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It's Foodie Friday! Lentils Not Just for Lent

Friday, April 01, 2011
Aunt Astrid's Lentil Stew
Photo taken prior to dining
inhaling by OneBrownGirl®
in France (2010)
Oooo, I love lentils!  And if you played Match the Dish on Foodie Friday last year, then you know I think my Aunt Astrid makes a mean lentil stew.  #hungrynow

Andrea Juarez, a contributor to®, is a hobbyist food anthropologist and an award-winning writer who writes about different cultural uses of ingredients on her food blog Fork Fingers Chopsticks.  Today, Andrea shares her thoughts (and three lentil recipes from three different cultures!) on OBG ®'s Foodie Friday!  Check out what Andrea has to share about lentils not being just for Lent...

From Andrea:  When I was growing up, my family ate plenty of beans but still relegated lentils (lentejas) to times of depravity – Lent. I still remember being served bowls of chalky, brown lentejas – cooked without any sort of pizzazz. (I hope my momma never reads this post.)
I first started embracing lentils as an adult, however, taking cue from ayurvedic and Indian cookery. Dal (also spelled “dahl” or “daal”) lured me in – the hearty, spicy soup bursting with flavor. I’ve been eating lentils year-round ever since. 
Massor dal
The truth is, lentils have gotten the shaft for far too long. Historically, the disc-shaped legumes were considered peasant food by aristocrats and generally this prejudice spread to the general population. Some cultures, however, were wiser and valued the humble lentil with all its nutritional benefits.  A good vegetarian source of iron, selenium, manganese, zinc and folate, lentils paired with grains, nuts, seeds, eggs or dairy provide a complete protein.
This legume is one of the oldest food sources in the world and a long-treasured staple in the Middle East and India. Lentils come in at least 50 cultivated varieties, some split and others whole. They also come in various sizes and an array of colors including yellow, red, green, brown and black.
I am excited to share with you three tasty lentil recipes that will make you a lentil lover just like me - and not just during Lent!
Photo courtesy of Forkfingers Chopsticks
This 15 minute Indian dal recipe uses canned or pre-cooked lentils
to make an easy, tasty meal.

(Lentil & Plantain Salad)
My modern re-make of the Mexican/Latin-American
lentil and plantain combo using wild rice
to make a one-bowl meal.

This is a souped-up tomato soup made hearty with red lentils
and flavorful with ginger, cumin and chile.



Niurka on: April 4, 2011 at 6:49 PM said...

the indain lentil stew sounds yummy

Unknown on: April 5, 2011 at 4:53 PM said...

@ Niurka, I've never made it, but I always order it from the menu when I can. It's the best!

Andrea @ ForkFingersChopsticks on: April 6, 2011 at 7:42 PM said...

@Niurka: This version of Indian dal is super easy. It's really about the spices. It makes for a quick dinner and great leftovers.


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