Well hello there world, it’s Day 6 of my super duper cleanse and I feel GREAT. Which is totally a lie. I feel okay. I feel like I need some cheese in my life, and I wouldn’t kick a gluten-free cookie out of my bed. Pair that cookie with a margarita and it’s go time.
But I digress.
Unlike my husband (ahem, granola) I’ve been totally compliant up in our quest to eat dairy-free, sugar-free, alcohol-free, and of course, gluten-free; and have enjoyed some great meals as a result. I am getting used to this style of healthy eating, and truly realizing that this should be how I usually eat, with some of the less healthy stuff thrown in a few times a week. I’d been doing it the other way like, “Look at me! It’s Wednesday and that means it’s time for quinoa and kale!” So this is a good thing. I would, however, love a Flying Dutchman from In ‘N’ Out. Just throwing it out there.
In addition to roasting a chicken with pine nut and rice stuffing, grilling some delicious brussels sprouts, and eating all the almonds my body can handle (seriously, are these things poisonous in large doses? I need to know), I’ve enjoyed these three dishes you see in triptych. The rip off of Cafe Gratitude in the first pic I’ve written about before. We substituted garbanzo beans this time which gave it a nice new texture. The lentil soup (recipe below) was paired with polenta and sweet potato crostini, and my final fave dish was the very simple rice and beans with avocado. Yum, all of it.
I especially love the lentil soup and polenta crostini meal, as it is adapted from Frankies 457, where the hubs and I used to dine all the time — including for our rehearsal dinner — and I thought all that pasta would mean I would never enjoy a Frankies-esque meal after being diagnosed with celiac. These two dishes bring me right back to Brooklyn under the F train. Which is a good thing, in case that is not clear. I mean, not everyone wants to be dining near the F train. In fact, probably most of you don’t. I, however, miss the crap out of that place.
So one more week! With the aforementioned Halloween/sister-in-law birthday/random kid party exceptions thrown in. Which I’m so totally counting on.
Here’s how to make some good dairy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free food.
The Franks make this “Lentil Soup with Smoked Bacon” with — obviously — smoked bacon. I took that out for this week, but you can add it back into the recipe for bacon-y goodness by cutting a piece of bacon into small pieces, and cooking over medium heat in a Dutch Oven. You would do this before putting in the vegetables, and cut out the olive oil I used to brown the garlic, onion, et al.
2 cups lentils
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1 plump clove of garlic, thinly sliced
8 cups vegetable broth or water
1 bay leaf
Sea salt and pepper
1. Soak your lentils from 1 hour to 8 hours (this is a matter of taste, not a necessity). Rinse your lentils, and look for any debris to remove.
2. Heat olive oil in Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic and saute until onion is golden and vegetables are soft — 12 to 15 minutes.
3. Add the lentils, bay leaf and vegetable broth and bring pot to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy.
5. Discard the bay leaf. Before serving add salt and top with fresh black pepper when serving.
Makes: 6 servings