I have had some really long, difficult, and tiring past few days. Today was no exception. I didn't feel so terrific, and the heat really compounded how I was feeling, making me barely functional.
But supper needs to be made and served to my family. If we weren't on a gluten free diet, I'd absolutely be tempted to buy takeout for tonight's supper. Of course, not having takeout in my area and not having a car to get takeout from further away makes this not a realistic possibility, even if we'd felt like spending the money.
But of course, being gluten free makes everything more complicated, and even many of the quick staples many people have in their home for times like these (crackers, sliced store bought bread) are things I can't really stock because finding frugal gluten free versions of those are nearly impossible, and I still haven't gotten good enough at gluten free baking to make my own. (My last version of gluten free bread was the first food I threw out in a while. It tasted and had the texture of a dried out Scotch-brite sponge.)
On top of that all, I'm trying to really cut back the use of dairy in our home because I think pasteurized cows milk causes us stomach aches (haven't had access to raw cow's milk to test that out) and because goat milk and cheeses are quite expensive, so I'm keeping those to a minimum. So none of my previous quick and frugal dinners that I used to make, like homemade mac and cheese with a salad on the side, are options. Pasta is pretty much out, as is cheese. Bummer.
Supper tonight came as an inspiration from my friend, Robin, a frequent commenter on the blog.
Completely at a loss of what to make for supper, especially since I didn't feel like slaving away in the kitchen when my eyes could barely stay open, and because I was trying to still keep this frugal, and because I'm limited in the ingredients with which I can cook, and because my creativity is completely shot when I'm this wiped out, I turned to Robin, asking for ideas.
Her idea, simple to make, simple in ingredients, and seeming like it would taste very bland is actually quite delicious, cheap, and the perfect alternative to takeout on a day like today. You would not believe that it has no spices and very few ingredients, it tastes so great. And oh- don't let its appearance fool you; it may not look like anything special, but its taste is absolutely heavenly.
So here it -
Robin's Red Lentil Mash Recipe
1 large onion
2 medium zucchini
3 medium carrots
2 cups red lentils
4 cups water
1. Dice onion and saute in oil until golden.
2. Peel carrots. Grate carrots and zucchini. Add them to the onions and saute for a few minutes.
3. Add lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Cook until falling apart.
4. Salt to taste.
Serve over rice or with tortillas or flatbreads or even eat it plain. This can be enjoyed both hot or cold.
What do you serve for supper on days that you are completely and thoroughly overwhelmed and the thought of cooking supper stresses you out completely?