When I was looking to lose weight at the end of last year, I did an internet search of the "Top Ten Weight Loss Secrets" outside the obvious diet & exercise (which works wonders by the way) and believe it or not, the top ten returns of the "Top Ten" were as varied as the ads which were displayed on them; that is to say, out of 100 "Industry Secrets" 90% of them only appeared on one list. To me, this spoke volumes about their effectiveness.
There was however, one item which traversed all ten, and that told me something as well - The only secret which was on all ten "Top Ten" lists...was lentils.
My wife has a glass jar colorfully filled with various lentils: Brown, Green, Black, Yellow and Red (usually mixed with mung beans) and she'll occasionally dump a portion of this mixture into the crock pot, add quinoa (a protein superfood) and create a simple-to-make-yet-exotic-tasting Thai or Indian stew. Not only does this taste fantastic, its also a complete well-balanced meal within itself - fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamins and amino acids. But since discovering its supposedly "TOP TEN TOP TEN" good for you, I've decided to branch out a little bit with lentil-mixture creations since I already enjoy them so much.
Every time my wife has made them, its been in a sub-continent dish. I asked her to make a mess of them instead with an Italian flair! Instead of crocking them with curry and garam marsala, how about oregano and basil and garlic? Cooked in tomato-base instead of water and garnished with crispy French bread and Parmesan cheese? It was fantastic! Add a little whole-wheat pasta to make it go further and give it a little more authentic texture if you so desire.
Next up? I want to try my hand at a play off Spanish Rice using Tex-Mex spices. Maybe even throw in a little ground buffalo or angus. I can almost taste it now, chili powder, fresh cilantro, jalapenos and diced onion served with a mix of chedddar & white queso cheeses with a whole wheat tortilla on the side.
After that, maybe "chili."
I've always enjoyed lentils, but knowing what I now know + mad cooking skillz = BAM!