recipe weirdness

Terry’s cholesterol numbers recently came back a tad higher than she or her doctor would have liked, so I planned a number of vegetarian dinners for last week. One of those was a potato, lentil, and spinach stew I found in the vegetarian section of my Living Cookbook database. The Source field carefully cited the cookbook it came from: Williams-Sonoma Food Made Fast: Vegetarian. I’ve never owned or used that cookbook, so I assume I originally got the recipe online, probably from the Yahoo! vegetarian group back when I was a member.

WilliamsSonomaBut here’s the thing. The recipe called for the lentils to be cooked in advance. Now, really, isn’t that cheating? I mean who cooks lentils in advance? And without the lentils cooked in advance, it really isn’t a fast meal. I thought about cooking the potatoes and lentils separately in two sauce pans, but that seemed like more work than necessary, and why use a second pan that will need to be washed?

The other piece here is that I threw in a carrot, since the recipe as written seemed a bit spare, and that would require some cooking time. My solution? Use the pressure cooker. I peeled and sliced the potato and carrot and threw all the ingredients into the pressure cooker along with the spices the recipe called for: cumin, coriander, and garam masala. I added sufficient water to bring the cooker up to pressure.

It came out quite well, and Terry was pleased. I was happy about that.

But I still scratch my head at the cheating involved to force that recipe into the “fast” mold.



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