Tuesday, March 6, 2012

More recipe art: Red Lentil Bolognese

red lentil bolognese

Bolognese is a traditional Italian meat sauce, but since we are vegetarian we get a bit creative. The lentils give a hearty texture as well as a subtle creaminess, and of course a tasty, tasty protein, especially when served atop whole wheat pasta.

Red Lentil Bolognese

1/2 bag red lentils

2 sm or 1 lg onion, diced
4-5 lg cloves garlic, crushed
1 (16oz) pkg white button mushrooms, sliced
1 gr pepper, diced
2 carrots, chopped
3-4 stalks celery chopped
1 (32oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (32oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 Tbsp Italian herb blend (recipe to follow)
1 Tbsp basil
salt & pepper

In a medium pot, cover the lentils with water and cook until just tender.
Meanwhile, saute the onions until translucent then add the garlic and cook a minute more.
Add the mushrooms and cook until they release their juices and the liquid has evaporated.
Add the rest of the ingredients and the drained lentils. Simmer until the vegetables are just tender.
Serve over pasta. YUM!

Italian Herb Blend
(When I make it 1 Part = 1 Tbsp, but you can make bigger or smaller batches as desired.)

3 parts basil
2 parts each, marjoram, oregano, & thyme
1 part rosemary, crushed

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Ladybugs at Bedtime

tonight's post brought to you by The Llama Papa:

The Llama is a little over 2 years old now, and talks to us in a combination of toddler-ASL and spoken toddler-English. He's a late talker-- it's pretty much the only thing that he's behind the curve on. Well, for several bedtimes now he's been signing a particular sign to us that we hadn't been able to figure out-- he can't fully articulate all the signs yet, as is normal at that age. It looked like his sign for "bird" or "duck" but he let us know that wasn't it. Last night, after he went to bed, I suggested to The Llama Mamma that he might be signing "bug," although at the time we couldn't figure out why he would be saying that. Tonight he did the sign again, and she asked him if he was signing "bug." the Llama went over to his box of puzzle pieces and pulled out the one shaped like a ladybug to show us that yes, this was what he was saying. I finally realized why. We have a cheap little board book called "Lily Ladybird" which is about a lazy bug who just wants to sleep all day, but the other bugs keep her up to exercise and "she doesn't sleep again until it's time for bed." Well, tonight we were keeping the Llama awake until bedtime (he already gets up at 5 AM or sometimes sooner, so we're loathe to let the bedtime creep any earlier), so he was referencing the book to indicate that it was the same thing which happened to the bug. I recited a bit from the end of the book to him and he broke out in a big grin, as if to say "Yes, they finally get it!" I'm just amazed that he's already comprehending what's going on in the books we read and relating them to his life, and then communicating it to us as best he can. There's so much more going on in that little brain than can yet get out through the hands and mouth. I love my boy!
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