Sunday, March 4, 2012

Foodie Gifts

As I mentioned in my previous post about Garlic! Fettucine, food gifts are not uncommon in my house. It gets a little ridiculous when it comes to the presents I receive.

For every gift-giving occasion, I request cooking tools. Friends and relatives often add edible components to these gifts. And this Christmas was no exception.

I think at least five people gave me food. My mommy gave me couscous and my aunt Donna gave me Puy lentils.

Both are incredible.

When I open the jar to the couscous, it smells like Italy. When I open the box of lentils, it smells like... Well, it smells like nothing-but they taste delicious!

I decided to make a dish containing both foodie endowments because lentils+carbs=a complete protein. There are 8 essential amino acids that the body must obtain from outside sources because it cannot make them on its own (like the other 12 amino acids). When lentils are combined with a starch like rice, or couscous in this case, the body gets a dose of all 8!


This salad was so yummy and filling. Plus, it has sun-dried tomatoes-one of my favorite foods on the planet. I could eat a jar plain.

Get your protein. Make this dish. It's yummy.

Couscous and Lentils with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

-1/2 cup couscous
-1/2 cup Puy lentils
-1 10 oz package of chopped spinach
-1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (I use the ones preserved in herbed olive oil)
-olive oil from the sun-dried tomato can
-juice from half a lemon
-pinch of red pepper flakes
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Defrost the spinach and squeeze out the extra liquid.
2. Put the couscous in a pot. Boil 3/4 cup of water and pour over the couscous. Cover the pot and let sit for 10 minutes. When all the water is absorbed, fluff the couscous with a fork.
3. Put the lentils in a pot. Add water until there is about an inch of water covering the lentils. Bring the water to a boil and add salt. Boil for about 20 minutes until cooked, but still firm. You want the lentils to keep their shape. Drain the lentils.
4. Add the couscous, drained lentils, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes to a bowl and mix to combine.
5. Add a drizzle of the olive oil from the can of sun-dried tomatoes (this oil is infused with herbs and adds extra flavor). Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon and add the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste.
6. Stir the ingredients and taste to see if the seasoning is right.



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