Lentils and Self Reflection

I want to revisit this loneliness thing. My sister and brother-in-law went out-of-town and the day before they left I felt this suffocating dread. I realized how much I rely on her down here. How much I lean on her to be my sister, my best friend and my companion in all things.

Healthy? Absolutely. I’m so lucky to be this close to my sister (and my whole family, for that matter), being best friends with her is one of the greatest things in my world.

We all know that I’m not good at being alone. That’s why I didn’t leave home until I was 25. Yet here I am, living in this vibrant, young city where I know very few people. My sister knows how this feels, when she moved down here three years ago, she went through the same thing. The difference is that my sister thrives off being alone. She’s good at it.

Me? Not so much.

So last week I found myself freaking the fuck out. What would I do with my time? Why am I such a failure at making friends? I have this weird instinctual self-judgment button, something I find myself pressing when I’m alone.

Guys! Guess what?! I survived! Not only that, but I did find myself enjoying it. I took long walks with the dogs, I threw myself into work, I did a lot of yoga and I spent a mess load of time in the kitchen. The first friend I made in Austin came to visit me at work, and for some reason he has become this person I unload all my doubts on (I think it’s his very yoga, zen like outlook on life.) We sat in the sunshine and I brought up my fear and failure with loneliness and solitude.

His answer?

Loneliness is practice for growing into a stronger version of ourselves.

Amen to that. Here’s to a stronger, more well-rounded me.

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Warm Lentil and Root Vegetable Salad

Inspired and adapted from Clean Eating (serves 4- or in my case, leftovers for days)

  • 3 red beets, peeled and chopped into cubes
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped into cubes
  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 3 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups mushrooms of choice, chopped
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Start with the beets and sweet potatoes. After cutting them into cubes, toss the beets with one Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on one baking sheet. Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 Tbsp olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper and put on another baking sheet. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes, stirring and flipping occasionally.

Move onto the  lentils. Combine the vegetable broth with the lentils and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and let cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

Sautee the red onions in 1 Tbsp olive oil for 5-7 minutes, waiting for them to start caramelizing. Add the mushrooms and the red wine vinegar. Cook for another 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add in 3 Tbsp of lemon juice to reduce the sticking in the pan, and aid in the caramelization. You want to sautee everything for about 15 minutes, then keep on low while the rest of the vegetables/lentils cook.

Remove the beets and sweet potatoes, drain the remaining liquid from the lentils and serve. I ate mine over a bed of arugula, because that stuff is like crack to me, but the original recipe calls for sauteed kale or mustard greens. Do whatever floats your boat.

This is a great recipe that fills you up and is perfect for my cleanse- 9 days in! WOO HOO (I feel like a million bucks. For real)

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2 thoughts on “Lentils and Self Reflection

  1. This week’s “Meatless Monday” Center of Plate! You’ve already helped me change my eating habits – I have everything I need for this already in this house!

  2. I’m so happy to hear that you’re doing Meatless Mondays!! This lentil salad is DELICIOUS, and perfect because it’s super easy to throw together. Fills you up, too. Thanks for reading my blog!!

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