Guest Post: Stacey's Sprouted Lentils

I'm so happy to share this guest post from Stacey Pedersen with you. Stacey lives in Boulder, CO where she spends her free time tending to various fermentation and sprouting projects around her bursting-with-probiotics kitchen. A dear friend, Stacey also takes time to make batch upon batch of coconut oiled kale chips for weary Parisians when they come to town. Oh how I miss your kale chips, Stacey!

 

Kale chips à la Stacey

Today Stacey shares with us her method of sprouting lentils to assure maximum health benefits and digestibility. Check out her simple instructions and great ideas for how to include sprouted lentils in healthy meals.

*****************************************************************************************************

With spring just around the corner, I find myself analyzing every tree or shrubbery I pass, searching for any sign of new, green leaves peaking out from what has appeared to be dead for so many months. By the end of winter I am nearly willing to give my right pinky finger to start seeing some small sign of spring. Fortunately, I can get a jump-start on spring right in my own kitchen - without having to sacrifice any body parts - by sprouting lentils.

Lentils are a staple in my diet. Not only are they very inexpensive, but they are also highly nutritious with great stuff like protein, fiber and iron even before sprouting them. Sprouting actually increases the nutritional value (even adding vitamin C and chlorophyll) and makes the lentil more easily digestible because it is now living again. An added bonus is that it doubles the amount of food you have – a little definitely goes a long way!

What you will need:

Ingredients for sprouting lentils- photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen

 

1. A clean jar

2. 1/2 cup of dried green lentils, rinsed well

3. 1 cup water

4. Cheesecloth or muslin

5. A rubber band

How to sprout them:

Put the lentils and water into the jar. Cover with a piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band. Your sprouting jar should look like this:

Dried Lentils in a covered jar- photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen

Let the lentils sit like this for 12-24 hours, until all the water has been absorbed. From now on, you just have to rinse the lentils twice a day (or more if it is really warm in your house). That's where the cheesecloth comes in handy. Just fill the jar with water (leaving the cloth and rubber band on) and then pour the water out a few times each morning and evening, making sure to drain out as much water as possible. Also, be sure you leave the jar near a window if you want green sprouts. If left in a dark spot, they will still sprout but you'll miss out on the chlorophyll. By around day 3-5 you should have something that looks like this:

Sprouted lentils after 3-5 days- photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen

Isn't it amazing how so few dried lentils can fill up a jar after they have sprouted? Once you have sprouted your lentils, you can either cook them up in your favorite recipe (they won't take as long to cook now that they are sprouted, so keep an eye on them while you are cooking) or add them raw to salads, which is what I did today:

Sprouted lentils make a great addition to salads- photo courtesy of Stacey Pedersen

I made up some of Paris Paysanne's salad dressing in the bottom of the jar, and then filled it with the lentils and whatever else I had on hand.

Kept in an airtight container, the sprouted lentils will last up to 3 weeks in your refrigerator, although mine are always gone within a week because I love them so much!

Thanks so much for sharing Stacey! I can't wait to hear about more of your food projects!

Guest Post: Aurelia D'Andrea presents Plant-based Paris

Kale Soup at Verjus (75001). One example of an amazing meat-free dish.  

This week I am delighted to share a guest post by Aurelia D'Andrea, whose articles on vegetarian living and travel are invaluable guides to anyone who wants to be both meat-free and worldly.

Aurelia D'Andrea's writing has appeared in publications such as Vegetarian Times and Veg News as well as on her blog, My Vegan Parisian Adventure. Her articles advocate creativity in the kitchen as well as in life and encourage vegetarians to accept, and embrace, the challenges that may come with living abroad- especially in meat-loving countries such as France.

Faux Gras!

Aurelia writes for the benefit of vegetarians around the world, proving that a plant-based lifestyle is a viable (and ethical) option no matter where your path may lead.

Vegetarians, vegans and the veggie-curious who are living in Paris can learn from Aurelia's knowledge of vegetarian life abroad by attending her Vegetarian Living in Paris class.

Aurelia was kind enough to give Paris Paysanne readers a preview of what her class will cover. Space is limited so be sure to sign up for the course, which will be held on February 28th. It promises to be an informative, inspiring, and eye-opening introduction to Vegetarian Living in Paris! *******************************************************************************************

Fresh noisettes

If It weren’t for Paris Paysanne, I might still be staring at the rutabagas I bought on a whim at my local marché, pondering whether to cook them, eat them raw, or use them as doorstops. Without a gentle guide to feed me information and ideas on a subject I’m very much interested in—local food—I’d be wallowing in a sea of mysterious fruits, tubers, and greens, praying for a culinary lifeboat to save me from certain starvation.

Since moving to Paris three years ago, I’ve met others who, like me, need help with food-related matters—though not necessarily with their rutabagas. In this country where meat-heavy culinary traditions hold firm, some of us need help navigating the tricky world of vegetarianism.

Vegetarian brunch at Cafe Pinson (75003)

When friends and family heard I was moving to a country where frogs, snails, and horsemeat are all served in restaurants, their excitement for me was sullied by concern. “Does tofu even exist there?” they asked, as if the stuff were the foundation of my diet to begin with. “And aren’t the frites cooked in duck fat?”

The answers are “Yes!” and “Sadly, yes, sometimes.” (I learned the latter the hard way.) But the truth is that vegetarian living in Paris is about the same as anyplace else: When armed with the right tools, it’s possible to enjoy meals at restaurants both fancy and pedestrian, participate in local culinary traditions, and even host your own wine-and-cheese party with faux fromages and meat-free charcuterie if you wanted to.

Meat-free Charcuterie!

To help others on their journey exploring plant-based Paris, I’m teaching a class called Vegetarian Living in Paris through WICE, a local non-profit cultural organization for Anglophones. In three hours, I’ll teach you how to shop for veg staples at traditional produce markets and American-style hypermarches, unravel the mysteries of French restaurant menus, introduce you to the exciting world of vegetarian entertaining, and fill you with ideas on how to make the most of your French experience without compromising your dietary preferences. Students will leave the class with helpful resources and a veritable taste of vegetarian France. (What would any class on vegetarianism be without food samples?!)

Vegan burger and fries at the Gentle Gourmet (75012)

If you or someone you know needs a helping hand navigating the mysterious, occasionally confounding place called Paris sans viande, I am offering myself up as a lifeboat. If it’s root vegetables you need help with, you and I are both better off right here, in the capable hands of Paris Paysanne.

Aurelia d’Andrea is the former editorial director of VegNews magazine and a frequent contributor to Vegetarian Times. Her next book, Moon Metro Paris, will be published by Avalon Travel in 2014.

Raw veggies are a vegetarian's delight!

Thanks so much Aurelia ! Paris, and its veggie loving community, are so lucky to have you!

Sign up here for Aurelia's class!