Lentils with Parsley Pesto

By Jamie • Uncategorized • 22 Jun 2012

I have been on a cash diet for the month of June. Yeah, in addition to the no coffee, I have also limited my spending to $100/week. Cash. I have been taking out $100 cash and well, that’s all I got for the week. This includes food, drinks, concerts… Gas I am usually writing off for business anyway, so I decided not to include that. Plus I drive a Jeep, so, that’d pretty much sink my budget in .001 seconds. Ok, so I cheat a little. Still, $100 is pretty tight. But, it’s a good way to save. I like the challenge.

Therefore, I have been foregoing dining out at restaurants¬†and having “just one” drink at a bar (we all know how that turns out). Instead, I cook. And I cook cheaply. I buy in bulk and make things like grains and beans. And fresh vegetables. And snack on on-sale fruits.

So when I had a bunch of parsley and a bunch of lentils to use up, I came up with this recipe. Yes, I actually have a recipe for you today. A simple one, but a recipe nonetheless.

It involves lentils, lemons, parsley, and soaked almonds.

Yeah, I have been pretty into soaking nuts lately. Soaking grains, beans, nuts… what have you… has great health benefits. Mostly, it makes the nuts easier to digest, and as it is the first step to sprouting, their nutriton profile increases substantially.

When you soak nuts, like almonds shown above, just place them in filtered water. I usually leave them about 8 hours or overnight. Then you drain them. You will see that the water is brownish. This is because by soaking the nuts, residue and tannins from the skins are released into the water. The almonds suddenly have a different, sweeter, more “almond-y” flavor. And they also have a better texture, in my opinion. Softer and smoother. I feel like when I eat soaked nuts they don’t leave my stomach feeling as heavy as when I eat un-soaked nuts. Yum!

Lentils with Parsley Pesto


4 cups cooked lentils

1 bunch flat leaf parsley

2 cloves garlic

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1/2 cup soaked almonds (above)

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

1/3 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method: Combine all ingredients in a food processor except lentils and olive oil. Process, adding olive oil little by little until a paste forms. Simply mix the paste (pesto) into the lentils. Serve warm or at room temperature.

I love this as a snack, a side dish, or a meal over some rice. It’s refreshing, healthy, and comforting all at the same time.

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