So, I’ve told you a little bit about my mom. Now it’s time to talk about my dad.
I am, without a doubt, my father’s daughter. I always joke that we’re the same person, except for the fact that I lack a mustache.
My love of food definitely stemmed from growing up with my dad. He took great care in developing my palate from an early age, making sure that I didn’t become a picky eater (my poor brother, who somehow manages to live off of spaghetti, pizza and sweet & sour chicken, doesn’t know what he’s missing!). On family vacations, he always took us to barbeque shacks in the middle of nowhere or food stands along the highway and divey diners that were off the beaten path and introduced us to foods that we’d never tried before. Who needs Guy Fieri when you have my Dad?
I have a very vivid memory of going out for dinner one night when I must’ve been around 10 or 11 years old. We went to a Thai restaurant, and never having tried Thai food before, Dad ordered a few dishes for us kids to try. There was Pad Thai and Pad See Ewe (still favorites to this day) and a basket of little fried rings.
“Try this,” Dad said to me.
“What is it?”
“Just try it,” he assured me, and my love affair with calamari began right then and there. He waited until we had finished the basket to tell me that I had just eaten squid, but at that point it didn’t matter. Later that year, I insisted on having my birthday party at that same restaurant.
So when my dad told me that he had decided to take his health into his own hands and become a vegetarian a few weeks ago, I had to say that I was a little bit shocked. This is the king of all things barbeque, bacon, and beef for eff’s sake. But I support him in this next chapter of life, and while I could not possibly live without pork belly and filet mignon in my life, I’m starting to make a more conscious effort to go meatless more often.
So I was thrilled to see that the recipe I received for this week’s recipe swap was meat free. I immediately picked up the phone and invited Dad over for dinner. We both enjoyed this dish, but felt that the tomatoes really took away from the flavors of the other vegetables. I also felt that it was missing “something” so I added a little bit of goat cheese to my portion. I also took the originator’s suggestion and accompanied my portion with a small slice of rotisserie chicken.
Roasted Vegetables with Lentils and Crispy Chickpeas – from Nestie Nunyabeeswax (Thanks Britney!)
- 1 Bag Lentils, uncooked
- 1 32 oz. Carton Vegetable (or Chicken) Stock
- 1 Can Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans), rinsed
- 1 Zucchini, halved and cut into 1 inch slices
- 1 Container Cherry Tomatoes, left whole
- 1 Fennel Bulb, sliced
- 1 Package (or about 1 Cup) Shitake Mushrooms
- 1 Orange Bell Pepper, thickly diced
- 1 Yellow Pepper, thickly diced
- 2 Shallots, sliced (I omitted because I forgot about them)
- 1 tsp. Dried Oregano or Italian Seasoning
- 4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
- 1 Rotisserie Chicken Breast (optional)
- Goat Cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. In a large bowl, combine vegetables with 2 Tbsp. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes.
Meanwhile, add the lentils to a saucepan and add enough vegetable (chicken) stock to cover (I used the full carton). Bring to a boil and cover with the lid slightly tilted. Cook for 15 minutes until the lentils have absorbed the stock.
Heat a skillet over medium heat for 4 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp. Olive Oil, wait one minute then add oregano. Let bloom for another minute then add chickpeas. Saute the chickpeas while constantly shaking the pan (or stirring) over the flame until they begin to brown and the skins become crispy. Add more olive oil as needed. This step took about 15 minutes for me.
Serve the roasted vegetables and chickpeas over the lentils. If desired, garnish with rotisserie chicken and goat cheese.