Peas, Beans and Lentils

23 Jul

For whatever reason, that phrase plays like a refrain in my head whenever I think of lentils, or vegetarians for that matter haha. I think it’s because I learned in Food and Nutrition class in high school that vegetarians need to eat lots of peas, beans and lentils to make up for the protein they aren’t getting from meat. It just stuck with me, I don’t know, our brains latch onto strange things sometimes. Until last week though, I had never had lentils before. They seemed like such a foreign food to me. I was inspired to buy a bag of them near the beginning of my summer though, because a friend told me they were high in protein and really cheap. Almost every week I would scour the internet for a recipe that used lentils…most of them were for soup, and I’m not the kind of person that can enjoy soup when it’s hot.

Finally, I found a recipe that was simple and seemed like it could be delicious. I boiled the lentils for 20 minutes (they smelled really funny btw :s ) and I chopped up a ton of onions and browned them in butter; I also shook in some cayenne pepper and a little cinnamon.  Next I added a few of the onions to the pot of lentils, along with some rice, and let that cook

lentils and onions

until the rice was done, i.e. all the water was absorbed. Meanwhile, the rest of the onions were still going, because I was caramelising them. When the onions were finished, I added them to the pot of rice and lentils. To be honest, it looked really ugly, everything was all brown. I chopped up some tomatoes to add colour and freshness, sprinkled on some salt and pepper and I was good to go.

It tasted pretty good and I would make it again, but I don’t think it’s going to be a favourite comfort food or anything, the way some of the recipe reviewers described it. The next time I make it I’m going to add garlic and hopefully I’ll have sour cream because I think that’s supposed to help too. I’m happiest because I finally used some lentils! Now that I’ve cooked them once, I’m less intimidated by the idea of using them again, and being creative with them. Another tool for my cooking box ;)

look, it matches the bowl!

Another dish I made that I’m a lot more excited about is homemade hamburgers! (Clearly I’m not cut out to be a vegetarian.) I’d never made them before but I had ground beef and some eggs to get rid of, so I thought why not? It was really simple. I added onions, garlic, parsley, salt, pepper and eggs to the beef (in stages) mixed it all together, and finished it off with squirts of ketchup since (sadly) I have no Worcestershire sauce! hahaha.

I left it overnight because I wasn’t ready to cook it when I prepared the meat, and I think that helped the flavours really get into the meat. Whether or not that’s true…I don’t know, I didn’t have a control and I’m not aware of people marinating ground beef…but when I made little patties and cooked them the next day they were delicious! Sorry I don’t have any pictures of the finished burgers, I forgot to take them. I served it with freshly mashed potatoes, that also had parsley in them. What’s with all the parsley you ask? I’ve got the hugest bunch you’ve ever seen in my fridge. It’s outrageous. I have it because of the rice I made for YWDEP. Anyway, so whatever I can possibly add parsley to, I do. I can’t believe it’s lasted this long! However, I still doubt I’ll be able to use it all before it goes off. But back to the burgers, they were good hot and cold :) I wish I had a picnic to have taken them on! That’s ok though, I know for next time :)

giant hamburger patty

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