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Monday, July 1, 2013

A Lentil Sauce Recipe and Tales of a Dumb Teenage Vegetarian

I was a teenage vegetarian.  I was a dumb teenage vegetarian.  I thought that being a vegetarian meant not eating meat. I stopped eating all meat when I was 14 because I mainly ate red meat.  My "logic" was that since I was told that red meat was not healthy I would give up all meat.  I didn't give up candy, chocolate, cookies, cakes, fries, pizza, etc.  But I thought that I was being healthy because I was vegetarian.  Must I repeat, I was a dumb teenage vegetarian!

 When my friend Sari's mom asked me if I knew what I was doing, I had no idea what she meant.  "Of course", said I, the dumb teenage vegetarian.  To myself I thought:  "Vegetarians don't eat meat and I'm not eating meat, what's to know?" At age 18, I ended up in the emergency room and was diagnosed as anemic but I still didn't learn. A half a year later, I passed out on the Kibbutz kitchen floor but still didn't learn.

A few months later, my parents came to visit me on the Kibbutz in Israel and took me out to a steak restaurant in Jerusalem. My dad then teased me and said: "You are welcome to eat side dishes but wouldn't you prefer a nice juicy steak?"  I think I surprised him when I answered:  "Yes".  Bye bye dumb teenage vegetarian.

I am now a mother to two teenage vegetarians, one is practically vegan.  I am no longer a dumb teenage vegetarian but am now a smart mother of vegetarians.  I love vegetarian and vegan cooking.  I cook lots of grains and legumes, tofu and vegetables, nuts and seeds, blah, blah, blah.  Seriously, I do.  I fiind that many people do not understand that a meal does not have to mean a slab of something dead on a plate next to a carb and a veggie.  They puzzledly ask me, what I make for my vegetarians.  People can't comprehend that dishes comprised of legumes and grains or tofu and vegetables can replace a steak and a potato and a brocolli stalk.

So for those of you who suffer from vegetarian cookingaphobia here is an easy basic recipe to help start your repertoire for your vegetarian guests or your teenage children who may one day turn to you and say: "Mom/Dad, I want to be a vegetarian". Help them be smart vegetarians! Or clever vegetarians if you are from Britain, Australia, or South Africa!

Versatile Lentil Sauce

This sauce can be served with pasta, rice, or other grains or even top a baked potato.  It is also delicious on its own!  It is so easy to make and is a hit with many non-vegetarians as well!



Ingredients

1 cup red lentils
1 can of chopped tomatoes
2 cups water
1 chopped onion
pepper
salt
basil

Instructions

Throw all of the ingredients into a pot. 
Cover and bring to a boil. 
Boil for 20-30 minutes and then serve over grain or pasta.

Servings:  4