Adventures of the Bean #3
The Blushing Lentil
Includes Recipe Below
On one of my first trips to the bulk foods section at the Loma Linda Market to buy vegetarian goodies for my daughter, I noticed one of the bins was labeled, "Lentils." I thought, "Ehhh, why not?" and filled up a plastic bag with about a pound. When I cooked them up with the requisite onion and garlic, the end product tasted pretty good to me! I Googled my little heart out, searching for recipes online.
What? There is more than one KIND of lentil? Well, at the next shopping foray, I noticed THREE bins of Lentils: Persian, French, and Red. I was intrigued by the Red Lentils. They were actually sort of orange, and VERY pretty. A pound of Red Lentils jumped into the shopping cart and followed me home. I rinsed them, dumped them into my trusty crockpot with seasoned broth and onion and garlic, and walked away to do other chores. Imagine my SHOCK when I ventured into the kitchen again and peeked into the crockpot! The Red Lentils, which are really a shade of orange, turn BRIGHT PSYCHEDELIC YELLOW when cooked!
1 cup dry lentils will yield 3-4 cups cooked
Lentils, (boiled) 1 cup (198g)
Once again, we see that lentils look like a carbohydrate nightmare, until the fiber grams are subtracted. Diabetics are taught to subtract fiber grams from carbohydrate grams because the fiber slows the digestion of the carbohydrates that in turn keeps the blood sugar level more stable. A cup of cooked lentils will have a net of about 24 grams carbohydrate with lots of protein, almost no fat, and, goodness, all that potassium and folate! Lentils are a wholesome food for the vegetarian diabetic!
VOW Diabetes Update 12/1/03
Now, for the latest installment of my diabetes battle:
As a chubby kid, a plump teen, a round-shaped young adult, and now as a downright FAT middle-ager, I've probably done all the diets known to humankind more than once. I've gained weight, lost it, gained more, in a never-ending cycle. I was at my all-time highest weight when finally diagnosed with diabetes. I felt crappy as well, so I was more than ready to make some changes.
One change that all the diet programs want you to undertake is that dreaded word, "exercise." As far as I'm concerned, that word is the most foul profanity you can utter. I hated it as a kid, loathed it in school, and did my best to completely ignore it thereafter. However, when you get bonked over the head with diabetes, you MUST place that word in your daily vocabulary.
So, get up off your butt and MOVE. One of the best ways to do that is to WALK. You remember that! Treat yourself to a GOOD pair of walking shoes. Go to a shoe store which specializes in "hard to fit" feet and tell the people there you have diabetes, and you need a sturdy, comfortable walking shoe. This is no time to pinch pennies and get the cheapies. You can't afford the potential irritations to your feet! Blisters are a no-no to diabetics! After you buy your shoes, then get to walking! Start with around the block. Park a little further from the store than you normally do. Make some laps around the mall at lunchtime. Then give yourself some positive reinforcement and test your blood glucose level when you are done!
After you work up an appetite, fix this fantastic soup for dinner! It's both visually and gastronomically satisfying, and it's good news for diabetics!
Apricot Lentil Soup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup (80 ml) dried apricots, chopped
2 stalks of celery, chopped
1-1/2 cups (360 ml) red lentils
5 cups (1 liter + 240 ml) stock
14 ounce (395 g) can of diced tomatoes, juice included
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
salt to taste
ground black pepper to taste
1 cup (240 ml) diced carrots
92 calories per serving