Lentejas, por favor!

I studied in Spain for a semester when I was a youngling, and while there I lived with a wonderful Spanish couple named Trini and Pepe. Trini would often come into the room I shared with my American roommate and ask us, “Que quereis comer??” There was only one thing Trini made that we didn’t want to eat–cold hard boiled eggs stuffed with tuna and dropped in marinara sauce–but otherwise we loved all her food, so this was always a hard question.

Trini, Pepe, their son, and all of my many Dutch and American hostsiblings, gathered around the table after another spectacular Spanish meal.scan0079

Trini made flawless paella with squid and gambas the size of your hand, on Tuesday afternoons, as if it was no big deal. She would serve huge platters of golden, whole fried anchovies with lemon as an appetizer. Pepe owned a bakery and would make us homemade flan, serving only the perfect ones that slid onto the plate without cracking, and cakes made with chocolate and butter and nuts and three kinds of alcohol.

Trini and Pepe’s talents were not limited to the kitchen.scan0073

In other words, it was a food paradise, but one of the most-requested dishes in the house was also one of the humblest: lentejas con chorizo. A bowl of lentil soup with a chunk of Pepe’s crusty white bread just always seemed to hit the spot.

So, when I found out that lentils (as long as they are properly soaked overnight) are SCD-legal, I immediately thought about Trini’s lentejas. This version is not super authentic, since I can never seem to find real Spanish chorizo and since I substitute carrots for potatoes and American bacon for a Spanish cured ham, but it’s satisfying, nutritious, easy to make, and reminiscent of Andalucia all the same.

This is all you will need, plus some spices (and the lentils of course!). p1000684

Saute your bacon with peppers and onions. Remove bacon when it’s done and set aside. p1000686

Add in other veggies and sausage and cook until all the veggies are soft.p1000688

Now add in the chicken stock and lentils, bring to a boil and reduce down to a simmer.p1000689

Cook until lentils are soft. Taste and adjust seasoning, and serve!p1000691

Sopa de Lentejas Ingredients (serves 4-6)

  • 1 cup dried brown lentils, soaked overnight, drained, and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2-3 cups homemade chicken stock
  • 2-3 pieces bacon
  • 3 links smoked sausage, sliced (check ingredients to see if it is SCD legal; I used a smoked chicken apple sausage)
  • 3 small tomatoes, chopped
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • The night before you want to make this, place lentils in a stockpot with enough water to generously cover them. Bring the water to a boil, then turn the heat off, cover, and leave to soak overnight. When you are ready to cook them, strain them, discard the soaking water, and rinse with fresh water.
  • Cook bacon in large stockpot until starting to brown. Add in olive oil, bell peppers, and onions and cook over medium heat until soft.
  • Remove bacon and set aside. Add in tomatoes, carrots, garlic, and sausage, and cook about 5 more minutes, until vegetables are mostly soft and tomatoes have started breaking down. Chop up bacon and add back into the pot.
  • Add in the soaked, drained, and rinsed lentils and enough chicken stock to cover them by 1-2 inches. Bring to a boil. Then reduce heat and let simmer about 45 minutes, until lentils are very soft and much of the liquid has reduced. Taste and adjust seasoning.
Advertisements

Creamy Carrot Puree

I paired my meatloaf with a carrot puree. I got the inspiration from Nom Nom Paleo’s Cauliflower and Carrot Puree. I love me some cauliflower fauxtatoes, but cauliflower, broccoli, and members of the cabbage family can be harder to digest than other veggies. Soft cooked, pureed veggies are easy to digest, and cooked carrots are especially belly friendly. So I decided to leave out the cauliflower and tweak the recipe a bit.

But forget about your bellies and let’s focus on your tastebuds. This puree is rich, creamy, and decadent tasting. It’s full of nutrients. It can be prepared in a single pot. The carrots make this side dish sweet and earthy, while the yogurt adds a pleasing tang. And to be honest, I would rather eat this than mashed potatoes any day of the week. Even on Thanksgiving. Chris, who doesn’t even like carrots that much, asked for seconds!

Chop your veggies and get out your butter and chicken stock first. Image

Throw that all in a pot.

Image

When everything is cooked and soft, remove from heat and plop the yogurt on top.

Image

Blend away!

Image

YUM.

Image

Carrot Puree Ingredients (3-4 servings)

  • ½ large onion, cut into large dice
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8-10 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • ½ cup chicken stock (homemade bone broth, if you have it)
  • 3 tablespoons goat or cow milk butter
  • ½ cup plain strained yogurt
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Method

  • Heat a stockpot over medium high heat and add the butter. I used goat butter because it’s extra delicious (don’t tell Chris! He hates goat everything!), but cow milk butter would work as well.
  • Add all the chopped vegetables and the chicken stock to the melted butter.
  • Once the liquid boils, cover and turn heat down to low. Simmer 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very soft. Check on them occasionally to make sure the pan is not dry. Ideally by the end of the cooking time the stock would be reduced almost to a glaze, but there would be no burnt spots on your veggies.
  • Remove from heat.
  • Add in strained yogurt and process with immersion blender until smooth. Please note: If you add in the yogurt when the vegetables are still very hot or reheat leftover puree, you will kill off most of the beneficial bacteria; but, since the lactose in the yogurt should have already been digested by the bacteria, this is still preferable to using other dairy products. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

Voila. You have a simple, nutrient-dense, comforting dinner. You could feed this to your family and to your friends who don’t even know or care what SCD is. They’ll be happy, full, and everyone’s tastebuds AND tummies will thank you!