Cooking Latin food, Explaining Latin culture and blogging about it all

The Lentil that saved my Life and will save yours

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My journey with the humble lentil began after rowing practice close to 20 years ago. Starving teenager went over to a teammates house, Abuela “grandma in Spanish” Yolanda had made brown mushy pot of lentils with coined hog dogs swimming around in it. To my gringa eyes I didn’t know what to think but my grumbling stomach didn’t care.

From the first bite I was hooked, love of the lentil and first taste. The savory flavor with the filling texture made it my go to food when Yolanda was cooking. Sustaining me during my high school junior year. I forgot about my faithful friend…until I got to college.

Flying 3000 miles away from my childhood home the DC area I went to Washington state to the the tiny town of Pullman. To complete surprise my lentil friend had followed me…literally there was a lentil Festival the first day I arrived as school. I had come to the birthplace of lentils, apparently the Palouse (east Washington State)was the number one producer of lentils in the whole united states. As far as I know they have this lentil festival now. You can see the parade with a man in brown legume costume taking center stage.

Still rowing and starving. I started to look up recipes, the first one I tried was curried lentils, I was in heaven. The best surprise was buying lentils in the store the first time how dirt cheap it was and the quantity I could make. One pot of lentils on Sunday would last till Thursday. My food budget and hunger problems were over.

While in college I studied nutrition as my major and the lentil got even better! Apparently there are 8 amino acids that make up the proteins in our body that we use every day especially for an athlete like I was. The lentil mixed with rice made the perfect combination of 8. Oh and the fiber was through the roof not to mention the folate, magnesium and iron levels. Eating lentils is linked with lower levels of heart disease that I know runs in my family.

Leaving the land of the lentil and moving to Houston, the latin roots of when I met the lentil returned. Dining and many houses in Houston I was served lentils with the original latin recipe. So I searched for the original version that got me hooked and came up with that you see on my blog today. There are many variations of course but the basics remain the same and authentic.  Now teaching nutrition or just meeting someone that just doesn’t have time to cook. I find myself teaching and almost preaching about the lentil that saved my life. I feel like that fisherman that did not give the fish but has taught people how to fish. In this case much cheaper, healthier, and easier. Please try my recipe and let your life be saved too, my journey is not over, let me know what you think?