Monday, January 12, 2009

Curbing the carnivore.

My uncle recently was diagnosed with a health condition that his doctor decided to treat with a strict vegan diet.  He has been living as a vegan for several months now, and when I saw him on Saturday, he looked like a college guy. Ripped abs and all. He's in his 60's.  He says he feels better than he has in years.  

I had read that eating vegetarian or vegan several times a week would save tons on your grocery bill as well as be a healthy switch for families.  So, I decided to give it a whirl.  My time in Senegal gave me some good direction for vegetarian fare. Suppers usually fed 12 people with no animal protein at all.  While lait caille (soured milk with millet) made me run for the hills, a supper of steaming lentils always was one of my favorites.  

I threw this together last night for my family and it was a huge hit. Delicious, low fat, high protein and full of taste.  Even Evangeline, with her developing palate gobbled it up.  Live as a vegetarian for an evening.  Your heart and pocketbook will love you for it, and with the full flavor and satisfying feel of my improvised African/Indian lentil concoction, I promise it will not be a sacrifice!

1 1/2 cups dried lentils
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 1/2  cups chicken broth (can use water to make this vegan)
2 onions, chopped 
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 bag baby spinach leaves
1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon cumin
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Saute the onions and garlic with the oil in a large skillet until clear.  Add lentils and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cover, simmering about a half hour until the lentils are almost tender enough to eat.  Add the spinach, tomatoes and spices, continue simmering until the spinach is well wilted and the lentils are done. Serve over white or brown rice. 

Thanks, Uncle Jerry, for the inspiration!

1 comment:

  1. I'll have to try that recipe. I've made lentils before, and they were a hit.