Talk about serendipity! While doing a bit of household olympics (aka cleaning) today, I was plagued with thoughts of dinner. I needed something new, something nutritious, something other than my lover Mister Cinnamon Roll who I was convinced should take a back seat tonight. Then, the skies parted and an angel descended from above as glorious harp music played. As her white robe fluttered uncomfortably close to the ceiling fan, she said to me, “Holy Batman! Look over there!” I turned to where she pointed and spotted an old vegetarian cookbook I had bought at a thrift store yeeeeeears ago. That’s when I knew my prayers had been answered.
Ok, so it wasn’t so majestic, but as I dusted the DVR (yes, dusted the DVR, you think I’m lying when I say I am a perfectionist with a slight case of A.D.D.?), I spotted the old book and like a bolt of lightening, the cooking bug attacked. I ran off to the market and was on a mission! By the way, does anyone out there still use cooking “books” or do you all get you recipes from online these days?
From the book The New Vegetarian Cookbook by Roz Denny (1995):
Lentil Bolognese (*edited slightly to my taste*)
- Onion, one large white, chopped — 63 calories, 0.2 g fat, 2.1 g fiber, 1.4 g protein
- Garlic, 2 cloves – 9 calories, 0 g fat, 0.1 g fiber, 0.4 g protein
- Carrots, raw, 2 medium, chopped – 50 calories, 0.2g fat, 3.4g fiber, 1.1 g protein
- Celery, raw, 2 stalks, large (11″-12″ long) – 17 calories, 0.2g fat, 2 g fiber, 0.9 g protein
- Olive Oil, 0.5 tbsp – 59.5 calories, 6.75g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein
- Lentils, 2/3 cup (raw) – 454, 1.4g fat, 39.2g fiber, 33.2g protein
- Diced Tomatoes, 1 can – 90 calories, 0 g fat, 3 g fiber, 3 g protein
- Vegetable Broth, 2 cups (I used one 14 oz can) – 30 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g fiber, 0 g protein
- Marjoram, dried, 1 tsp
- In a large sauce pan, gently “fry” the onion, garlic, carrots and celery in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until they are soft.
- Add the lentils, tomatoes, broth and marjoram
- Bring the mixture to boil then partially cover with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until thick and soft.
- Above is how it looks when cooked.
- Nutritional information for entire dish (4.5 cups): 772.50 calories, 8.57g fat, 49.8g fiber, 40g protein
- Per 1/2 cup serving (9 servings): 85.83 calories, 0.95g fat, 5.53 g fiber, 4.44g protein
I ate it with this Heartland whole wheat pasta cooked according to the directions:
1 cup dry has 210 calories, 1.5 g fat, 5 g fiber, 7 g protein
Over a bed of herb salad mix, I added 2/3 cup cooked whole wheat pasta and 2/3 cup lentil bolognese with a side of home-made salsa for this beauty:
Sides included brown rice with peas and corn
and red potatoes cooked only with Pam, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper
Talk about a healthy feast! I absolutely, whole-stomach-ly recommend the lentil dish.
Cooking has become a very important part of my developing a healthy relationship with food and also a very important tool in managing the nutritional content of things I put into my body. The pros are vast and would take too long to list. The cons are that sometimes it’s time consuming, the foods don’t always come out tasting great (see vegan cookie debacle here) and sometimes you just want to sit down and be pampered after a long day instead of standing, measuring, chopping, etc. So, does anyone want to sign up to be my personal healthy-food-only chef? I’ll pay you with cheesy renditions of your favorite love songs (or your old school hip hop favorites if it’s a laugh you’re after) and lessons in how to perfect the most unattractive laugh known to man…
If you’re new to the whole cooking in the kitchen deal – yikes, read my beginner’s guide here.
Developing (or further refining) my relationship with food reminds me of this:
Like those ravenous sharks from Finding Nemo, I have to remind myself that certain triggers and cravings are really to be avoided (by the way, think the person who thought up the line “fish are friends, not food” was a vegetarian?). It almost does feel like I’m going against nature in having to be so restrictive at times. I know it’s all about moderation and a healthy balance (this is what I preach on here all the time!), but sometimes it’s just easier written than practiced. Do you ever find it hard to find that balance between eating right and eating what you want or how much of what you want? Any tips?
I’m not gonna lie…I did throw a pity party today and, no, you were not invited. It was a bitter, party-of-one type…
“Hi, I’m Annabel and very cranky today! Feed me!”
I could delve into why the blues might’ve hit, but it’s pretty pointless. I’m one of those “repress” my troubles sort of people. For better or worse.
What do you do when you’re feeling blue? Are you a “let’s talk about it” person or a “let’s sweep it under the rug” type or what?
Despite a case of the pity party, I still managed to get in a 3-mile run and ate about 1800 calories (300 more than I wanted to, but can you blame me for indulging in all those home-made fortifying foods?).
What’s your relationship like with the kitchen and/or cooking in general? Friends, foes, secret lovers, sporadic flings?
- The Cranky One