Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Lentils: The New Meat

My husband is changing jobs at the beginning of the year and we are going to have to economize. Every week I am trying to do something newly frugal, and this week I decided to tackle lentils. Lentils are a staple in a Greek diet but I had never really given them a chance. Turns out, lentils are legumes that are 26% protein and high in iron. This is a nice alternative to meats, especially when there's a drought in the meat-on-sale department. At Wal-Mart, a 1 lb. bag of lentils costs $.92. I made lentil soup, or soupa faki in Greek, using only 1 cup of lentils, or half the bag. The whole meal costs less than a dollar and is pretty filling! Here is the recipe:

1 cup lentils
1 quart water
3-5 large fresh carrots, chopped
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsps. salt
oregano to taste
pepper to taste

Wash lentils in a strainer under cold water. Check for tiny pebbles and sticks. Set aside. Cut carrots and onions. Set aside. Bring water to a boil in a medium soup pot and add all ingredients except salt. Bring to a boil again, then reduce and simmer for 2 hours. If soup begins to thicken too much for your taste, add water. Add salt in the last ten minutes of cooking time. Serve with feta cheese, fresh bread, and kalamata olives, and a glass of wine for a true Greek meal.

Voila! You have a nutrient-rich meal for not a lot of money!

1 comment:

Southern Belle said...

What a neat idea! We're gonna have to try a "Greek Night"... well minus the wine :-) Sounds really yummy!!