I start each day with either a cup of a lentil dish (a.k.a. dahl) or a bean dish, a cup of brown rice drizzled with EFAís (essential fatty acids ) like hemp or flax oil and two raw carrots. This is a great breakfast. Both the beans and the rice support stable blood sugar. That means I feel good and ready to go all morning.
A lentil dish also helps me meet the greatest dietary challenge I face each day in reaching the 1 to 1.5 pounds of fruits and vegetables that are optimal to prevent most cancers. I aim for one pound of vegetables, which means I need at least five ounces at each of my three meals. The lentil/bean dish ends up providing 2.5 ounces of vegetables and the carrots typically add another 3.5 ounces. That adds up to six ounces. With breakfast Iím well on my way to reaching my vegetable goal.
I pre-prepare the lentil dish and divide it into single servings and freeze. I do the same for the rice. This makes it real easy in the morning. Rice gets one minute on high in the microwave and lentils get two minutes on high. While the lentils are warming up I add about a teaspoon of oil to the rice and some Spike (a salt seasoning blend).
The best thing about this whole arrangement is that the lentil and bean dish can be made with any vegetable. Think about the possibilities in waste reduction. I cook the dish about once every ten days and it gives me an opportunity to use up any of the sadder looking vegetables in my fridge. Before I started making this dish I was always throwing out vegetables that I never got around to eating. Now, the old stuff is used up before it goes bad.
Recipe makes 12 servings. Calories range from 150 to 250 calories per serving depending on ingredients.
2 cups dry lentils or beans
¼ to ½ cup sunflower seeds
5 to 6 cups of vegetables (more if you are using leafy things). Thatís 1.5 to 2 pounds.
¾ pound sliced carrots
1 large onion
1 or 2 zucchini
1.5 t ground curry powder
½ t ground cardamon
1 t ground turmeric
1 t ground ginger or 1 T fresh minced ginger
1 t ground pepper
1.5 t salt
Soak the lentils or beans overnight.
Add the water to the pot. If you want a drier dish that can be served on a plate (good for potlucks) then just use enough water to cover the soaked legumes. If you want a true soup then add a few more cups of water. In addition, you can always add more water when everything is cooked to get a good consistency.
Finally, add all the vegetables and spices to the pot and cook until the lentils/beans are soft. This takes 3 to 4 minutes (for lentils) or 6 to 8 minutes (most beans) in a pressure cooker. If you don't have time to soak the lentils then add more water and cook for 6-7 minutes in a pressure cooker.
The amounts of spices can be varied tremendously. The spices in the recipe above are more like a traditional dahl or curry. Sometimes I just use the salt and pepper.
Other options to replace the sunflower seeds are pumpkin seeds or flax seeds. Flax seeds can get a little slimy, so start with only ¼ cup at most.