Monday, September 12, 2011

A legume??? What's that...

Well there has been lots of change in our household since the last time I posted including welcoming a new addition (beautiful baby girl) and my transition to a stay a home mom.  For some reason I seem to like to do change big - why just have one or two major life changes when you can do 3, 4 or 5 at once right?!?!

I know... I'm a little crazy.  

It's the ADD side of my brain that likes chaos I guess...

Well one of the other major changes in our lives is our diet.  After years of eating good tasting but not always good for you food and often feeling tired, sick and unhealthy we have decided to do something about it and change how we eat.  Now I like food too much to give up everything, life is about moderation.  This journey is more about focusing on real food and saving the fun stuff for splurges.  

So in that vein I'm experimenting with new recipes... Meat and potatoes, southern home cooking, casseroles with canned cream of fill in the blank... I can make those in my sleep but vegetarian food is a whole new style for me.  

So back to the legumes.  Decided it's time I learn how to cook a lentil.  Crazy I know but I honestly have never cooked a lentil in my life. I've eaten them (mostly NOT by choice) but never cooked.  

So tonight's adventure was Lentil Burritos... my apologies I did not get a picture, but since they actually turned out to be pretty tasty, I will snap a photo the next time I make them. 

Oh and two great reasons to try lentils - even if you are scared of legumes like me - they cook quickly and are much cheaper than meat!

Green Lentil Burritos 

1 cup of dry green lentils
1/2 onion (I used a medium white)
3-4 carrots - peeled and cut into a small dice
2 tablespoons olive oil
Italian Seasoning
Chili Powder
2 cups of water or stock
Tortillas and fix-ins

Directions: Saute onions and carrots in olive oil over medium heat until slightly soft and caramelized, add spices and garlic.  Add rinsed lentils and water or stock.  I used water tonight but stock would create a richer flavor.  Boil 15-25 minutes. Assemble burritos and enjoy. We used our favorite flour tortillas (a friend brings them from Mexico) and topped them with avocado, plain Greek yogurt, lettuce and tomato.  You could add just about any topping you would normally use in a burrito. If you like cilantro I'm guessing that the lentils would blend well with that herb, I just happen to seriously dislike cilantro and thankfully married one of the only Hispanics alive that agrees with me. 

Highly recommend this recipe for legume newbies like me.  Now I'm just waiting for the weather to turn a little cooler to use lentils in soups, stews and chili!  Somehow I can't make those when it's still 90 degrees outside. 
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