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Lunch Experiment: Lentil Salad

Red LentilsI’ve been working at this client site for 6 out of the last 10 years. I have sampled the available cuisine in walking distance and the places we usually drive to are tasty grease pits that I just don’t want to eat at anymore. These days I’m almost willing to skip lunch just for the relief from the choices I’ve got. So I decided to try to find a nutritional option akin to the breakfast burritos that have been my staple breakfast for the better part of a year. 

Today’s experiment, Lentil Salad. 

I’d take a picture of the result, except, as is so often the case, I didn’t think to take the picture till I was finishing the last bite.  I mean, it’s lunch, I don’t sit with my camera poised against the possibility of an interesting meal.  Not lunch.  Not when I’m at work. 

My goals for a “lunch” are relatively simple.  I want something I can eat unheated, so I don’t have to line up at the microwave before I eat..  I want something that‘s relatively high protein, because nobody else seems to see how absurd it is to have lunch at noon when you come in after 8, so I need something that will tide me till I get to go home.  And I need something that will have at least enough flavour to make me feel like I’m not eating wet paper.  Oh.  And healthy and nutritious and low-GI and blah blah blah… 

Really, I mostly just want a meal that will hold me over till dinner, and that I can eat unheated.  And I keep hearing good things about these lentil things.  So, I did some reading and here’s a composite recipe:

  • 1 cup lentils
  • Some chopped ham
  • Salt, pepper, vinegar, mustard, garlic, onions.

Boil the lentils for about 20 minutes (till soft), mix in the ham, maybe a spoon or mustard, onions, garlic, salt and pepper to taste.

Let it cool, throw it in a tub.

Eat it at work the next day

I have to confess, it came out vastly more tasty than I expected it to.  The little bit of mustard goes a long way, and with the pepper it had flavour and texture, both things I was concerned about.  The mustard didn’t seem like enough when it was hot, but chilled, it was surprisingly good.

The downside is that it’s basically mush, with all of the character and charm that mush brings to the table.  The first order response is that I bet this would be wicked as a dip or spread on toast or crackers.  And suddenly I wonder what would happen if I toasted some of the lentils and dropped them in, I bet the texture would make it very interesting.

So I don’t think this is my magic lunch that I can make in huge batches and eat every day for a month.  But it’s interesting. 

“Red Lentils” was taken by Paul Giunta

Posted in cuisine.

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3 Responses

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  1. Passionista says

    I would love to try this! Any lentils in particular?

  2. ej says

    I wish I could make myself like lentils because, like you, I’ve heard such good things about them. But I don’t seem to like things that are good for me.

  3. YOUR MOM says

    add CUCUMBERS and TOMATOES and a teeny bit of cilantro!!!!

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