Tag Archives: Meatless Monday

Lentils: It’s what’s for dinner

In honor of Meatless Monday, I pulled out my Experimental Chef hat.

Meatless Monday, if you haven’t heard of it, is a movement encouraging people to eschew meat on Mondays in the pursuit of better health, saving money and going easy on the environment.

I’m seeing people everywhere use their iPad as a contemporary cookbook, propped up on the kitchen counter top, and I decided to do that with a meatless recipe tonight, too. I tried a very different sort of recipe from microwave wizard Wancy Ganst, Hong Kong author of 18 cookbooks more than 800 recipes on Amazon Kindle.

My choice? Chestnuts and Lentils in Thai Red Curry.

A word of warning: These are authentic recipes so an American cook may need to do some conversions. For example, I needed 100 grams of chestnuts.

Well, the supermarket (even the good one with a wide selection 20 minutes from my house) didn’t have chestnuts so I used hazelnuts (recommended as a good alternative by my friend Google). As for 100 grams? It’s about 3.5 ounces but I had 2 ounces. So I used that much.

Ditto for the microwave wattage. The recipe called for an 850-watt microwave. Mine’s 1500 watts, so I microwaved for about half the time called for.

Lentils are high in fiber and protein, but they taste like sand if you don’t prepare them right. The red curry paste enhanced them deliciously — spicy but not unbearably so.

Who knew you could prepare lentils in the microwave? Wancy Ganst, I guess. Her instructions worked like a charm.

I served my Hazelnuts and Lentil Thai Red Curry sauce over Thai rice noodles with vegetarian spring rolls. Yum!