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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Pumpkin Lentils

I don't normally post main courses that are easily translated into a gluten free dish, but in the interest of keeping the autumn pumpkin theme, I thought I might as well. It's a great way to use up any leftover pumpkin. This is great over rice or quinoa.

Pumpkin Lentils
1 cup lentils, soaked overnight and thoroughly rinsed
2 cups water
2 Tb grapeseed oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1-2 Tb lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground coriander
pinch allspice
1/2 tsp tumeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree

Fresh chopped cilantro as a garnish

Any time I know I want lentils in the next day or so, I get them out to soak. Soaking and sprouting beans makes them much more digestible, and it greatly shortens the cook time. I try to get them out as I'm cooking dinner the night before so I can rinse them before bed and put them in more soak water and in the fridge for the next day. When I get home from work, they have little sprouts started and are ready for me to thoroughly rinse them and cook them for dinner. Soaking beans helps break down the enzyme inhibitors and remove the complex sugars, oligosaccharides. Oligosaccharides are one of the main sources of gas because they travel through the g.i. tract without breaking down, allowing bad bacteria to feed on them in the small and large intestine. That causes a fermentation, which causes gas. Be sure to throw out the lentil soak water.

Put a pan on medium heat and add 2 Tb of grapeseed oil after the pan warms. Put in the cumin seeds for about a minute and then add the onions, garlic, and finely grated fresh ginger. Let the onions cook until they become translucent and start to sweat. Add the rest of the spices and lemon and thoroughly stir to combine the ingredients. Add in the lentils and 2 cups of water and cover to cook for about 30 minutes. After the water has reduced, add the pumpkin. The lentils should be cooked until they become soft.

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