I do something similar to tessa - i make a sort of thick lentil soup with a base of sauteed finely chopped onion and garlic, add chopped carrot, celery, the lentils, (i prefer the small ones) and one or two cut up potatoes, salt, plenty of black pepper. When they've cooked a little i add rice or other grain (orzo works too). Sometimes chopped spinach which goes really well. When lentils are cooked soft, you let them cool and add an egg, a couple of handfuls of parmigiano, some breadcrumbs and a little flour to bind, and then cook in a frying pan with a little oil.
Home made ketchup is great with them
cook some tomatoes (canned are fine) with some brown sugar (2 or 3 tbsp per can) vinegar (2 tbsp), garlic, thyme, basil, ground clove (a good pinch), other herbs you may like, and after about ten or fifteen minutes, i blend with an immersion blender, or let it cool and put in the regular blender. Once you taste it this way, it's hard to eat teh commercial stuff. I used to make this when i would start the lentils.
The trick is to sort of squash the vegetables and lentils and add enough dry stuff to make them hold their shape. One egg is enough, or you'll get it too liquid to shape.
I used to make them as a side product of lentil soup. Make the lentils cook without the rice until they're firm but not hard (soft enough to eat but hold their shape) and a little liquidy. Toast good artisanal type bread and rub garlic on it. Put in the dish, a little olive oil on it, then the soup. You have a complete protein because the bread and the lentils produce complete protein strands if eaten together.
While you;re eating add the rice or orzo and cook till thick and the grain is soft. Then refrigerate for the next day.
my daughter stopped eating meat at 16 and i did lots of these. It was also cheap and at the time there was mad cow.
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