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L is for Lentil

January 26, 2014

l1Lentils are one of the oldest legumes known to man they have a history that goes back to the first hunter gatherers and they are the perfect food combining protein and fiber in one little bean. I haven’t been keeping exact count, but I think they are the 8th perfect food that I have cooked and blogged about so far.

I don’t love lentils. I don’t hate lentils. They are filler with no flavor and I don’t understand the fervor some people have for them. When looking for recipes this week I came across a lot of soup recipes. A LOT of soup recipes. I ignored them all and ended up focusing on recipes that were mostly meat replacements. I replaced the meat in our tacos with Super Veggie Lentil Taco “Meat”. It was OK, but didn’t have a lot of flavor. I also replaced the meat in a pseudo Spaghetti Bolognese. The recipe is called Lenticchie con Ditalini and it  uses a can of lentil soup, some sautéed tomatoes and creamy cheese to create a very delicious meal. I will be making this meal again I’m just not sure the lentils were what made it good.

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The real reason I did lentil week was so I could use the cotechino sausage that I ordered which didn’t arrive in time for new year’s eve. I paid more than I should have for the sausage. It was imported from Italy, but I only ordered it to have an authentic dish on NYE. I didn’t want to just make the traditional lentils and Cotechino so I decided to create a new Benedict dish.

I wanted to use lentils for the base of Benedict – the English muffin part. I wanted a sort of lentil I was inspired by a set of new dishes to make something that could be cooked right in dish. I used a recipe for Lentil Vegetable Loaf from the Spoonriver Cookbook. Instead of making a loaf from the mixture I made four individual cakes.

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I cooked the meat per the instructions on the packaging, which is basically boiling the sausage in its own fat for about a half an hour. The meat was described as being like salami so instead of using poached eggs I decided to use hard-boiled. I then topped the whole thing with a Tomato-Basil Hollandaise. It was a savory, creamy, and beautiful creation, but you will have to take my word for it because I got too busy (and hungry) and forgot to take a picture.

It was a pretty lousy week for the diet. I ate out three nights this past week and had at least one beer on each occasion. I also had a few extra snacks this week; which may have not been so bad except one of those snacks was a half a bag of Doritos. With all of that I actually gained a pound this week. I am still ahead overall and on track for my birthday goal, but another week like this and I might be in trouble. The novelty of dieting has worn off in a big way. Also I feel pretty good with the weight I’ve already lost so it is hard to feel the urgency I did 20 pounds ago.

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