven up unless they absolutely have to!), and I sort of biffed our last project -- I did make a batch of the "Sunflower Seed Breakfast Loaf," but never really posted about it. So, I made it again! This is a gorgeous, soft, slightly sweet, slightly rich bread that makes INCREDIBLE toast. And I'm a toast girl, so this bread makes me happy! Yum! I used a combination of whole-wheat bread flour and AP flours in this loaf, and it worked beautifully. Hooray nutrition!

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Happy Sunday, everyone!

4 comments:

Born to be Vegan said...

Have you tried french lentils yet? Next to the red lentil they are my favourite. I really like the texture and there is a really good recipe for french lentils in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan called Savory French Lentils and its fantastic!

Courtney said...

I love lentils! Lentil soup is honestly my favorite way to eat them...more of a lentil stew because I like it thick with lots of spinach and tomatoes. Yum :-)

Courtney

HayMarket8 said...

I struggles with lentils when I first went vegan but now I love them. All kinds! Yours look pretty great to be honest. :)

Crystal said...

You don't love lentils? And here I continue making Sloppy Lentils from YOUR recipe - ha! Love it.

I am also being inspired by Liz and picking up some peppers this week for roasting and canning.