Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

French Lentils

Lentils are, I think, one of my very favorite foods.  They are wonderfully nutritious, simple to cook, and I love their earthy, somewhat sweet taste.  I sometimes crave them.  They are my go-to meal when I don't have a lot of time to cook and I don't know what else to prepare for dinner.  There are different kinds of lentils, which can be used interchangeably in recipes but which have distinct characteristics.  Red lentils become very soft when you cook them.  Brown lentils also turn soft, but maintain their shape better than red lentils.  French lentils, which are tiny and black, are the firmest in texture.  This is how I cooked them the other night, using ingredients that I had on hand. The dish is succulent, simple, and oh! so good for you.  

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
½ onion, chopped
1 carrot, diced
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 cup French (black) lentils, rinsed
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups water
1 tsp. herbs de Provence
1 TBS tomato paste
¼ tsp salt
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium heat.  Saute onions until translucent.  Add carrots and celery and stir.  Add lentils, broth, water,  herbs de Provence, and tomato paste.  Stir and simmer until lentils are tender, about 45 minutes.  Add salt and pepper.  Serves 4.  

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