Wednesday, December 7, 2011
The Lentil Experiment
Mr 3 is the fuss-pot of the family and aside from chicken nuggets and mini-mince & potato balls, his diet is largely that of a vegetarian. I felt it would be important to try and incorporate some additional rich sources of protein into his diet.
Hence, my experimentation with lentils began. I researched into the different varieties of lentils, cooking methods and dishes they can be incorporated into. I decided that the best place to start would be to simply cook a cup of red lentils mainly because I had an un-opened bag of them in the cupboard, and I like to cook on impulse!
I cooked them using the method I outline below and then once they were cool I mixed them into 2 of Noah’s normal favourite meals. Firstly I spread it on toast along with some avocado. I spread the lentils onto just one of the slices of toast, covered the lentils with a layer of avo and then buttered a 2nd slice of toast with avo. I sandwiched the 2 pieces of toast together and cut it into triangles. (Noah’s shape of choice!)
My other Lentil Experiment was to beat a heaped tablespoon of lentils into 2 eggs and a few tablespoons of milk which I fried up to make a plain omelette. On both occasions he didn’t notice the lentils and the plates came back empty! After such excellent results, I plan on making a cupful once a week to add some extra fibre, protein and iron to his diet.
Basic Lentil Puree
I Cup Red Lentils
2 Cups Water
· Place the lentils onto a white surface (such as a white plate or paper towel) so that you can clearly see discoloured and “dirty” lentils. (as Noah called them!)
· Pick over them, carefully removing all the blemished lentils. I did this in a sieve over a white plate. Noah helped me and enjoyed tossing the lentils out the sieve and onto the kitchen counter!
· Rinse the lentils in a sieve under cold water to thoroughly clean them.
· Meanwhile, bring the water to the boil in a pot over high heat.
· Once the water is boiling add the lentils to the bubbling water.
· Bring the pot back up to the boil and once bubbling, lower the heat so the lentils are gently simmering away.
· Stir frequently to prevent the lentils from sticking to the bottom of the pot. If the water becomes absorbed quickly then add more water – a half a cup at a time.
· The lentils should take about 15 to 20 minutes to be cooked to a puree-type consistency.
· Depending on your audience, you could serve it as is. If you’re serving it to a young baby then blend it to achieve a super smooth consistency, without any lumps.
· Makes 2 cups of lentils, which can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
I’m new to the world of lentils, so if you have any lentil recipes that have worked on your kids I’d love to hear them!