Tag Archives: Lentils

Italian Lentil Sprouts – Sprouting 102 and Chronic Epstein Barr

I have chronic Epstein barr virus.  It used to be a real inconvenience, but, it’s not so much anymore, usually.  I’ve been able to keep it under control through diet and supplements, usually.  For some reason, it tends to hit me hard in the spring:  ridiculously swollen glands, extremely tired, very sore joints, slow recovery if I do anything slightly active.  Going vegan seemed to help me, but that was before I had an active phase of the virus.  So, back to the drawing board.  I started to do some more research.  I don’t know all of the ins and outs of how the Epstein barr virus works.  Actually, doctors don’t even know a ton about it, except that sometimes anti-virals will help a bit with the symptoms, but there’s really no ‘cure’ for it.  The only thing you can hope and pray for is that you can have longer times when you’re in remission and the active times don’t last too long.  When I was diagnosed with it (about 7 years ago), my titers were 300 times higher than someone with the active virus (someone with mono), which indicated that I had a chronic version of it.  I’ve read a lot about the virus over the years and there seems to be a connection between CEBV and thyroid conditions and digestive issues and vitamin and mineral absorption.

Legal disclaimer:  I’m not a doctor.  I have no idea what I’m talking about.  Anything I say here is from my personal experience and from what I’ve read from real doctors.

Here’s where I start talking about supplements and trying to heal from a chronic condition.  I’ve been taking sublingual B-12 because of my pernicious anemia.  I believe that my gluten sensitivity and other allergies and absorption issues have occurred because the CEBV has ruined my digestive system.  So, I’ve been working on healing my gut for a couple of years now.  It has been somewhat working because my immune system has greatly improved in the last year.  I’ve been supplementing with a very good probiotic and lugol’s iodine every morning along with selenium, and magnesium at night.  I’m also supplementing with vitamin C to add a little help to my tired adrenals.  That’s just the direction I’m taking right now.

That brings me to sprouting.  When I first started sprouting, I did it because I liked the taste of sprouts and I also was making Sprouting Jarmy own sprouted brown rice flour to make halvah bars.  It turns out that there’s a better reason to sprout:  phytic acid.  Phytic acid is a glommer.  It gloms onto the minerals and vitamins that your body could use and takes them right out of your system. Now, if you have a healthy digestive system, a little phytic acid doesn’t really hurt.  If your system is compromised, like mine, it can really wreak havoc on your system. With the Fuhrman diet, I’ve been eating a ton of beans and nuts, all which are loaded with phytic acid.  This could be why I’m having a down time right now.  The good news, though, is that sprouting or fermenting will greatly reduce the phytic acid in them.  In the right conditions, it’s the phytic acid in a seed or bean or nut that makes it start to sprout.  Once it starts to sprout, the phytic acid is neutralized and is either eliminated or greatly reduced.  Cooking without soaking will diminish phytic acid a bit, but not as much as sprouting or fermenting.  Another option is to soak the offender in an acidic solution (I use filtered water with apple cider vinegar, but whey could also be used).  You’ll know when it’s ready after soaking because the water will get foamy and the water will get a slimy texture.  Right now I have kidney beans, chick peas, cashews, and brown rice sprouting.  Today I used the sprouted lentils to make this little Italian stir fry for lunch.  It was very tasty and quick to make.  I’m trying to keep a rotation of sprouted rice and legumes so I always have something easy to make.  I hope you give sprouting a try.  You’ll like it and so will your digestive system.Italian Lentil Sprouts

Italian Lentil Sprouts

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon Coconut Oil

2 Cups Sprouted Lentils

1 14.5 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

1 Cup Chopped Kale

¼ Cup Chopped Dried Tomatoes

½ Red Bell Pepper, chopped

½ Sweet Onion, chopped

1 Medium Zucchini, Chopped

2 Teaspoons Dry Basil

1 Teaspoon Dry Oregano

4 Cloves Garlic, minced

Salt, to taste

Directions:

In a medium sized skillet, melt the coconut oil. Add the lentils, kale, dried tomatoes, pepper, onion, and zucchini. Sauté until kale wilts. Add the lentils and tomatoes. Cook for about 10 minutes over medium high heat, until zucchini is cooked to your liking. Makes 2-3 servings.

Pantry Stew – Eating Healthy Economics 101

My husband’s a golf pro.  This means that we live kind of lean in the winter.  I spend the summer stocking up on pantry food, like beans, quinoa, brown rice and gluten free pasta:  stuff that can make cheap dinners to live off of in the leaner times.  I haven’t quite reached prepper status yet, but some people may think I’m a bit excessive.  Hey, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  Well, we still have a couple of weeks left until he goes back to work so right now I’m kind of scraping the bottom of the barrel for creative things to make that are still healthy and tasty.  Beans are definitely the way to go.  Come summer, we have our garden to eat from and, living out in the boonies, we have a lot of farm markets to go to as well for the things I don’t grow.  We have a large freezer that is still full of frozen veggies.

Here’s the economy of eating healthy:  you have to pick and choose what you can afford.  Thankfully, we have a ‘budget’ type of store around here, called Aldi’s.  They’re all along the east coast of the US, and I don’t know where else they are.  But, they just started selling a line of organic things:  canned goods like beans and tomatoes and broths (except they don’t have veggie broth), plus they have a limited amount of organic veggies.  If you’re one of those “I will only eat orgaclean-15-dirty-dozen-287x300nic vegetables and find extreme disdain with someone who doesn’t,”  you can stop reading here.  I buy organic when I can.  I try to buy the ‘dirty dozen’ organic only.  Other veggies, I stick to washing them really well and peeling them.  Once again, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  The way I figure it, if you’re eating healthy things, I think your body should be able to detox from the pesticides and junk that you’re getting from the non-organic stuff.  I try to eat non-GMO as much as possible, but really can’t afford to shop at the local co-op exclusively.  I just can’t with a family of 5 to feed on a limited budget.  And I won’t even go into my “shouldn’t ‘they’ make the good food cheap to eat so everyone will be healthy” spiel.

So, this was my pantry meal of the day:  a bunch of beans and chopped veggies.  Also, I need some good carbs in me.  Now that I’ve been feeling better for the first time in a long time, I started exercising.  I’ve been weight lifting (arms and upper body 3 days a week a legs twice a week) and walking every day (about 2-4 miles, depending on the route).  On the weekend,  do some sort of cardio.  Today, I did 55 minutes of Zumba (that I took out of the library).  This stew was very filling and fulfilling without feeling heavy on my stomach.  And it gave me some energy post workout.  Plus, it made a really big pot, so I’ll have some quick lunches this week.  Enjoy!

Pantry Stew

Pantry Stew

Ingredients:

28 oz. Can Chopped Tomatoes

15 oz. Can White Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Black Beans, drained and rinsed

15 oz. Can Kidney Beans, not drained

2 Cups Vegetable Broth

1 Cup Lentils

1 Cup Cauliflower Florets

⅓ Cup Almond Butter

2 Carrots, peeled and chopped

1 Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Sweet Onion, chopped

2 Teaspoons Cumin

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a stock pot. Bring to a boil. Turn heat down and simmer on medium low heat for 30 minutes. Add more vegetable broth if it seems too thick.

Lentils – It’s What’s for Lunch

Lentils are awesome.  I love the little green ones, the red ones, the big green ones.  They are so versatile and easy to make.  So, the arctic air got its grip on us once again and for some reason, I tend to make the comfort food when it’s cold out.  This was an easy recipe to make:  just a pot of lentils and some veggie sauté to top it off.  It’s very comforting and warm and filling and good for you.  I can work out after lunch and not feel like my stomach is churning because lentils digest very well for me.

The basic recipe for making lentils is a 2 to 1 ratio of water to lentils.  Here, I cooked a 16 ounce bag of lentils in 4 cups of water, brought it to a boil and cooked them on medium low heat for 20 minutes:  very simple.  You may need to adjust the amount of fluid (you can use either veggie broth or water), depending on your elevation.  Some people will say not to salt the water because it makes the lentils tough, but I salt the water and my lentils cook up perfectly fine.  It’s really not brain surgery.  I made a whole pot of lentils so I can have lentils in the fridge to make some lentil burgers, or just to eat cold as a snack.

Lentils with Mushroom Saute

Lentils with Mushroom Sauté

Ingredients:

1 lb Lentils

4 Cups Water

8 Ounces Mushrooms

1 Small Zucchini, chopped

1 Medium Onion, chopped

2 Cups Chopped Kale

2 Teaspoons Curry Powder

½ Teaspoon Powdered Ginger

1 Teaspoon Garlic Powder

2 Cloves Garlic, minced

Directions:

In a small stockpot, combine lentils and water. Add some salt to the water. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to medium low and simmer for 20 minutes until lentils are tender.

Meanwhile, in a hot skillet, add the vegetable broth and vegetables. Sauté until tender and sauce is slightly thickened. Add more broth if needed. Serve on top of lentils. Makes 4 servings.

Vegan Teff Bread (Gluten Free)

I used to be a bread girl. I think I may have had a love affair with bread: but not any old bread. I loved the homemade, crusty, yeasty wonderful bread that would crackle as you bit into it and then would stretch as you chewed it. Hold on. Give me a minute here.

Well, health issues forced me to go gluten free. I’m actually so sensitive to it that I have problems when I bake regular things for my glutenful family members. I’ve started washing really well when I bake ‘regular’ things and I’m thinking about wearing rubber gloves. Anyway, that was about four years ago. I’m really not a huge baker. I’m just not a fan of baked goods, but I did always like making bread. It was kind of like a science experiment to me. Since I’ve been gluten free, I’ve been in the endless search for a gluten free bread that’s not crumbly or dense. It’s not easy. The breads you buy in the freezer section are pretty good, but expensive, and I’m a known cheapskate, so I don’t buy them often. THEN, I went vegan: like gluten free wasn’t difficult enough. It’s next to impossible to find a gluten free vegan bread in the supermarket.

Today, I experimented with this bread. I wanted to have something that was kind of grainy/wheaty-like yet stretchy and wonderful.Vegan Teff Bread Sandwich Not too much to ask, is it? Seriously – hallelujah! This bread turned out a-ma-zing. It was just the right fluffy/stretchy combo and a deep, earthy flavor to boot. I kept the oil out of it to keep in line with the Fuhrman diet. I stayed low on the sugar as much as possible (you need some for the yeast to grow and I didn’t know if using whole dates would fit the bill to feed the yeast). Instead of putting eggs in it (which gluten free flours tend to live on), I used flax meal mixed with some hot water. This turned out so well, I did my happy dance. Even my daughter took a slice and said ‘whoa.’ (insert happy dance again) I had a hummus sandwich with lentil sprouts for lunch…..mmmmmmm….So, if you have a morning to kill and are looking for a really good vegan bread, give this a shot. You won’t be let down.
Vegan Teff Bread
Vegan Teff Bread

Ingredients:
1 ½ Cups Warm Water
2 ¼ Tsp. Active Dry Yeast
6 Tbsp. Water
2 Tbsp. Ground Flax Meal
¼ Cup Cashew Butter
2 Tbsp. Maple Syrup
2 Cups Teff Flour
½ Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
½ Cup Tapioca Flour
1 ¼ Tsp. Salt

Directions:
Combine the warm water and yeast and allow to proof until bubbly, about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, combine the 6 tablespoons of water and the flax meal and heat in the microwave for about a minute. Allow to sit and cool until the mixture becomes a slimy, egg-white consistency. Add the cashew butter and maple syrup to it and mix well.
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the teff flour, garbanzo bean flour, tapioca flour, and salt. Mix well. Add in the yeast mixture and flax meal mixture and beat for about 2 minutes, until thoroughly combined. Transfer mixture to a greased, 8×4 glass loaf pan. Allow to rise 1 hour until doubled in size. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350◦.
Bake in preheated oven on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes. Allow to rest and cool before cutting. Makes 1 loaf.

Sprouting – Lentil Sprouts

So I had one of those ‘where-have-you-been-all-my-life’ sort of moments this morning. But, let me back track a bit to give you the back-story of how I got to this moment.
In my paleo days, I started sprouting brown rice. Anything that would heal my gut was a ‘you had me at hello’ deal. I started reading about sprouting because there’s a compound in grains and legumes called phytic acid. Phytic acid not only inhibits the way enzymes work in your body, but it also binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Since I was having a tough time absorbing minerals (I’ve been in a pernicious anemia state now for a few years, even though I’m relatively young), I was in for sprouting. Mainly I was doing brown rice because my family likes halvah bars and I was making a gluten free version with sprouted brown rice flour (which you can’t find in my neck of the woods). I also tried mung bean sprouts because my husband likes Chinese food with sprouts in it.
I had heard of lentil sprouts and it sounded tasty. I wasn’t a huge fan of alfalfa sprouts, at least not the ones you find in the store, because I always thought they had a bit of a moldy taste to them. But I gave lentil sprouts a try. Lentils are so cheap that if I didn’t like them, it wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans (haha): I could just compost them. They were ready last night and I ate a handful right out of the jar, after I had rinsed them off. I don’t know what it is about them that was so good, but they’re really tasty. They’re a little peppery andBreakfast Porridge with Lentil Sprouts nutty. I really love the taste. After eating a couple of handfuls more, I decide that they’re definitely a keeper. So, this morning I threw a couple of handfuls into my mushroom quinoa breakfast porridge, along with some kale. It’s seriously good. I’ll probably add them to some soup for lunch and some stir fry for dinner: they’re that good. My youngest is eating them by the handful as well. There’s just something about them.

Here’s how I sprouted: I was sprouting brown rice in a mason jar with some cheesecloth over the opening, but now my husband bought me a sprouting jar which I like a lot. Not only is it more roomy, but it drains easily. But, if you want to try this today and you have no sprouting jar, the mason jar works fine. Or, if you’re crafty and have some plastic needlepoint fabric around the house, you can insert some of that into the mason jar lid ring and that will work very similarly to the sprouting jar. Put whatever you’re sprouting into the vessel of your choice and cover with twice as much water (when I did mung beans, I used very hot water) and let it sit overnight. Drain and rinse the next day. Rinse and drain again and let sit at a sideways tilt to allow air flow and good drainage. Rinse and repeat a couple of times a day until they start to sprout (mostly within 2-3 days). If you’re sprouting rice, you don’t need for it to get long sprouts: the sprouts on rice will be fairly short (to make rice flour, just dehydrate the sprouts and then grind them). For other sprouts, once the sprout comes out, you may want to put it in a window so the leaves will start to appear. You don’t have to wait for leaves to appear, though, to eat the sprouts. My lentil sprouts have very tiny leaves on them. If you’re looking for a more salad-y type of sprout, then leave them in the window for a few days after they sprout. There’s not a real science to it. It’s all about your personal taste. I hope you give it a try. It’s fun for the kids and good for you and tasty as well.Lentil Sprouts