Lentils. Why I Disparaged You For So Long Is Beyond My Comprehension. Welcome Back My Little Pulse!

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One of the sillier things that happened in Shebnation was the promotion of the “no bueno” policy of the humble legume. Now that we have calmed down the rhetoric and dismissed the needless vilification of perfectly nutritious food groups, beans and pulses are back, but not all day, like rosé or anything. Let’s be smart about it, for once, can’t we?

People that follow a paleo diet voice concerns about phytic acid and phytates. If you are concerned about the anti-nutritive effect of these items, please know that unless you have a chronic health condition, or are in the throes of severe malnutrition, your not-so-feeble-body  can actually HANDLE THIS SHIT, and human bodies have been handling them since Neolithic times! Please also know that if you are in relatively good health, and eating in a balanced manner, even up to 2000 grams of phytic acid per day will most likely not negatively affect you. Also, that’s a fuck tons of beans, oil or peanuts! If you ate that many damned beans (or oil or peanuts) you would have a lot of other problems in your life, believe you me! Like gas and leaky stools. No-one enjoys a leaky stool. Or gas.

Here’s the thing about dried pulses and beans: a little goes a long way. Yes they have protein, yes they have fiber (glorious amounts) but they are very very calorically and nutrient dense. For instance, in this upcoming recipe, there are 50 grams of dried lentils per serving. That is a mere 1/3 cup. Cooked of course, the yield is greater. But that small handful of pulses supplies nearly all the carbohydrates for the dish, as well as a large percentage of the fiber. So think of them as a nourishing, but small accompaniment to your main protein source.

** Please note: I am an equal opportunity bean eater. Canned is great!  But if you have the resources and space to purchase and store an instant pot, you should consider this appliance. I worried about it being a large pain in the rear that took up a lot of counter space. But now that I have it, I use it about 8 times a week. For me its become an indispensable kitchen tool that speeds ups food prep and insures incredible textures on almost everything- beans, brown rice, oatmeal and chicken- but especially beans.***

Flank Steak with a Mustardy Lentil and Bacon Salad

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Macros/Serving: 468 Calories | P 43 | F 18| C 30. Fiber is 7 grams per serving

Another lunch prep for my Snackary. I am positive it will get 4 “goods” out of 4 because he’s kind of predictable that way.

Ingredients

  • 45 ml olive oil
  • 25 grams shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 485 grams flank steak (I used farmer’s market Piedmontese beef which is lower in fat than the typical flank. You may have to make a macro adjustment if you do not have access to this beef)
  • 3 tbsp Herbs de Provence
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 200 grams dried brown lentils that have been soaked in cold water for 30 minutes.
  • 8 slices pre-cooked bacon, chopped (It’s what I had. Using raw bacon again might call for a macro adjustment)
  • 100 grams green onion, chopped
  • 300 grams raw spinach, chopped
  • salt and pepper

Directions

1.Using the shallot, vinegar, mustard and 2.5 tbsp of the olive oil, make the vinaigrette. Recipe here, but only make half.

2.Season the flank steak generously on each side with salt, pepper and the Herbs de Provence. Place the 2 bay on top and drizzle the remaining 1/2 tbsp of olive oil over it. Let it hang out for about 10 minutes.

3.Cook the lentils. You can do this on the stove top or in a pressure cooker. I used an instant pot and cooked on manual for 8 minutes. Drain after cooking.

4.Sauté the chopped bacon until it is crispy and add the spinach. Cook this down, until completely wilted, seasoning with a little salt and pepper. Add to the lentils, stir in the chopped green onion and all of the vinaigrette. Combine well. Divide into four containers.

5.Heat a cast iron skillet, or grill pan until very hot. Sear the flank steak to your desired doneness (Snackary likes medium rare). Let rest and slice against the grain. Divide into four portions and lay atop your lentil salad. Boom! Lunch for 4 days.

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