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Necessity is the Mother of Invention

1.June 2009

My need, in this case, is twofold: One: to get healthy; Two: to lose a little weight. My problem with these projects is also twofold: One: I hate working out; Two: I hate diets. And ‘healthy’ food.

So, in this series I’m going to try to cook healthily (i.e. less pasta, more healthy protein, less cholesterol) within the guidelines of the South Beach Diet, with which I had a lot of success in the past.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This is the only mention of the Diet that I will include (save the occasional Phase notation). My plan is not to write a Diet Blog (Those irritate me and you all don’t need the blow-by-blow of my fight with my thighs.), but rather to share some recipes – some plundered, some invented – that are indistinguishable from Real Food. Wish me luck.

Today:

Lunch: Turkey burgers

-ground turkey
-drizzle of olive oil
-salt, pepper, garlic powder to taste
-smidge of pesto

Smoosh all the ingredients together, form into burger sized balls, squish onto hot griddle and cook until done (juices run clear, golden brown surfaces, internal temp of ca. 165° F).

Dinner: Crock Pot Lentils

-16 oz. bag of dried lentils
-1 carton chicken broth
-1/2 can crushed tomatoes
-1 small yellow onion, diced and browned
-2 cloves garlic, sliced
-salt, pepper to taste
-generous heap of Ras el hanout (thank you, Jamie!)
-smidge of ground cumin
-a few mushrooms, quartered
-also a dash of cinnamon

I searched briefly for a good crock-pot lentil (not soup) recipe, but quickly became bored with samey recipes that included many many ingredients I don’t have on hand. This recipe is very much a “what do I have on hand” invention. I know it really needs some freshening up – celery would do wonders. Carrots would also be nice, but this is a Phase I recipe. I’ll be adjusting liquid and seasoning as it goes, but my goal is to cook it on high for about 5 hours and hope they don’t turn out too soupy. At this moment, they smell disarmingly like the chili my mom made when I was a kid.

I’m going to serve this as a side with some as-yet-undetermined chicken or fish dish. Yes, I need to go to the grocery. Stay tuned for updates.

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