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.


Kim said...

Aww! I love Autumn, I have seen it as its own wonderful season ever since we moved to Arkansas when I was a kid. Living on the East Coast now as an adult I love it even more.
The lentils look great and easy to make. I think curried lentils are my hands down go to Autumn dish.

Thanks for sharing with us!

Anonymous said...

I love winter but up north we get tons of snow and my birthday is in it so I do have lots to appreciate about it. Ice storms though - yikes!- we don't really get those. Love how you celebrate Mabon, now bring on Samhain!

Renard Moreau said...

[ Smiles ] A Happy Autumn to you and to all of your beloved readers.

Do keep those fabulous vegan recipes coming!

foodfeud said...

Happy Fall to you! Such a pretty, fitting (and filling!) meal. I love the season and welcome it with open arms. Just think about all the awesome warm drinks you can have.

kzcakes said...

Aww, I love the winter! I used to hate it so much growing up, but now, I love my assortment of vegan winter coats, vegan boots, colored socks, so many hats, scarves, gloves... Also I love gingerbread. Being snowed in is also awesome, but there's something charming about walking to work in a blizzard. I always enjoy music more in the winter. I totally did a 180 on how I feel about winter. haha I hope you find some joy in the season, and find something adorably fashionable and vegan to keep warm this winter <33