Vegetable saute

I’ve been struggling with eating healthy food for some time now. The problem is not wanting to eat a healthy meal, it’s making it. For me, its not feasible to prepare food every day and I usually prefer to prepare enough for about four to five meals. I’m trying to cut down completely on rice, white or brown, which doesn’t make things easier because, well, because I love rice. Also, I didn’t want the ‘healthy’ stuff to be bland(or soupy) and feel like I’m having it for the sake of staying alive. Yes, I am particular about my food and it always has to be right. Lately, I’ve started keeping a diet log and I absolutely do not want any high-calorie-fried-or-junk entries on it.

Anyway, after much pondering and experimentation, I figured I’ll try lentils as a rice replacement, well sort of. You’ll see.

It starts with grabbing all vegetables in my refrigerator

From Random Clicks

So here’s the list

  • Half yellow onion (this one is huge)
  • Potatoes (try to keep their count low)
  • Eggplants
  • Beans
  • Green Pepper
  • Thai Pepper
  • Celery
  • Cabbage
  • Garlic Cloves
  • 1 cup yellow lentils (soak them for about 20 mins)

Chop everything up to the size you like. Here’s what my effort looks like

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And then here’s what I did with the chopped up veggies. You need to be careful about putting the veggies in the right order in the pan. This is because all take different time to cook and overcooking one (say green peppers and eggplant) will just make a paste out of them. Here what I did.

  • Heat some olive oil
  • add cumin seeds after the oil is hot and let them crackle
  • add chopped onion, wait till they’re slightly brown
  • add ginger paste, chopped garlic and cilantro paste. Let it cook for a couple of minutes
  • add potatoes and beans (these take the longest to cook)
  • add celery and cabbage after 5 minutes. Let this cook for about 10 mins on low heat. It helps to cover the pan
  • add red chilly powder and turmeric powder
  • check if the beans are almost cooked. if yes, then add green pepper and eggplant. These should not be in there for more than 10 mins.
  • add salt according to taste
  • this should be done after 5 more minutes. Don’t take my word for it, do keep checking

This is what finally comes out after all the effort.

From Random Clicks

You might wonder what I did with those lentils. After soaking them, heat up a little oil in a skillet and add the lentils. Add twice the water as the amount of lentils (2 cups water for 1 cup lentils) and let it boil for 25-30 mins on low heat. I prefer this instead of using pressure cooker because the texture still remains when boiling. I use pressure cooker when I want a lentil soup. Anyway, after all the water is soaked or evaporated, the cooked lentils act as a replacement for a side of rice.

Anyway, do try this out if you’re the sort of person who want a decent meal but not at the cost of too much effort. Feedback and suggestions are always welcome.

Buen provecho !!!

PS: do not take my word about the different cooking times I’ve mentioned. Pay attention to what’s going on and take a call.

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