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Does lent mean you can eat lentils?
Lent is the 40 days before Easter. It's marked by Ash Wednesday. The key for all you who care is the day before Ash Wednesday is called Fat Tuesday, and culminates the end of the Mardi Gras / Carnival season in the western hemisphere. Thus the most secular and hedonistic of american celebrations (which could be described as baccanal debachery) indeed does have deep significant religious roots.
Being a protestant, I've never followed too much of those things. However there's somthing to the idea of giving up somthing. A couple of years ago I gave up booze. This year I thought of somthing more significant.
So I've decided to give up meat for Lent this year. Mostly to be a little bit healthier, and also to see if I can loose some weight. It's changed the way I think about cooking, and well... I do see a point to at least some of the things. Plus try and do it without being obnoxious to all my friends.
At the right is what my table looked like with leftovers. A bit of baked pasta. Lots of chopped parsley, and the lentils which had been soaking in a bowl for a while. I'll have to start with the chick peas as well.
Things I've learned.
Lentils are a bean, and they should be treated that way. You can eat a lot of them, just make sure your system is prepared for it. After eating a lot of them for a couple of days. I've been a bit more flatulent than normal.
You can make them Indian style with ginger, some milk, onions, kidney beans and garlic. (Daal Makana) They still can be rather heavy. Lentils are like beans, neither completely a vegetable, nor completely a grain. Peas are similar.
Here's the second stage of my testing. I made my own tabouleh. Which is a Middle eastern (Persian, Lebanese, Turkish, maybe even a bit Greek) salad, made from bulger wheat, parsley, and onions.
It could have been thought of as bland. But it was rather refreshing, and of course, better eaten cold.
The market around the corner from me had two types of bulger wheat. A red kind and a white kind. The red kind was very fibrous, the white kind was a little bit softer.
Together with some marinated cucumbers (okay they're pickles, what else could I call them) I think it made a pretty healthy meal.
So that's what I've been eating. Lentils, bulger wheat, pasta, and the rest... I'm not starving, and it's a good change from what I usually cook. Tomorrow. I'm going to try Chiles Rellenos, stuffed with cheese, raisins and walnuts.
1/2 cup medium grain bulgur
For the dressing:
To prepare dressing, in a small non-reactive bowl, whisk together lemon juice, garlic, salt and oil. Taste and adjust seasonings.
In a large salad bowl, toss together parsley, tomatoes, green onions
and mint. Add bulgur. Pour dressing over salad, toss to combine. Taste
and adjust seasonings.
Morph 2: Add rinsed and drained canned chickpeas, and rinsed and drained canned lentils
Morph 3: Grill some boneless, skinless chicken breast, dice, toss with the tabbouleh and wrap it up in fresh pita.
Morph 4: Serve as a small side salad with fish .
Here's a photo of the lentils, I guess you can just make them similar to a risoto or somthing else, and just let them simmer down a bit to soften up.
DAAL MAKHANI RECIPE (Maa Ki Daal)
1 cup whole urad daal (urad sabut)
How to make dal makhni :
March 2, 2007