Healthy Fare for Kids

Thoughts


Hearty Exotic Lentils

Whether it's the cold wind blowing from the north this week or the vacuum felt as my warm old friend summer steps away, I find myself seeking comfort in recently purchased but forgotten cookbooks. Inspiration: that's what I seek! So too, distraction from the sudden change in temperature; it calms my soul. So, I search in a basket where those cookbooks live in my kitchen and it is here where I find my newest comfort: lentils! As well, I find two great recipes in The Mozza Cookbook by Nancy Silverton and Turkey –More Than 100 Recipes With Tales From The Road by Leanne Kitchen – (referring to Turkey the country, not the bird).

The earthiness of the Turkish soul, expressed through its food, captivates my raw, chilled being. Lentils cooked in a thousand different forms, disk-shaped flatbread dough cooking atop wood-fired ovens, charred eggplants transformed into "mezes" or small bites, a dizzying amount of varied seafood and honey from the Van area sounding so exotically delicious that I am ready to dive into a vat. Even though, unfortunately, I dislike its flavor (honey tastes like whiskey to me thanks to my dad's whiskey-soaked-cotton-ball remedy for a sore tooth suffered as a kid). As I read about the friendly and inviting personalities of the Turkish people and try out the recipes, savoring the new flavors, I feel my soul nourished.  

Transforming into a lentil-ivore, I'm featuring a dish from Chef Silverton that is outstandingly easy and delicious and can be served as a side dish or main part of the meal. From Chef Kitchen's book, I've chosen a lentil and meatboal soup recipe that captures Turkish flavors with allspice and cinnamon. I hope the heartiness of these dishes transports you through the chillier days ahead. Afiyet olsun!



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