Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Loving All the Lentils

Since we have a plethora of red lentils in the cupboard, our dinner the last two nights has included them. I've used the lentil recipes in The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery for inspiration. These recipes really call for brown lentils but I'm finding the red ones work pretty well too.

First, I tried her Honey Baked Lentil recipe substituting maple syrup for the honey. The recipes combines ginger, dry mustard, chopped onion and soy sauce with the lentils. It is topped with the maple syrup before baking. Despite my initial skepticism, this was quite a hit.

Next, inspired by Carla's Sloppy Lentil recipe, I sauteed several carrots and two cloves of garlic and then placed them in the slow cooker. Then I added dried red lentils, chopped green onion, 2 bay leaves, tomato puree and boiling water to just cover the whole mixture. I cooked this on high for 5 hours and before serving added a bit of tamari, basil and oregano. I served this over bulgur and it too was quite good.

The results have been so positive, I'm tempted to keep going. The Lentil Walnut & Rice Loaf and Ruth's Lentil Burgers are next up. I'm enjoying the adventure of living out of the pantry!

I did get a chance to try the Bean Hash recipe that I mentioned last week. I wound up using lima beans that I discovered in the back of the cabinet rather than the butter beans and black beans that the original recipe called for. This was simply because I didn't have any butter beans or black beans.

I thought the hash needed a bit more spice but overall everyone liked it. The texture of the Bean Hash was really good. Sometimes I think getting the texture right is the greatest challenge of vegan cooking. I'm anxious to try more of the recipes from The Bean Gourmet Presents the Greatest Little Bean Cookbook by Tom Chasuk. His pizza recipe sounds very intriguing.


Anonymous said...

sounds great!

Anonymous said...

Red lentils are my absolute favorite! I hope you will share all the ways you find to cook them--I always have some on hand!