PLAYING LENTIL ON MY MIND

“In a study that examined food intake patterns and risk of death from coronary heart disease, researchers followed more than 16,000 middle-aged men in the U.S., Finland, The Netherlands, Italy, former Yugoslavia, Greece and Japan for 25 years. Typical food patterns were: higher consumption of dairy products in Northern Europe; higher consumption of meat in the U.S.; higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and wine in Southern Europe; and higher consumption of cereals, soy products, and fish in Japan. When researchers analyzed this data in relation to the risk of death from heart disease, they found that legumes were associated with a whopping 82% reduction in risk!!”
Please, do yourselves and your bodies the biggest favour and go and read the entire article here:
http://www.squidoo.com/lentils-nutritional-information#module13412603

I’ve found my husband’s request for a red meat-free week quite a challenge. It’s just so easy to throw together a roast with a starch and three veg. When it comes to creating a meal that has the right nutritional balance, things become more complicated. I ruled out the easy option of making soup or stir-fry every day. Likewise, I was not going to go the route of sandwiches. Of special concern for me were: not too much fatty cheese, ensuring that there was enough iron in my meals and making sure that the food was robust enough to prevent hunger between meals.
Lasagne is a perennial favourite in my house and I found that my mixture of lentils and other seasonal vegetables more than substituted for beef. Instead of béchamel sauce I used pureed butternut, and I used feta instead of mozzarella. I was terribly impressed with the result, to the extent that I may never make meat lasagne again.


And, from the sublime to the ridiculous (if not downright sinful?); on this date back in 1953 Cheez Whiz was introduced nationwide by Kraft. Oh dear, some things should simply not be allowed to happen …
(All food history is sourced from foodreference.com)

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69 Comments Add yours

  1. dearrosie says:

    Sounds very tasty Cindy – what a great idea to use butternut squash Can we get the recipe.?

    I’m glad to say although I live in the U S of A, I’ve never had cheese whiz in my fridge.

    1. theonlycin says:

      I will type up the recipe over the weekend, Rosie, I am off to freelance at an ad agency today.

  2. Linda says:

    LOL my husband loves cheez whiz.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Seriously? Is it like a sandwich spread?

      1. Linda says:

        you squirt it out of a can! i love the ease of use but it certainly isn’t the best taste. i don’t eat it much.

      2. theonlycin says:

        It sounds vile 😉

      3. nursemyra says:

        I’ve never had it either and I think I’m very grateful 🙂

      4. theonlycin says:

        Me too, Myra 🙂

  3. sounds very delish, but you do know feta has a very high fat content and mozzy a low fat content?

    cheeze whiz sounds like the stuff you buy in tubes and bottles that looks like sticky orange goo? horrid stuff

    1. theonlycin says:

      Moz would have been the wrong texture with the butternut puree and I used very little feta.

      1. it sounds great, the texture difference was important and you got it right!

  4. Linda says:

    Great article on lentils. I think I might need to get them as liquid in an iv. I have so many health issues. I will make some tomorrow. Thanks for sharing great info with us.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It’s a pleasure, Linda, I’m enjoying chasing down the info 🙂

  5. adeeyoyo says:

    That lasagne looks more than OK, Cin.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Nice healing food, adee 🙂

  6. Tandy says:

    I love the idea of the butternut! Have a super Friday xxx

    1. theonlycin says:

      You too, my friend 🙂

  7. ludditelass says:

    I didn’t know what Cheez Whiz was so I googled it. I looked at the images to get a better sense of it. OMW it looks like toxic sludge coming out of the can. On the same page there was an image of “Batter Blaster” so I had to google that too. Apparently it uses the same principle as canned Cheez Whiz for pancake batter. http://www.needcoffee.com/2007/11/01/batter-blaster/ To modify the saying: There’s nowt so strange as folks and reprocessed foods! PS I’m looking forward to your lentil lasagne recipe.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Batter blaster? Oh my hat! Nice to see you here, Luddy 🙂

  8. souldipper says:

    Oh, that looks fabulous. I love lentils. You are getting closer to my style of eating, Cin. The next step is to replace the pasta with slices of zucchini… Okay, a step at at time. 😉

    Cheese whiz is a sandwhich spread that is full of chemicals so it lasts forever.

    1. souldipper says:

      Ooops – sandwich. *Makes a note to ask if injecting cheese whiz would cut out the need for regular exercise.*

      1. theonlycin says:

        I’m not letting a cheeze whiz syringe anywhere near me!

    2. theonlycin says:

      That’ll take a while, Amy, my man needs his starch 🙂

  9. earlybird says:

    ‘higher consumption of vegetables, legumes, fish, and wine in Southern Europe’ – I bet it was the wine and not the legumes at all really – it’s just politically incorrect to say so! 🙂

    I love lentils. Particularly green ones from le Puy. mmm

    1. theonlycin says:

      Hahahaha, yes … must be the wine 🙂

  10. Other things that shouldn’t be allowed to happen: using crushed crisps as pastry for a pie and putting a packet of brown onion soup into food.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Oh Leon, those are indeed horrible things!

  11. sue chef says:

    It was definitely the wine! 🙂

  12. Tilly Bud says:

    That lasagne sounds divine.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It really was nice, Tilly 🙂

  13. thestonemaidendiaries says:

    Ek gebruik al reeds Jamie Oliver se vegetariese lasagna resep (chickpeas instede van lensies), maar sal baie waardeer as jy so gaaf sou wees om jou resep te plaas.
    Hier in die UK kry ons die lieflikste soya en lensie produkte sommer net so in die supermarkte, dit is nie ‘n stryd hier soos in SA om ordentlike vegetariese produkte in die hande te kry nie. Paul McCartney se oorlede vrou Heather McCartney het die lieflikste reeks vegeatriese produkte voor haar dood vrygestel. Die Mozzarella burgers is so moreish! Ek het altyd van haar produkte in my vrieskas, dit is baie beter as die Quorn trademark s’n.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Seker Linda, Modderkoekie? Is Heather nie die een met die afbeen nie?

      1. thestonemaidendiaries says:

        Hahahaha, good grief hoe kon ek dit so verkeerd kry? Cringeworthy..lol

  14. now you’re talking my kind of lasagna! yum. would luv the recipe. yum. good luck on this no red meat endeavor. sending virtual support your way. hugs.

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thankfully the meatless malarkey is almost over, Doc, is was just a week-long challenge 🙂

  15. Lentils, hmmm… My first memory of lentils is around the age of 10 (maybe) in the form of a soup. Let’s just say the soup DID see the light of day… sometime during the night. (Maybe it was the light of the moon.) I remember thinking – as I got to know the Bible a little better – “…and Esau traded his birthright for a bowl of T-H-A-T!!?? He must have been BLOODY hungry, I’d say!” 😀 😀

    If I’ve ever encountered lentils again in my life then I was certainly not aware of it, so I couldn’t replace that memory. Maybe I should try something with it for myself and form a new memory. How’s that?

    1. theonlycin says:

      You’re funny, Lee! Yes, try it again, maybe in a mild curry ?

    1. theonlycin says:

      Tahnks Fatima 🙂

  16. Now replace the lasagne sheets with spinach ones. Or better yet, use brinjals/ egg plants. That wouls be super awesome. I am now hungry. Xx

    1. theonlycin says:

      Go cook, bokkie 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Ah, Nancy approves 🙂

  17. Yea for vegetables. I need to keep hearing this. I, too, am cutting way down on meat. I’m finding protein sources like Parmesan and other lower fat cheeses, beans, and whole grains, rather than meat and cream. Oh, how I love butter and cream. Tsk. Well, don’t expect me to eliminate these ingredients of delight entirely, but I’m cutting down.

    Your lasagna looks sublime. I always opt for pasta that takes less time, but there is something so worth it about lasagna. Blessings to you, Cindy…

    1. theonlycin says:

      I am dying for a nice steak, Carol 🙂 It has been a long week:)

  18. slpmartin says:

    I’ll wait for the recipe…meatless lasagne?

    1. theonlycin says:

      I know Charlie *shakes head*

  19. gospelwriter says:

    I find myself using lentils more and more as a substitute for meat… Your lasagna does look awfully good, I must try it sometime.

    1. theonlycin says:

      They do present a good case for healthcare, don’t they?

  20. gospelwriter says:

    Oh, and clever title, I forgot to add.

  21. I LOVE lentils. And the pureed butternut is a fabulous tip.
    The photos are good enough to eat….

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks Kate 🙂

  22. libraryscene says:

    Oh my…will wait for you to post this recipe, please…I see this dish coming to fruition (with vegan cheese) next fall. You are fabulously creative ~

    1. theonlycin says:

      Several people have asked for the recipe, I sort of just made it as I went along. I will make it again (as soon as I feel better) and make notes that I will share in a post.

  23. Pseu says:

    I’d love the recipes. I use lentils in the winter as Imake a lentil soup or two, bt haven;t used them much recently and need a nudge:)

    1. theonlycin says:

      *nudge* There you go 🙂

  24. Looks delicious, Cindy! I love all things lentil, in almost every cuisine, so this new way of using them is especially appealing to me!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Strangely enough, Celia, I expected this dish to get a luke-warm reception, so I am really pleased that my friends like is so 🙂

  25. Steffi says:

    This lasagne looks so yummy!I will try it out too.Thank ou for this blog post!

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thank you, Steffi 🙂

  26. WOW, a week of no red meat. I couldn’t do it…. although this does look tasty and filling and oh so yummy. Good job creating this little beauty. 🙂

    1. theonlycin says:

      Thanks, it’s a trial to do the meat-free thing for a week. It’s over now and they’re getting roast sirloin tonight 🙂

  27. Jamie Dedes says:

    Love lentils. Wonderful idea for a creative lasagna.

    1. theonlycin says:

      It truly was a hit, Jamie, will be a staple from now on.

  28. Ah lentils ! so delicious either way: warm in the Indian way (dahl) or cold as a salad with little pieces of smoked salmon or just plenty of herbs. I have marked the article to read it later. Thanks Cindy. I’ll try your lasagna too 🙂

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