February Ingredient of the Month

Let’s just cut to the chase.

I’m a “kept woman”.

And you know, it’s really okay. In fact, my stereotypical housefrau status took a detour to the 1950’s when we moved overseas as I still don’t have a bank account or a credit card. I literally get a household allowance each month!  We’re working on sorting it all out but the funny thing is, it’s oddly freeing. No credit card to taunt me while out shopping.  No bills to stress over. I use cash for everything and I know how long it’s gotta last.

Of course it’s no surprise that groceries take up the majority of the household allowance and as such, I’m always looking for inexpensive meals (helloooo?? slush fund!).  Because I’m nearly a vegetarian, I also like to use ingredients that offer a high level of protein as well.

Besides using healthy ingredients, coming up with tasty and interesting meals is a challenge for any family. Inexpensive and easy to make, too? Geesh, what else are you going to ask for? How about the moon as a side dish?

Well, you’re in luck. February’s Ingredient of the Month is the lovely lentil. She’s a simple gal that adapts well. Although she’s not much to look at, she’s easy to please and you don’t have to break the bank on accompanying ingredients to make it a hot date.

Picture courtesy of treehugger.com

In addition, they’re über-healthy for you.  Not only full of protein, lentils offer the essential amino acids isoleucine and lysine, contain dietary fiber, folate, vitamin B1, and are known for being one of the best vegetable sources of iron. Phew! All that AND they can taste great? Sign me up!

Each month I will post the Ingredient of the Month and my favorite recipe. I encourage you to leave your comments with your own favorite recipe using the feature ingredient. I might even try yours out and blog about it!

Potato Madras

This is probably the ugliest dish you’ve ever eaten. After adding all the ingredients and putting it on the stove to simmer, I thought for sure it was going to be a Hausfrau Fail — it looked boring and tasted bland.  But alas, that is when all the madras magic happens! During the simmer.

I’ve since made this meal a dozen times and served it for guests (who went home with the recipe). All for less than $2.50 a serving! My Chef Notes: Nix the vinegar and don’t add the chutney until you’re at the table. I serve the chutney as a (mandatory) accompaniment.

Awful iPhone photography aside, she’s still not much to look at.

RECIPE: Potato Madras with Mango Chutney

Really impress with a side of Naan Bread

Photo courtesy of B. Spradley.

Domestically Yours,

Natasha Kay

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