Meatless Sunday: Making it “Ours”

Last night we managed to get Meatless Sunday back on track. We’ll see how long that goes for, since Sunday may have been a poor choice, in retrospect; but I will keep going for as long as I can manage!

Last night, I made cheddar and onion marmalade sandwiches while Karisa made tomato-lentil soup from scratch. Everything went swimmingly, and we decided we would do this for every meatless occasion – both of us would cook one recipe, from prep to plate, since every dish needs a side. In this case, every sandwich could use a soup on a cold day (actually, yesterday wasn’t so bad weather-wise, but the adage stands.) What’s great about this is that we cook together, in our kitchen, which is huge compared to the last one. But Karisa still complains that there’s not enough counter space, and I’m inclined to agree. We’ll address that in time.

For the cheddar and onion marmalade sandwiches, I made a half-batch to cut down on leftovers; leftovers just end up being placeholders in our fridge and cause more dirty tupperware than happy bellies. Making half a batch inevitably leads to the awkward half-measurement of something – in this case, 1/6 cup of red wine vinegar. I just eyeballed it on the measuring cup and it worked fine, but I’m thinking I should have a measuring shotglass with a 1-ounce line for measuring small amounts of liquid. In fact, I just went to Amazon and found that Anchor Hocking makes a measuring shotglass that has lines for teaspoons, tablespoons, and ounces for $5.99. I added it to my Home and DIY wish list.

As for the tomato-lentil soup, it’s hard to say that we made alterations since Karisa has a delightful tendency to throw together delicious soups and stews from scratch. I had her write down the recipe as she went, though, and so I have that for anyone who wants it. My recommendation is that you cut down on the lentils by a third if you’re not crazy about them, and simmer the soup for 30-40 minutes if you can swing it. The lentils turned out nice and firm, and I really liked them, but I’m thinking some people might prefer them to be a little softer, I don’t know.

The result:
Deliciousness! Again! The cheddar and onion marmalade sandwiches turned out fantastically, even though I should have known that when you use the oven broiler to toast the top of your bread, you should put it in, count to twenty, and check it. Yes, I charred the cut sides of the baguette, a little. I think it actually enhanced the flavor a little, but it was just a bit too much crunch for me – like there were croutons in it, or something. I learned my lesson there (knock on wood.) I don’t think I used as much spinach as it called for, though. Next time we make these, we’re going to use these big garlic rolls we get from Sam’s Club – first of all, they smell like crazy bread and it just drives me insane with ferocious garlic bread longing, and second of all, there’s more real estate on those for marmalade, cheddar, and spinach. I’m fairly certain that we can get two sandwiches from a half-batch using the garlic rolls.

The tomato-lentil soup was wonderful, full of tomato and veggie chunks and thick with lentils. For those who are unfamiliar with lentils, they’re beans and they’re also seeds. They have the third-highest amount of protein by weight of any plant-based food, behind soy and hemp. About a quarter of the calories in lentils is, in fact, protein. However, it should be pointed out that lentils are actually better for you if you soak them overnight in warm water. That being said, the soup made a great companion to the sandwiches, and we are looking forward to finding another soup and sandwich combination at some point in the future.

Cheddar and Onion Marmalade Sandwiches
Karisa’s tomato-lentil soup

Have a great week!

– Rob


    • They are. So are beans. It’s part of a larger family called “pulses,” which were traditionally fed to livestock and they share certain . . . nutritional characteristics . . . with soybeans.

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