How to love your lentils (sshh: bacon)

Carla Paton

I could have entitled this, “How to love your brussel sprouts” but that just didn’t have the same ring to it. But it is the brussel sprouts that make the dish.

As a kid, I abhorred brussel sprouts. My mom would steam them whole and plain and then maybe add some butter. They were bitter and well, too chewy for the patience of this kid.

Then about a year ago, when looking for some new ways to do veggies, I came across a frozen mix of brussel sprouts with bacon. Wow! Everyone in the house loved them! The only issue is the bag is too small. It serves 2 people, maybe. So lately, I have been making my own:

I cut the brussel sprouts in half, and saute in olive oil with chopped onion and bacon pieces. For my taste, I cook them on medium high for about 8 minutes. You can spice it as you like, but I like to add some chipolte seasoning and curry. I also usually add some chicken or beef stock to add flavor and keep them from burning.

The funny thing is, I HATE bacon. I hate the smell when anyone is cooking it and have to open windows and turn the stove fan on high. And I hate the lard on my fingers when I have to touch it. Nasty.

But there is something about cooking brussel sprouts with bacon that offsets their bitterness.

Luckily, my local grocery store now packages fresh halved brussel sprouts with bacon pieces so I don’t have to touch the bacon! I just throw it all in the sauce pan. This extra packaging is an expense that I don’t mind paying in this case, and it gets me eating more vegetables.

Note: This dish can easily be made vegan by omitting the bacon and any meat stock.

Hey, what about the lentils?

I buy dried lentils. The package says you don’t need to soak them, but I usually do for a few hours. When cooking, I add some bay leaves, chopped and dried onions, and garlic powder.

As you can see from the picture, I eat them together with the vegetables. They make a great compliment for each other. I have included their many amazing properties at the end of this story.

Lentils are a staple in Indian food. One of my favorite Indian cookbooks is, Six Spices: A Simple Concept of Indian Cooking.

This story has inspired me again to cook one of the dishes from the book. I’ll report back my results. Meanwhile, enjoy your lentils!

Lentils Nutrition Overview
Lentils are high in fiber, and complex carbohydrates, while low in fat and calories. Their high protein content makes lentils a perfect option for those looking to boost their protein intake. They are naturally gluten-free, making them a delicious staple in a gluten-free kitchen. Their exceptionally low glycemic index (low GI) values and resistant starch content make them suitable for a diabetic diet.
http://www.lentils.org/health-nutrition/nutritional-information/

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