I will admit, I wanted to do something easy this week. Lentils are always a good choice for that. When I ran into a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens for Mediterranean Lentils, I was intrigued. Vegetarian, cold, and healthy. Perfect for Summer, and of course, easy. What was interesting was that the stats online were not the stats I calculated. All of the ingredients are pretty low calorie. I want to make this into a meal.
One thing of note. My mom, who reads this blog every week, said to talk a bit about why we substitute the tomatoes out of the recipes. There are two reasons: one Tony gets canker sores from eating them and they make a bladder condition I have worse. The condition I have is called interstitial cystitis. It is more painful when I eat certain foods and drink certain liquids. Tomatoes cause some of the worst pain for me. There is no cure for this condition, so I do everything I can to mitigate the pain. So that’s the scoop on why we don’t cook with tomatoes.
This recipe does use fresh tomatoes, so that will be removed. But for the rest of the ingredients, there needs to be more veggies added as well as some protein. Here are the original stats.
Here’s what I changed:
- I removed the added salt to reduce the sodium
- I removed the tomato and replaced with chopped red bell pepper.
- I replaced the packaged lentils with dry lentils to reduce the sodium.
- I added a block of firm tofu to add protein. I will marinate this for extra flavor.
- I replaced the canned artichokes with frozen artichokes to reduce the sodium.
- I replaced the feta with a vegan variety to remove the dairy
Here are the final stats:
Here is the final recipe:
- 12 ounce package of frozen artichoke hearts, thawed
- 1.5 cups of dry brown lentils
- 1 cup snipped fresh parsley
- 1 ½ cups thinly sliced and halved English cucumber pieces
- 3 large red bell peppers, chopped
- 14 ounce block of firm tofu
- 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Ground black pepper
Drain the tofu add to a bowl. Mix the lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Italian seasoning, pepper and olive oil and pour over the tofu. Marinate for 30 minutes. Cut into cubes and reserve the marinating liquid.
Bring three cups of water to a boil and add the lentils. Cover and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the lentil and cool to room temperature.
Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and mix. Add in the extra marinade and mix.