For the last ten days I have been forced to think about something that I have forever taken for granted. Do I live to eat, or eat to live? I've always considered food to be one of my creative outlets, and as I prepare dinner tonight, I wonder if I can last six months with my recently-fitted retainer. I know I shouldn't complain. We have more blessings than we can count and I opted-in for the invisalign journey that will straighten my teeth after decades of neglect to my own dental health, but right now, in this moment, and ever meal since last week, I am miserable every time I stop and evaluate the discomfort, pain and frustration of every bite.
There has been plenty of soup, and I have even considered "juicing". I'm not going to quit on this, after all, six months will fly by, especially once we have a new born in the house, but I am delving further into my self-control than I ever needed to as a WeightWatcher.
My wife is a genius, both in and out of the kitchen, but just one of the many reasons we work so well, is her love for the culinary arts. She backs away from the stove sometimes as she claims my love for cooking surpasses hers, I'd argue that my love for cooking is fueled by the chance to cook for her. When it comes to Indian cooking, baking or salads, I am no match to her expertise. Seeing my frustration, Mrs. American Bite brainstormed alongside me to think of soft and flavorful dishes that we could both enjoy – sacrificing not on pleasure of flavor – and this dish, a vegan herby lentil salad, was born.
Lentils are a protein-rich favorite that I often forget about, and there is so much more you can do with lentils other than make lentil soup. Try this dish, whether or not you've had dental work, and it will put a smile on your face, no matter how miserable you feel.
Vegan Herb Lentil Salad – Serve Hot or Cold
You will need the following ingredients:
- 1 can cooked green lentils, drained
- 2 leeks
- 1/2 yellow onion
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons dried rosemary
- salt, pepper and garlic powder, to taste
- can of diced black olives
- olive oil
Dice your leeks and onion and put them in a skillet with olive oil and allow them to sweat. Cook them for about eight minutes before adding the cilantro, then cover and allow to cook on a low heat for another ten minutes. Then add the lentils and remaining ingredients and cook until warm.
Remove from the skillet and keep warm until you serve, or refrigerate in an air-tight container.
This dish is simple, protein rich, and although we intended it as a side dish, we enjoyed it with a simple lettuce salad the following day. You could also serve it over fluffy basmati rice as a meatless meal at any time or just take your time savoring the flavors in each bite. Consider this my new comfort food, what is yours?