Monday, September 22, 2014
Celebrating Autumn with Lentils!
Today was the first day of fall! Well, some calendars said it was yesterday, and some say tomorrow. But mine says the equinox was today, so that's what I'm going by.
I have a love-hate relationship with fall. Love the changing leaves and the crisp air. Love pumpkin and Halloween/Samhain. Love my birthday (and all my other Libra friends' birthdays). Love Thanksgiving. Love Black Friday shopping with mom. Love my veganaversary. Love soups and chili and stews.
But I don't love winter. In fact, I HATE winter. I hate dead trees. I hate the cold. I hate the ice storms. I hate layers and coats and boots and basically any article of clothing that isn't a tee-shirt or flip-flops. And fall always feels like a prelude to the winter. But I'm trying hard to look at fall as it's own fabulous season rather than something good than comes before something bad. I just need to live in the now, man.
Anyway, I celebrated the Autumn Equinox (or Mabon in the Earth religions) with a lovely dinner of Autumn Lentils with Sweet Potatoes and Kale and Pita Bread.
In keeping with my Mofo Pantry Raid theme, most of the ingredients in this dish — except for the fresh sweet potato, kale, and cilantro — came from my pantry or freezer. I had some leftover pita bread in my freezer. And a couple months back, the fine folks at Pereg Gourmet Natural Foods sent me several of their dried beans and legumes to sample and review. When I saw this bag of Pereg Autumn Blend Heirloom Lentils, I knew I'd be saving this for the first day of fall.
The mix is made with brown lentils, yellow petit peas, split orange lentils, and yellow split peas. It looks just gorgeous in the bag, like changing leaves on a tree in autumn. And they cooked up great! I loved how the brown lentils stayed firm and the split peas and orange lentils did that mushy thing that red lentils do. I got the recipe — a simple dish made with seasonal produce, cumin, and allspice — from the back of the lentil bag. But it's also here on the Pereg website. Not in the recipe, but I added sliced jalapenos to mine while cooking for a little spice.
The recipe says to serve with pita and raw veggies. So I chose to serve it Egyptian ful-style with raw tomato and onion. I spread the pita bread with Viana Onion Butter and dipped it into the lentil dish.
Hope you have a lovely autumn! I'm gonna try to live in the present and enjoy it.