Beans and lentils

Old 01-14-2011, 05:19 AM
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Question Beans and lentils

One of the tweaks I'd like to make to my diet is to add at least one serving per day of beans or lentils. I've been reading up on all the nutritional, health, and weight loss benefits, and I'm sold, but the problem is, I'm an extremely picky eater, and I don't like the texture of beans. I've made some progress, and will eat black beans on a southwestern salad especially when mixed with corn, and I'll eat humus and refried beans in the proper context. I can't deal with beans in soup, but then I'm not a big soup eater. Lentils are a complete unknown for me.

I'm looking for ideas on great and appealing ways to fix beans so that I will look forward to seeing them on my plate. What are some of your favorite ways to eat beans or lentils?
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Old 01-14-2011, 08:36 PM
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I think that's great! Lentils and Red Kidney Beans are some of the tops. Other than soups and salads, beans can be made into nice, hearty, burgers. I like the ones with black beans. There are tons on the internet like this one: http://http://www.foodnetwork.com/re...ipe/index.html

But, when you say you're a picky eater, how picky are you, really? For some people, it can be a real problem. I've heard that there are psychologists that work with picky eaters to help them at least first "accept" new flavors / textures of food.

Good Luck.
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Old 01-17-2011, 12:24 AM
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How picky am I? Well that's hard to answer. I'm a lot less picky than I used to be, and have actively worked at expanding my palate to include new vegetables. I find that it helps to start off adding something new to something I already like. I'm a big fan of stirfry, so that is where I introduced zucchini and asparagus. I also found that while I don't like broccoli because of the texture of the florets, I really enjoy adding broccoli slaw to stirfry. I got myself to eat black beans by adding them to southwestern salads, tacos, and other Mexican dishes.

It seems like beans and lentils would be much easier to incorporate if I were a soup lover, but sadly I'm not. The only soups I really enjoy are tomato based.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:16 PM
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Oh man, if you were around my place...

My granddaughter is allergic to tomatoes, so we make up a red lentil mixture in place of tomato sauce on pizza, lasagna and chili. Usually I just do it by hit and miss.

I think the ratio was 1/3 cup of red lentils to 1 cup water. Simmer this until tender.
In another pan, saute 1/2 onion, 2 or 3 medium mushrooms, and a chopped garlic clove. You could use more, but I have a garlic sensitivity in the house. Once these are tender, I add italian spices. Fresh is nice, but not always on hand. Chili powder can give it a little more of a red appearance.

For pizza or lasagna, I give all of this a whirl in the blender to give the texture of sauce.

Unfortunately, this does not pass the texture test for my son, so you may not like it.

I will dig up my Sweet Potato Chili recipe for you and post it later.
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Old 01-18-2011, 07:18 PM
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Simple search and I found it.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Chili

2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small zucchini, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp chili powder
2 tsp ground cumin
1 ˝ cups water
1 – 14 oz can black beans, rinsed
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 tsp fresh lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped

Heat oil in saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion, sweet potato, and zucchini; cook stirring often, until onion is slightly softened, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper, garlic, chili, and cumin; cook, stirring constantly for 30 seconds.
Add water, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cover and simmer until sweet potato is tender, 10-12 minutes.
Add beans, tomatoes and lime juice; increase to high and return to a strong simmer, stirring often. Reduce heat to maintain a slight boil and cook 5 additional minutes. Remove from heat and toss in cilantro. Serves 2-3

I skip the tomatoes so my granddaughter can eat this and it is just as good.
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Old 01-18-2011, 11:19 PM
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A favorite lentil dish I used to get at a Greek restaurant. They just cooked the lentils in some water with some salt and probably some other seasonings. Put a ladle full of cooked lentils in bowl, top with a dollop of plain yogurt, sauted onions, chopped tomatoes and chopped cucumbers. Yum!
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Old 01-19-2011, 11:17 PM
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oooh, sounds good. I got a seed sprouted for Christmas and I started some lentils over the weekend. For the past two nights I've been incorporating lentil sprouts at dinner time. Seems the lentils absorb other flavors very nicely, and I'm finding them to be quite tasty. I look forward to more experimenting.

Thanks for the responses!
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Old 01-20-2011, 02:40 AM
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You said that you like stir-fry. So take some garbanzo beans, for example, that are canned. Drain them, add them to some nice garlicky stir-fry and you have added beans to your diet. Garbanzos are pretty firm, which makes them a good addition to a stir-fry. Make it Asian and eat it with some brown rice. Lots of fiber there.
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