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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Soaked Lentils with Poached Eggs

Soaked Lentils with Poached Eggs

today i want to talk personal stuff. maybe even TMI stuff. but it's important. to me, and maybe, to you, too.

i have stomach issues. i don't have a professional diagnosis but i have determined, with a degree of certainty, that i'm lactose intolerant, and i feel like i talk about it All The Time. this has been an ongoing self-study for about 4 years now. there are levels of discomfort after eating some dairy products, i mentally track how i feel on a daily basis now, depending on what i eat, not just milk-related stuff. it's not scientific, fool-proof and extremely time consuming. it's also frustrating to have to dissect a menu, ask the waiter (who will then have to ask the cook) what is in everything, then feel self-conscious, embarrassed even, for being such a pain in the ass.

notably tho, it's edumacational. everything that passes my lips has been thought about, debated over if it's worth the bloat afterwards. i've learned that buying organic isn't enough, i still gotta read the labels. i've learned that dramamine contains anhydrous lactose, an inactive ingredient derived from milk to sweeten the pill. so it's either i vomit from motion sickness OR i get heart burn. i've learned that i require multiple feedings, that if i don't eat right when i'm hungry, my stomach will hurt and my day is shot. i've learned that even tho lactaid pills work sometimes, my regularity goes out of whack every time i pop it.

Soaked lentils with Poached Eggs

this is my body. being in my 30s makes me all the more aware of everything -- how my digestion and metabolism has slowed down, that i have to do more to maintain myself minimally. i keep track of when i go, if you know what i mean and i think you do, i take daily doses of fiber to ensure some kind of regularity.

this is my life. this is what it's been like for awhile now. add in that mix some running, bikram yoga, and a hungry boyfriend who is always game to try anything i cook up. and what i've been cooking up lately are grains and beans and legumes, but soaking them for 12-24 hours beforehand. off & on for a number of years, i've had more misses than wins but i am sold on the practice of soaking. to learn more about the value of soaking, go here, and here, and here, and here. anything that will help me break down & digest food is something i am on board for.

Soaked Lentils with Poached Egg

Soaked Lentils with Poached Eggs
adapted from Roost and Food & Wine

1 cup of red lentils, soaked in water 24 hours prior (1 tsp lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, optional)
1/2 cup leeks, thoroughly cleaned and sliced, white part only
1/2 cup carrots, peeled & diced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 cup white wine (eyeball it), or instead use water or stock
olive oil
6 poached eggs (alternatively, you can fry your eggs, or use whatever protein on top)
handful baby arugula
balsamic vinegar

the night before, put 1 cup of lentils in a medium sized bowl. add water just past the top of lentils. check on it the next morning and add more water if you need to. the lentils will absorb the water & swell. prior to cooking, discard the water and rinse well.

when ready to cook, heat up olive oil in a big pan, med-high heat. add in the leeks. season with salt & pepper. as they cook down, add in the carrots. season again. after about 5 minutes, the leeks are slightly caramelized and the carrots are starting to soften, add in the celery. saute for another 5 minutes and then throw in the lentils. pour in the white wine, deglaze the bottom. bring to simmer, stir often, and allow the liquid to reduce. if the lentils are not cooked thru yet, add more wine/stock/water until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. season with salt/pepper.

while that is cooking, poach up your eggs (or fry them) to desired doneness.

to assemble, plate up the lentils first, add a handful of arugula and then put the egg on top. season egg with salt/pepper. we had some thick balsamic vinegar in the fridge so we drizzled a bit around the plate.

this was the 2nd time we've made it and finally, it was how i wanted it to be.


  1. Yarrgh, I'm sorry about your lactose intolerance. What a headache -- or stomachache, I guess. But at least there's a world of delicious lentils out there: Who needs milk?

  2. This recipe is drool-worthy. Good for you for being diligent, asking questions and taking the time to figure out what your body needs to function.

  3. Wow...such an interesting recipe for everything that's topped with an egg. I don't know why more restaurants don't make space in their menus for allergy details.

  4. Definitely not TMI, I love your opinions and advice on how you eat. Also. This looks scrumptious :-)

  5. meister - exactly, who needs milk?!

    SKM - being informed is the best way to combat this.

    vinita - the onus *should* be on the diner to ask questions, assuming something on a menu is reckless and not the fault of the restaurant, i think. but still, being forthcoming with info is helpful.

    patty - thank you!