Adventures in Trying New Foods: Lentils and Cabbage Update
Since the beginning of the year, I’ve challenged myself to try a new food each month, which I outlined in this post here. In January I tried kale, and then in February I tried Brussels sprouts. In March I was supposed to try cabbage, but I never got around to it.
But, I’m pleased to report that in April, I tried the food reserved for the month—lentils—and also made up for lost time by trying out cabbage, as well. My most adventurous month to date!
First up, was trying cabbage.
To ease into this veggie, I found a pretty simple cabbage salad recipe on Pinterest (you can follow my board on there here, where I’m bookmarking recipes to try with these different new-to-me foods). So I mixed it up one night and was shocked at how much it made when you chopped it all up. I ended up using only a quarter of a head of cabbage and it still lasted me and my husband an entire week! And, despite its simplicity, it was pretty good. I made a mental note that it’d make for a good potluck dish and didn’t have to wait long to put it to the taste. The following week, I whipped it up (using half a head) and the dish got rave reviews.
Then I still had some cabbage left, so I tried another simple dish to use it up: roasting it using some olive oil and lemon juice. That recipe came out okay but not good enough for me to add the recipe to my collection, like I did with the first one. (Although next time I pick up another head of cabbage, I want to try this family recipe for cabbage rolls that reader Melissa shared. It sounds delish!)
Then came the lentils. I had ripped a couple of magazine recipes out that had some simple dressings for cooked lentils—which involved using either red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar mixed with Dijon mustard—and both were pretty good. I think they’ll make nice alternatives to rice that I'm keeping in my stash.
While I stayed pretty safe with the cabbage, with the lentils, I had a couple of kinda-crazy recipes up my sleeve that I wanted to try out.
The first of those was for a lentil loaf—basically a vegetarian meatloaf-kind-of dish. I am pretty weary of most meat substitutes so I didn’t have very high expectations for this. While I don’t think you’d ever mistake it for the real thing, it actually was pretty good! And it smelled just like a real meatloaf. Making it was kind of involved, but I think for the healthy punch it provides, it was worth it. Another one to add to the recipe chest.
And then, with the month dwindling down, I tried a lentil recipe recommended by one of my readers (thanks, Melissa!) who had linked to it in a previous comment: lentil tacos. They reminded me of refried beans, and I was kind of floored by how good they were! (Plus, they don't take near as long to make as regular refried beans do, which I know will come in handy.) Another keeper.
With some spices and seasonings, it seems to me like lentils are super versatile—maybe similar to how they say tofu can take on any flavor. Needless to say, I have a newfound respect for the humble lentil. I’m eager to keep trying out some more lentil recipes and see what other surprises they have in store!
And now for May? Artichokes. And I already picked some up from the grocery store (fresh and jarred) so I’m hoping that’ll keep me on track for this month. If you have any good artichoke recipes, I’d love to hear them in the comments!
A New Years Resolution: Adventures in Trying New Foods from Okra to Artichokes
Getting New Recipe Ideas