Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Guilt Bowl

I finally went for a basic physical.  It has been years since I had my cholesterol checked.  The doctor asked how I've been eating lately, and I answered honestly that I've been in the mood for fattening foods and salt.  I've also put on a couple of pounds.  It happened suddenly, so I think it's salt related, but I need to go back to my better habits before the lure of holiday temptations kicks in.  Been having steel-cut oats for breakfast, so lunch is the only meal I have to watch.

I am not vegan nor gluten-free, not by a long shot.  However, this recipe is.  I used up the last of two legume jars and tossed a stir-fry on top of it.  Anticipating the need for a dressing, I looked over what little I had in the fridge and decided on a champagne-cilantro combination.  And bought a lime in case it needed help.

So after four days of this, which I'll admit tasted much better on Day 1 than Day 4, I got my tests back.  Not only am I generally healthy, my cholesterol index is in the "excellent" range.  I'm having home-made pasta next week.

*1 C fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tb olive oil
*2 Tb champagne
*2 Tb lemon juice (I never used the lime)
pinch each of salt and white pepper

1.  Place all ingredients in blender.  Pulse until the cilantro breaks down, then run until smooth.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

*1/2 C dry navy beans
*1/2 C dry red lentils

1.  Soak the navy beans for 8 hours.  Drain.

2.  Add a pinch of salt to 3 C water and add navy beans.  Bring to a boil, then simmer beans for 2 hours.  Add lentils and continue to simmer until lentils are done, 15 to 20 minutes.  Drain.

1 lb asparagus
*1/2 C sliced onion
1/2 lb carrots
1 bunch kale
2 Tb olive oil

1.  Trim the tough bottoms off the asparagus and cut into 2" lengths.  Peel the carrots, cut into 2" lengths, and quarter (so they're about the same dimensions as the asparagus).  Slice and quarter about 3 strips off an onion.  Cut the kale off the ribs and chop the leaves into a manageable bite size.

2.  When you put the lentils in the bean pot, add olive oil to a large saucepan.  Heat over medium high and add onion, asparagus, and carrots.  Cook, stirring often, until veggies are bright and onion has begun to soften.  Add kale and a light sprinkle of salt and cook until wilted.  If you have a lid for the pot, that will help to keep the moisture in.

3.  When the veggies are cooked, toss in the dressing until evenly distributed.  There's only half a cup.  The veggies won't be swimming in sauce.  The point of it is a light flavoring, not to drown out the natural flavors.

4.  Serve the beans next to, under, or mixed in with the stir-fry.

Difficulty rating  π

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