Friday, March 20, 2015

Black lentils: the healthy side and an easy recipe

I am very clumsy with lentils and till the last year I hardly had too many encouters with them. I loved to admire their colour and texture but hardly had any idea how to prepare them and not memory of taste hence, the impossibility to imagine how the tastes can match. However, courageous as I am, I tried little by little to expand my senses, and dared to cook simple lentils recipes, usually added with some olive oil and sour cream or yoghurt. 
The best of lentils were the black ones tasted for two years in a row at my breakfast in Tel Aviv a couple of months ago: simple cold black lentils, with olive oils and sour cream, plus a lazy Jerusalem artichoke. Once returned back home, I longed for recrating if not the same sunny experience near Gordon beach, at least the beautiful taste. 
I bought from an Allnatura shop some black lentils called Beluga, inspired by their physical ressemblance with the caviar. They are small, black and round and need some extra time - around 15 minutes of boiling - till they are ready. Originally from South Asia, the black lentils have a mild eartly flavor, a soft texture and are high-fiber and protein rich. They contain: potassium, Vitamin B1, copper, manganese and phosphorus. Compared to other types of lentils - till now, I only tried the orange red ones and this is true - the experts say, the black ones remain intact after boiling. They are good served  both cold and hot.

For the preparation of the lentils, I went through the following steps:
- Cleaned the beans in cold water for a couple of minutes. Although the product was bought from a respectable bio shop, still doing some safety cleaning is a good idea.
- Once in and boiling, the water is getting black. The first time was thinking at some very artificial colours that maybe were added, but ended up believing the experienced black lentils experts and assumed that in fact there are some natural colours instead.
- I boiled for around 15-20 minutes, but it can last for around 30-40 minutes, without any risk. 

For the recipe:
- 1 cup of hard boiled black lentils
- 7 small cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1 middle size onion, finelly chopped

After the first 15 minutes of boiling, I added the other ingredients and some extra pinch of kosher salt. 
I regularly simmer doing boiling and if needed, added some extra water.
Once the water got out, I put to rest in a bowl, and also added some 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds, plus some fresh sour cream.
The preparation time is of around 40 minutes. 
This recipe serves two and it can be tasted either as a side dish, maybe with some meat or some fried veggies, or like a healthy individual dish in the morning or in the evening.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Foodie movie review: Julie&Julia

When I am not langurously waiting for the spring and eventually summer, I am fighting to keep my writing mood at a good level. Although I did not keep too much the pace with my blogging schedule, at least I assume that I am voraciously preparing for new professional writing challenges. Especially in the field of food writing when I was pretty lazy lately.
Julie&Julia I wanted to watch for a long time. When I first watched the short add in a movie theatre, I instantly added Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking on my 'To read' list on Goodreads, but in the following years I forgot both about the book and the movie. Till this Sunday when I finally got into the right mood for the movie (I hope I will not need the same impressive amount of years till will catch up with the book). 
It is an easy, not badly played movie, a contemporary commedy about the final success of an unhappy cubicle worker, Julie, that made her way through the 524 recipes of Julia Child's first book within 365 days. The blogging struggle of Julie - I wonder why it seems she never makes photos for her blog - interwins with fragments from the life of Child, from the beginning of her life in Europe as a US diplomat's wife during the Cold War, till her return and the beginning of her cooking career in the States. Child wanted to bring the French cooking to the American kitchen, while Julie wanted to push forward her efforts of becoming a writer, an alternative to her unbearable professional life, besides cooking delicious dishes to forget about working in a cubicle. Although the two of them will never meet, they both succeed because were able to follow with obstination their hobbies. Both fight more or less diplomatically with family or political pressures, various insecurities or the terrible standards of the famous French Cordon Bleu cooking school. 
Especially for those trying to juggle with many professional and personal hats, this movie is an encouragement to go fast forward and keep following your passions. Doesn't matter where you are now, depends how do you see yourself in the near future and how you plan to reach your goals!