37 Responses to “Simple Lentil Recipe and Happy Memories”

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  1. Courtney, what is your take on sodium? How much should we get? Just curious, thanks.

    • Courtney Carver

      Michael, Most processed food is so heavily salted, that we probably get more than we need. I pulled this info from the FDA (not that they are the best in terms of recommending a healthy diet) but the Salt intake recommendation looks ok…

      The amount of salt in a food is listed as “sodium” on the Nutrition Facts label that appears on food packaging. The Dietary Guidelines recommend that the general population consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium a day (about a teaspoon of table salt). Most food labels shorten the word “milligrams” to “mg.” Dietary recommendations and food labels use sodium rather than salt since it is the sodium component of salt that is most relevant for human health.

      Some people are more sensitive to the effects of salt than others. The guidelines also recommend that, in general, individuals with hypertension, blacks, and middle-aged and older adults should limit intake to 1,500 mg of sodium per day.

      The exceptions to this guideline are people whose doctors have put them on a diet that requires even less sodium because of a medical condition. Always follow your doctor’s recommendation about how much sodium you can have daily.

  2. Sandi

    I LOVE lentils and can’t wait to try this recipe. I’ve never used canned lentils, so this will be a first. It sounds yummy. Thanks!

  3. Love ‘but I think we can all agree that humans eating meat is bad for animals.’ I loved the movie ‘Food Inc’ and a bunch of John Robbinson’s stuff because it talks about all the different reasons besides health. I was really surprised with all the environmental reasons not to eat animal products.

    I made a pot of lentil soup for the week yesterday too. I will have to try the vinegar, I haven’t done that. I like cutting carrots into long thin strands and adding them. Makes it pretty :)

  4. Jen

    Lots of valid points here. I have given so much thought to veg/veganism myself. There are so many reasons to give up meat or at least drastically reduce it! Just the thought of preparing meat to cook makes my stomach churn :( My husband is a hunter and I still love him :) Now if I could just get him to cook his own meat dishes and make me a delicious veg meal I’d be set :D

    • Courtney Carver

      Jen, It sounds like it could be a challenging transition, but really interesting. Let me know if you make any progress!

  5. Courtney I love a lot of your stuff bit not this post I agree that humans eating animals is not great for animals. But neither is any carnivore eating an animal “good” for that animal is it? Or maybe it is. But that is nature and the argument fails because many animals eat other animals – that’s not an argument for vegetarianism – the entire food chain would collapse if it was. And also, being vegetarian isn’t good for animals either, because many animals (small mammals) die during mass agricultural production of grain crops. I know the idea of eating something living isn’t always great, but that is the nature of much of nature. The only way to avoid this is to be a fruitarian that waits for fruit to fall from a tree. That’s not sustainable for any human population and not enough for life. Life needs life – vegetable or animal there is really very little to separate it other than human sentiment.

    • Courtney Carver

      Hi Mark, I can’t expect everyone to agree or like everything I write, and I’m so glad you contributed. I think if we were living in the wild and didn’t know how to survive without eating animals than we wouldn’t be having this conversation. Fortunately, we’ve evolved and can make decisions about what we put in our bodies. We don’t need animal meat to survive or thrive.

      I don’t think a Tiger chasing a gazelle would agree. ;)

      • Peter

        …and Tigers don’t raise Gazelles in Factory Farms. All sentient beings desire a life without drastic suffering hoisted upon them because they have little to defend themselves with.

  6. As is Jasper in The Twilight Saga – I’m newly vegetarian – Just a month or so in.
    In fact it was Twilight That Turned Me Vegetarian (tongue in cheek – of course! there’s a little more to it than that). I post an awful lot about food, and now I’m posting more vegetarian recipes, my fave at the mo (which I shared today) is my Slow Cooked Three Bean and Vegetable Chilli. I’ve found not eating meat not so difficult. I’ve had quite a few digestive benefits so far, but I’m unsure whether it has adversely affected my energy levels in anyway. Guess I’m going to find out when I run a Half-Marathon this Sunday eh?

  7. Courtney Carver

    Yippee Cute Jo! Let me know if I can ever be helpful and please check back in with the results of your Half-Marathon. If you don’t already read Matt Frazier’s blog – No Meat Athlete, I think you would really like it.

    • Thanks for the heads up on Matt’s blog – will head on over. I’ve Just completed my last training run, and no lack of energy today! I am topping up with Whey protein in my post- run fruit smoothies. There are ways to address the potential reduction in protein in a non-meat diet. So far so good, the benefits are cutting meat out definitely are outweighing any downsides. (I did accidentally lick the fork that I stirred the family’s spaghetti bolognese with – as I hate waste! but after almost 37 years of eating meat it was only one misdemeanour!)

  8. Candice

    Over the years I’ve waxed and waned regarding eating meat. My conclusion is that I feel more satiated and healthy having reasonable amounts of meat in my diet. Not everyday, there are days that are meat-free. What I don’t do is buy any meat at the local chain grocer. I buy grass fed beef and free range chickens from a locally owned farm that sustainably and humanely raise their animals. There is a huge difference in quality and taste. More importantly it is documented that this type of free range meat contains significantly more omega 3′s than commercial feed-lot beef or chicken raised in cramped quarters. I’m not one for pushing my opinion; I feel to each his/her own. That’s what makes this good ole world interesting. As always, I enjoy your posts and look forward to trying your lentil soup on one of my veggie only days.

    • Courtney Carver

      Candice, Sharing your story is much more powerful than pushing an opinion. Thanks for sharing yours. Let me know what you think of the lentils!

  9. Mmmm seems good! I’ll try it and this will make a great meal for my picky eater twins.

    Thanks for writing about this topic too. I’ve been vegetarian for 10 years and I really see a change and consciousness opening. It’s great!

    The compassion issue is important, we can save so many lives from improper conditions. And there are so much meat-alike products these days that it’s surprisingly easy to do. I also suggest to try it for a week, use tofu in meals instead of meat (tacos, fajitas, even hamburger helper are easy to start with).

    • Courtney Carver

      Mary, Spring and Summer is the best time to lean towards a vegetarian diet. I am so excited for fresh veggies to start popping out of the ground! Let me know if the twins like the lentils.

  10. Thanks for the mention today Courtney, your lentils will have to make their way to my table soon. And about meat? Well, you know I do like some meat, but like some of your other commenters I definitely find myself enjoying vegetarian dishes more and more. Especially when I think of those poor, beakless and clawless chickens.

  11. PAULA

    i love lentil soup! i’ll definitely try to convince my boyfriend :) to cook your recipe one of these days! although, it seems to be easy for my to make too. i don’t like cooking!
    i eat meat once a month… is this a fair amount? i guess i could not eat it at all but i was told i would be missing out on basic minerals, like iron… i wonder…
    Thanks, Courtney!

    • Courtney Carver

      Hi Paula, The easiest way to clear up any confusion about missing minerals is to have some basic blood work done. Let your doctor know you are concerned.

      In general, Vegetarians do not have a higher incidence of iron deficiency than do meat eaters. Check out how much iron is in spinach and other leafy greens. It think you’ll find it’s higher than most meat.

  12. I feel sort of torn on the veg v. non-veg thing. I’ve been a staunch vegetarian and off & on again vegan for over 13 years. I used to abhor the idea that anyone NEEDED to eat meat. Now, I believe that eating meat in moderation from sustainably and kindly farmed animals is completely fine and can actually lead to optimal health. However, this doesn’t change the fact that I’m a vegetarian. If you look at a human’s GI tract and dental structure, we are designed to eat meat. If you look at evolutionary theories, you’ll find that most agree that our shorter GI tract that is designed for a more omnivorous diet actually allowed humans to evolve larger brains (both GI tracts and brains are high energy users…it’s generally one or the other). Also, if you look in the animal kingdom, carnivores and omnivores are generally the ones with higher intelligence than their vegetarian counterparts. It’s hard for me as a vegetarian to admit that we are designed to eat meat, but it’s the evolutionary truth. Finally, a lot of the studies about meat consumption can easily be refuted by other studies. There are actually a lot of emerging studies suggesting that moderate saturated fat and meat intake is healthy for a diet. Unfortunately, there is a lot of contradictory scientific evidence on both sides, which make it confusing for the non-scientists to decipher between. In all, I just hope to convince people to eat less meat and get their meat from compassionate farmers. I think that is a happy medium all can agree to :)

    • Courtney Carver

      Megyn, Because there is so much conflicting information, we have to rely on how we feel when we eat a certain way. I know that eliminating meat and milk from my diet has helped me to feel and be better physically and emotionally. We have to experiment, be open to new things and trust our heart and our gut to eat in a way that is best for each of us.

      In terms of higher intelligence in the animal kingdom, I haven’t explored that, but I haven’t noticed that among people.

      • I definitely agree that we should each do what feels right to our bodies. I have a friend that was a lifelong vegetarian, but actually HAD to eat meat to gain health. It’s funny how human bodies can work opposite of one another, but thankfully, we all have options. As for higher intelligence, you wouldn’t notice a difference in intelligence between veg & non-veg because we are all the same species. I was speaking in terms of differences between species (like veg. monkeys v. omni monkeys; langurs v. macaques). Unless there is a group of veg’s that continually procreates more veg’s who procreate more veg’s, there will be not sig. difference between human veg. and non-veg’s intelligence quotients :)

  13. My husband has been vegetarian 20 years and he’s an athlete. He’s writing a book about how to be vegetarian and stay strong as so many people think that you become weak/ lose muscle mass if you are vegetarian. Truth is a lot of vegetarians are unhealthy.
    I also don’t believe humans are meant to be vegetarian but I agree that since we have a choice it makes sense to go the compassionate way. If only the animals were not raised in such horrid conditions…

    • Sarah – Thought I’d chip in. I do a fair bit of exercise and have done for a while. I never lose weight (always stay the same)- that was until I stopped eating meat about 6 weeks ago – I’ve lost 4lbs. My aim isn’t to lose weight as I don’t think your weight constitutes your fat percentage or how healthy you are. My concern is that I may be losing muscle mass… but I don’t know yet it’s too early to tell. Jo

  14. This sounds tasty. Lentils are a staple in our home and I always enjoy trying different recipes with them. I haven’t tried the vegetable boullion, does it have sodium in it? I haven’t been able to find a boullion that doesn’t have MSG. I do like to use cut carrots, celery and onions in any soup. It’s a simple way to add some fresh vegetables and flavor.

  15. I became vegan (plant based whole foods) 1 1/2 years ago. I still love my cheese eating husband and he still loves me. I do find though that people are hesitant to invite us over for dinner–I always offer to bring delicious food I can eat and that does help. How do you handle the dinner invitations?

    • Courtney Carver

      Hi Willow, It’s never been an issue for me. I’m always happy to bring a no meat dish or the host knows that don’t eat meat and takes advantage of the opportunity to try a new veg dish. It was more challenging at the beginning, but no major issues.

  16. I agree with Candice.
    We eat meat but our meat industry is nothing like yours in America – plus we also have the choice of local and organic producers. These people also need to make a living, and we believe in freedom for all, so…
    Most of the arguments for vegetarianism and especially veganism seem to come from America and we in Europe get a little tired of it – not all the world is the USA. In fact, you will probably find it difficult to find anyone taking veganism seriously over here. Vegetarianism is bad enough: we took my daughter’s friend with us to our French holiday home last summer. Whenever we went out to eat, it was almost impossible to find vegetarian options for her – when we would ask the staff, they would look amazed and say, “mais Madame, there’s xxx and it only has chicken in it…”!! How we laughed! Like “Big Fat Greek Wedding”!
    Anyway, I do agree that I probably wouldn’t want to eat commercially-produced meat or fish as described for the US, but does that mean we all have to be tarred with the same brush?!

  17. Courtney Carver

    Hello Mel,

    My parents live in Italy and my sister and her family in Germany part time and Doha part time so know firsthand that the world is not the USA. It is my point of reference though and the only thing I know well enough to write about. I can’t speak to what’s available in other parts of the world, but do like to clear up misconceptions for people interested in a dietary changes that have been mislead with bad information like, “you need animal meat for protein” or “milk is the best form of calcium”. Those rumors are not exclusive to the USA.

    As I mentioned, my family and most of my friends all eat meat and it doesn’t affect our relationship in anyway. We are all free to make decisions about what we put in our body. It’s just good to have all the facts when making decisions. No tarring necessary. ;)

  18. Anne Roy

    I stopped eating meat in 2006, seafood in 2009 …

    seafood IS meat … those poor creatures have to die to be on the plate …

    noun
    1.
    the flesh of animals as used for food.

    apologies for being so fussy but I do get cross when I hear of vegetarians eating fish …

    great site though … very thought provoking … waving from England

    • Courtney Carver

      Hi Anne, I should have further clarified and completely understand your point. You’ll see I made the correction above.

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