If It’s the New Year, it Must Be Lentils

When I first started to experience the illuminating relationship between what I ate and how I felt, lentils became my first new friend, with brown rice a close second. At the time, I did my writing at a place called The Writers Room, an “urban writers colony,” in the Village in New York City. I would spend all day there and grab lunch at a health food deli across the street. Brown rice and lentils. Every day. Same thing. I loved it. It’s the Italian tradition to eat lentils on New Years Eve and I wrote about in detail here. Lentils, the bean eaters say, resemble tiny coins, so ingesting them at midnight as the one year moves into the next is supposed to bring prosperity in the year to come. Far fetched, I know, but what’s the harm in trying? The wild rice in this version brings a great chewy element to the lentils, plus it makes it go further. Plus I just wrote a book on grainbowls so, yeah. There’s that. Here's to eating well and, if it just so happens, getting rich.   & ...

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Every once in awhile I do something in the kitchen that even I think is cool, and today was one of those days. It wasn't difficult. Not even that surprising. Still, I've never known anyone else to make a hot breakfast cereal out of quinoa. (In fact, a quick Google search turned up tons of others who have done this before me, including one recipe with a picture that makes you want to take a bite out of your computer screen, on the blog 101 Cookbooks; but I didn't know about them, so it was still an invention for me!) Quinoa is an ancient South American grain (actually it is the seed of a plant, but for cooking and eating purposes you can think of it as a grain). Heathfoodies, particularly those that don't eat animals, love it for its high protein content. And it's a good thing for the sake of the quinoa, because it's the kind of food that has to be loved for something other than it's deliciousness. Although it's not bad, and it can actually be kind of good, it's not good enough to insp ...

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