Burning Angry and Red Hot Lentils

Don’t you love teaching moments? I had one last night so I thought I’d share. Last night I planned to go a gentle yoga class with Julia at 8:30. I was stoked to see her and to get some guided relaxation in. And then I open the garage door and there is someone blocking our driveway.

Context: Between our driveway and our neighbors driveway, there’s a spot big enough for a Smart Car or a motorcycle, and yet people with all sorts of large cars would park there and block us all the time. So we asked the city to paint the ends of the driveways red. It has had no effect.

When this happens, you can call the transportation authority to get them ticketed or towed. To get them towed, you have to stick around. I was so mad that I asked to have them towed. I really wanted to like them because they had an NPR bumper sticker, a Team in Training license plate frame, and the car was a Subaru, but instead I was just PO’d. So I waited outside, in the cold and the dark for 35 minutes. The parking people will call you when they show up, but I wanted to be there to explain my frustrations to the driver if they showed up.

Finally, after 35 minutes, I realized there were about 10 million better things I could be doing with my time. Seeing this person get towed really wasn’t worth my effort and energy. So I went inside, made some hot chocolate, and Alex and I watched Top Chef. An hour and a half later, the parking people call, and unsurprisingly, the car was gone.

It occurred to me then that I could have had them ticketed, which is much faster, and then I would have been able to catch a cab and go to yoga. Instead, I sat fuming on the street and then annoyed at the car and myself on the couch. And now I’m glad they didn’t get towed because it’s the holidays and that would suck and it wasn’t like I HAD to get out of the driveway for work or anything.

The universe always finds a way to remind you about compassion, so I’m taking the lesson to heart. This story isn’t very flattering to me, but it’s honest and I think we all go through those moments of anger or hurt or sadness where it’s hard to see clearly.

At least I made a freaking delicious dinner that I can share with you that was spicy and comforting and healthy.

Red Hot Lentils
inspired by Spanish Style Lentils in Mark Bittman’s How To Cook Everything Vegetarian

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • ½ – 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chopped bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • ½ cup French green lentils
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • Bread or grains for serving

Method:

  • Heat olive oil in a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add garlic, carrots, and onion and cook until soft , 5 – 7 minutes.
  • Add bay leaves, paprika, and celery salt and cook one minute more.
  • Add lentils and water or vegetable broth and bring to a boil .
  • Reduce to a simmer, cover partially, and let cook for 25 – 30 minutes until lentils are softened. You may need to add water or broth along the way.
  •  Serve over greens with bread or rice/millet/quinoa.
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