I am the worst person without a kitchen. I walk around the space where it was – with sad face. Recipe test # 2.

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My poor husband has to renovate our house by himself, pretty much because I lack any practical DIY genes. Or any practical genes at all. I often have to wash the car more than once because I forget to actually wash it with an actual cloth and just end up getting soaked in water with no idea why the car is still not clean. Anyway, I have tried to channel some of my lovely friend’s awesome skills, but unlike Nicola Brown I am useless when it comes to housey stuff.

I am however a dab hand at finding things to eat. This is very important when you have watched someone work really hard all day. No-one ever considers how hard it is for the spectator it is very difficult (you need iron steel dedication – it’s so tiring).

Anyway this week’s recipe I stole from Eleanor Ozich’s ‘My Petite Kitchen Cookbook’.

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I didn’t have some of the ingredients so I changed it up a bit.

Braised Lentils in a Rich Tomato and Preserved Lemon Sauce.
Served Myself, Jed and Jed’s Mum (and then heaps more left over for Jed’s lunch)…I could have written four but where is the fun in that.

2 tablespoons ghee (you can use butter or olive oil)
1 diced brown onion
4 garlic cloves chopped
1 large handful of thyme chopped (I didn’t have any thyme so used parsley)
2 tablespoons thinly sliced preserved lemons (I used juice of whole lemon and the zest instead)
400g tin lentils* (rinse them before use as they soak in brine which is high in salt)
* I added in another can of cannellini beans because I am greedy (you can use kidney beans etc)
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes (I used one can and 1 ½ cups fresh tomatoes because we had heaps in the garden)
Handful of roughly torn basil (go supersize on this)
Grated parmesan cheese to serve (I had none so ignored this)
Olive oil for drizzling (or generously pouring)

1. Melt the ghee in large saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic, onions (thyme if you have it too) and cook. Stir regularly for 10 minutes until onion is soft and slightly brown.
2. Add lentils (and extra beans if you wish) lemon rind and juice (or preserved lemons if you are sticking to recipe) and tomatoes and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook for about 10-15 minutes until thick (or until it is warmed through if you are too impatient to wait – like me).
3. Stir in ¾ of basil, season with salt and pepper.
4. Serve scattered with rest of basil, generous swirl of olive oil and the parmesan if you have it.

I had the lentils on about 1/2 cup of cooked amaranth and quinoa and 2 big handfuls of chopped lettuce. Because that is how I roll (and because Jed’s Mum was there and I was pretending to be the healthiest ever).

That my friends is it.

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I like this recipe because it is easy and it is also so very good for you (awesome amounts of lycopene from the tomatoes and with the added olive oil, it helps you absorb more of this awesome antioxidant). Plus lentils are high in fibre, and a good source of plant based protein (9g protein per 100g lentils).

Cheap and easy. I failed sixth form maths so I can’t be a hundred percent certain that my equations are right but I figure it cost me approximately about $6.5327* to make the whole lot. Cheaper than Aqualine Gib board that’s for sure.

*True story it was about $6.50 to make it.

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