Way back during Vegan Mofo, I was the lucky winner of a giveaway of dried legumes from the Pacific Northwest Farmer's Co-op. But these dried legumes are so fresh (I know that sounds like a contradiction, but stay with me here), PNW actually had to wait for their harvest to send me my prizes. When huge, 2-pound cloth bags of Spanish Pardina Brown Lentils, Green Split Peas, and Pedrosillano Cafe Garbanzo Beans finally arrived, I knew these legumes were worth the wait.
I wasn't sure which variety to try first ... until I came across the Lentil and Bacon Pot O' Stew in Hearty Vegan Meals for Monster Appetites:
This thick stew combines tender brown lentils, homemade tempeh bacon, shallots, leeks, carrots, and garlic. The smoky bacon pairs so perfectly with the lentils. I've never met a tempeh bacon recipe I didn't love, but Celine and Joni's is especially awesome. It has sesame oil it, along with Liquid Smoke. And dude, those shallots and leeks really took this dish to a special place. I always forget how much I love cooked leeks since I rarely ever buy them. Celine and Joni are geniuses!
Also, these PNW lentils seemed much tastier than the kind I typically buy in the grocery store. I guess freshness really does make a difference, even in dried foods.
If you haven't entered my Valentine's Day giveaway for a $25 Allison's Gourmet gift certificate, do so here. The contest is open until Thursday evening.