Into the Mouths of Children: Red Lentils
I received an incredible amount of feedback from the Brussel Sprouts Post; apparently mothers are very interested in recipes, specifically those that are healthy for the kiddies. I also realized that nutritional education - especially for that of children - is really not such common knowledge...
I was recently at a social gathering where the conversation led to kids and food. When I mentioned the 3 things that I would never let my child consume, my statement of "no coffee, coke, or sugar-free anything", was met with total confusion! Many of us Americans were raised to believe certain things without actually understanding them: that sugar-free was better than sugar (for your teeth!), that coffee was natural (as a drug!) and that soda was created for kids (and a recipe for diabetes!).
I was fortunate enough to grow up with the most nutritionally-educated woman I know: my mother. Unfortunately, I'm not claiming to doing much of what she taught me, but there is something to be said for knowing what is healthy and what is not. It makes for a much better starting-point. :)
My (amazingly knowledgeable) mother is currently working on compiling a life's worth of research into a book. A few months ago, she sent me over a copy to leaf through, and do some editing (unfortunately the editing never quite came to fruition... sorry ma!), but I learned some of the most amazing food-facts ever! I don't want to run off on a tangent here, so I decided to start a little category on kids/health/food: Into the Mouths of Children, and I hope to share some of her wonderfully life-enhancing health insights with you all, every so often...
Here's one of her recipes: a super-easy, super-healthy soup recipe for even the most culinarily inexperienced.
RED LENTIL SOUP:
- 2 Cups of Red Lentils (rinsed)
- 1/2 Onion
- 4 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 2 Carrots
- 1 Handful Fresh Italian Parsley
- 3 teaspoons Salt
- 2 Bay Leaves
- (about) 7 Cups of Water
Give the lentils a good rinse in a colander and let them sit over the sink to drain. Drizzle some olive oil into a pot and let it heat up on a medium flame. Roughly chop the onion and garlic, toss it into the pot to begin sautéing. Roughly chop the celery, carrots, and parsley. Add them to sauté as well. When the onions are nice and translucent, add the lentils, salt, and bay leaves. Add the water, cover the pot halfway with the lid, and after it hits a boil, let it simmer for a little over an hour. Remove the bay leaves, and use a immersion blender to blend it up in the pot. Serve hot. Pine nuts (or pignolis) serve as an excellent garnish - adding a delicious element of earthiness to this wonderfully deep soup.
P.S Freida loooooves this!! And I'm quite sure most children will go for it as well...
You can find red lentils in most grocery stores, by Bob's Red Mill, or Aromatica Organics. You can also buy them by bulk in Whole Foods Markets. Red Lentils contain an impressive amount of iron, fiber, folate and vitamin B¹ - but they are made up mostly of protein, so when serving to children remember that this soup is protein-laden, i.e. a small bowl with some whole wheat toast as croutons or garlic bread is a complete meal!
Enjoy the wholesomeness!!