first thoughts and lentil salad with brussels sprouts

I’m taking a deep breath and diving into the blogging world for a number of reasons.  Primarily, I want a venue to release some thoughts and share what I am learning.  Having recently discovered that I am gluten intolerant, I’ve been forced to limit certain items from my diet, and this has turned out to be an enormous blessing in disguise.  I am unearthing a deep love for food and cooking that I wasn’t aware of before, and I am discovering a whole world of delicious ingredients and flavors.  I’ve developed a respect for good quality foods and a passion to prepare with a richer array of variety and assortment.  Food has become a greater priority, and I have no complaints.

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Today began with a beautiful snowfall but quickly slumped into misty ice drizzles that discourage a venture outside.  Instead of walking to the library, I am taking on my thesis-writing from home.  This did afford me the chance to prepare lunch for my  mother.  Today is the anniversary of her baptism, which is significant because my family is very Catholic and very big.  Baptismal days (when remembered) get more pomp and circumstance than birthdays, and are also an occasion for everyone to sit around the table and take a turn to vocally honor the one being celebrated.  Since there is an overabundance of good things to say about my mom, I don’t mind giving a brief summary of some of her fine traits.

Profile of Teresa Murray

-Cheerful; doesn’t complain much
-Helps many people in many different ways
-Very kind and loving to her neighbors
-Has great taste in children’s books
-Doesn’t like wasting time; leisure for her= reading, walks, board games, puzzles
-Admires Michelle Obama’s fashion sense
-Likes simplicity; doesn’t like clutter or too much loud noise
-Has a knack for knowing where everything is in the house
-Very patient and good-natured
-Always willing to hear the other side of the story; open to people
-Great sense of humor
-Appreciates good music
-Is an all-star mom…We are incredibly lucky.  And I’m sorry this looks like a list of her ingredients.

I made my mom a simple salad of lentils and brussels sprouts, which I laid over a bed of turnip greens.  Tomorrow night we’ll have a family dinner together to celebrate.

Brussels Sprout and Lentil Salad

Inspired by Happy Yolks

Ingredients:
2 cups cooked De Puy lentils
2 cups of sliced brussels sprouts
1/2 onion, sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tbsp. organic coconut oil
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
2 tbsp. raw honey
3 tbsp pumpkin seeds
sea salt for flavor
4 cups of turnip greens (optional and interchangeable with your lettuce or leafy green vegetable of choice)

Heat coconut oil in a large pan on the stove and add the brussels spouts and onions once the oil has liquified.  Saute on medium heat until slightly browned, then stir in the minced garlic and sprinkle with salt.  Add the mixture to the bowl of cooked lentils.  Top with mustard and drizzle with honey.  Toss all the ingredients together.  Take a bite to gauge the taste and add more honey or mustard as preferred.  Serve over the turnip greens and scatter the pumpkin seeds over the plate.  I imagine that beet greens would also be delicious because of their slight saltiness. This simple salad is bursting with flavor and full of so many good vitamins and nutrients.  Enjoy!

PS. A note on sauteing brussels sprouts.  I didn’t grow up eating them often, but there seem to be a lot of people who despise them during childhood and then rekindle a relationship with them later on.  Perhaps cooking methods have something to do with this, because I will say that my youngest sister requests them almost every day!

Serves about 4

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