Yesterday was a great day. As I was waiting for customers to pick up all those boxes of yummy food I was getting very very hungry. My tastes differ a lot from the rest of my family so sometimes it is really hard to get motivated to whip up a really satisfying dinner for one. Though sometimes I have to admit the children really surprise me with what they decide they want to eat–like grapefruit but that is a different story.
Anyway I was hungry and had all this good food lying around so I decided, “Let’s do dinner.”
I find myself craving beans a lot and though red lentils are not officially beans they are in the legume family and when you haven’t planned ahead fit the bill for beans quite nicely. This is my favorite way to cook them, my own variation on an authentic mid-east recipe from Madhur Jaffrey’s World Vegetarian. I paired it with mustard greens cooked using a basic greens recipe, fresh radish and raspberry and nettle leaf tea for beverage.
Armenian Red Lentils
1 cup red lentils
4 cups water.
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp tumeric
2 TBSP vegetable oil
2 bay leaves
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp anise seeds
4 cloves garlic chopped
squeeze of lemon
Cook the red lentils in the water. I sometimes adjust slightly to make it thicker depending on my mood. Last night was a thicker night.
After the beans are cooked add the salt and tumeric. Adding salt too early can make your beans hard.
Heat oil in a frying pan, add the bay leaves, mustard seeds, anise and garlic. Stir constantly until garlic is golden. Be careful the mustard may start popping and it really hurts if it lands on you. Add the flavored oil to the lentils and finish with a squeeze of lemon. Eat over rice. We tend to eat a lot of Jasmine rice (a favorite with Southeast Asians) but i love it over brown rice also.
Then I was in the mood for dessert so we had
Banana Bread! using a mix of white flour with the germ and whole wheat flour. For sweetening I used sucanat.
Sometimes a nice meal made from your own hands using quality healthful ingredients can be so satisfying.