Don't let the short list of ingredients fool you, this high iron, high fiber dish is uniquely delicious. The fresh lemon zest works so well with these tender lentils. Its a healthy quick side to any meal. It's one of the few meals I've made thus far that doesn't have a serving size of 8! I guess I will have to double this for my team.
Lentils are one of those foods that just has the potential to look frightening to children. When my children refuse certain foods, it can bring them to tears. Neophobia is a fear of new foods. I kid you not, I looked it up and beside, you just can't make this stuff up. With that in mind, we have created dinner table therapy to help them overcome their fear.
Whenever one of my children (usually my 4 year old) refuses to eat what ever is for dinner, I tell her she just needs to have 1 scoop. If after 1 scoop she does not like it, then she doesn't have to eat anymore. Here's the thing, we clap and cheer for the enormous effort it takes for her to eat something brown and mushy. If she eats it we congratulate her for overcoming her fear of that food. It's nothing short of a celebration. If she doesn't, we try again another night. If the initial doesn't work, the reminder that it's a long time until breakfast usually gets her to eat the rest of the items on her plate! Some friends say they cave in and serve something else or give them cereal before bed, both of which I do not do....you know who you are!! My mom did not offer us multiple choices and I suppose I'm following her lead. The kids say I'm mean. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion :)
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
2 cups cooked lentils
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
5 basil leaves, rolled up like a cigar and cut into ribbons
Cook lentils according to instructions on packaging. I used 2 parts water 1 part lentils and cooked until tender and water was all gone. Mix all the above ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve warm or cold