Return of the lentil

cooked-lentils-on-spoon-1200It’s been a while since I posted about my vego/vegan cooking. That doesn’t mean I haven’t been doing it, I’ve just been lazy and haven’t blogged about it. I’ve had a few huge successes, thanks partly to a birthday gift from my BFFs, the Eat Vegan recipe book from the legends at Smith & Daughters. If you’re not in the know, that’s a super-cool hipster vegan joint in Fitzroy. And no, I haven’t gone, because I’m not cool. I’m so far from cool.

So far this year, I’ve made a vegan “beef” bourguignon, Spanish baked beans and a Thai peanut noodle salad, with more to come. I’ve had a few challenges locating the best “fake meat”, though. Through personal choice to limit my consumption of soy-based products (based largely on my limited knowledge of unethical farming practices and tendency to bloat when I eat it), it’s been a bit of a challenge to find good fake meat. I feel that will be an ongoing search. I ask every vego and vegan I ask, and if you have any hints then please let me know.

I had a success with a really simple dish which wasn’t from that recipe book: Spicy lentils and spinach.  As I’ve previously documented, it’s difficult to be spontaneous with a lentil due to the need to soak these bad boys before cooking with them. Well, I sure worked out how to crack that nut, er lentil.

I’m a meal planner. Before I go to the supermarket, I plan my meals for the week based on what I know I’m doing, what I’ve got in the cupboard, fridge and freezer and what I fancy eating. It makes grocery shopping easier, and also means that eating is one less thing to think about. If I put the effort into planning my week’s meals, then by default I make good choices. That’s good for my hips, and good for my budget too. That said, sometimes I mix things up and cook, say, Wednesday’s planned meal on a Monday. I KNOW!!! As a result of that, my lentils sat in the fridge soaking for three days before I cooked them. It made no material difference to the meal I made, so I now plan to have a cup of lentils soaking in the fridge at all times. Cue spontaneous lentil times.

Side note: this vego/vegan thing was inspired by wanting to treat my body better, as well as the planet. I’ll never be fully vegan, but have to say I’m feeling a lot healthier for reducing the animal protein I consume. Between the changes in my diet, reducing the booze and finally getting into a consistent exercise routine, I’ve dropped a couple of kilos since Christmas. My skin is clearer, although I think low stress levels and not being in aircon 24/7 also helps.  This whole healthy lifestyle has something going for it, huh?


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