food and nutrition


Question: What seasonings do you use when you cook lentils? I am making lentils for the first time to serve over brown rice. As of this point I have added to my largest pot, 2 lbs Lentils (I have a big family and want to freeze any leftovers), 1 and a half diced onions (all I had on hand), 2 medium julienned carrots, 6 cloves diced garlic, 4 sm-med sliced potatoes, 2 packets Vegetarian Ham Seasoning and a little salt. Is this sufficient to season them or should I add some other seasonings also. I really appreciate any suggestions. :) I don't want to turn my family off the first time I make them. Thanks again.

Answer: I like them cooked plain with some salt to taste, but there are recipes too... Lentil Soup "This is a hearty soup -- it gets very cold in the mountains in Afghanistan, and lentils and dried plums keep well in the winter." Shah 2 tablespoons oil 1 onion, roughly chopped 2 - 3 tablespoons garlic, minced (about 3 large cloves 2 cups water 1 cup lentils, preferably red, cleaned and picked over Salt and black pepper to taste 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 5-6 dried sour plums, chopped (available in Indian spice stores) METHOD Heat oil in soup pot. Brown onion in oil over medium heat until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Stir in minced garlic. Cook until browned. Add water, lentils, spices and dried plums. Cover and simmer over medium heat until lentils are soft, about 45 minutes. If necessary, add more water so that it doesn't burn. It will take about 45 minutes to cook. It should be a thick soup. Tip: The amount of garlic is a matter of personal taste. Barley Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Kale Recipe by: kayell Servings: 6 ·2 onions ·8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced (aka baby portobellos) ·1 tbsp. garlic, minced ·2 quarts water ·1 cup green lentils ·1/2 cup pearl barley ·2 carrots, diced ·2 sprigs fresh thyme ·2 sprigs fresh rosemary ·3 bay leaves ·1/2 tsp chipotle powder ·2 tsp. paprika ·1 bunch kale, shredded (dinosaur kale was very good) ·4 green onions, sliced, green part also ·2 tbsp red wine vinegar Dry sauté onions over moderate heat until they start to brown, then add mushrooms. When they begin to sweat, add garlic. Sauté a minute or two more, then add water, lentils, barley, carrots, herbs, chipotle and paprika. Simmer until lentils and barley are soft. Add kale and green onions. Simmer another 10 minutes, then add vinegar, stir and serve. (I don't add any salt in cooking, but do find this this needs some. I added several splashes of chipotle tabasco sauce at the table which adds some salt, without the excess that would come from cooking with it. Extra vinegar or lemon juice would be good for those who can't have any salt, or don't like that much heat.) Serving size - about 2 cups Vegetable soup with lentils Ingredients ·1 tsp extra virgin olive oil ·1 large onion, chopped ·3 cloves of garlic, grated ·1 cup of red or brown lentils ·3 ½ cups of vegetable broth ·3 ½ cups of boiling water ·4 medium carrots, chopped ·2 stalks of celery, chopped ·2 tsp of parsley Directions 1.Heat oil in a deep pan. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots. 2.Add the vegetable broth and water. Both should already be warm, if not, boiling. Cover the pan with a lid and allow the soup to simmer for 15 minutes. 3.Remove lid and allow the soup to cool for 10 minutes. 4.Add salt and pepper to taste. Serves: 4 persons Lentil and Broccoli Gratin 1 cup red lentils 1 large onion, peeled & chopped 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and grated ¾ lb broccoli, washed, trimmed, divided into florets juice and grated rind of 1 lemon salt and freshly ground pepper soft bread crumbs Put the lentils into a saucepan with 2 1/2 cups of water, bring to a boil, then let simmer for 20-30 minutes, until they are soft and pale. Meanwhile, heat some veg. broth or water in a saucepan, add the onion and ginger, and cook for 10 minutes, uncovered, so that they brown a bit, stirring from time to time. Steam the broccoli until just tender, then put in a shallow gratin dish. Put the lentils into a food processor or blender with the onion mixture and the lemon and blend until a smooth puree. It should have the consistency of heavy cream; add some water or veg. broth if it is too thick. Season, then pour this puree evenly over t he broccoli. Sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Put into an oven at 350-400 degrees F for 30-40 minutes. I usually serve this with baked potatoes and salad. This dish freezes well. Lentil and Rice Casserole 1 cup split red lentils 1/3 cup long grain rice (white or brown) (I used brown) 5 cups vegetable stock (I used 5 cups water w/ 3 cubes) 1 leek, cut into chunks (I didn't have leek, used spring onion) 3 garlic cloves, crushed (I used one big one) 1 14oz can chopped tomatoes 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp garam masala 1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced 100g/3 1/3oz small broccoli florets 8 baby corn cobs, halved lengthways (Didn't use these...didn't have em) 50g/1 3/4oz green beans, halved 1 tsp shredded basil salt and pepper 1. put lentils, rice and stock into a large pot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 20 mins. 2. add all the vegetables and spices, leaving the shredded basil 3. bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 10-15 minutes or until vegetables are tender 4. add shredded basil and season to taste with salt and pepper 5. serve immediately. if desired, garnish with fresh basil sprigs

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