Protein, protein, protein. Of the most delicious kind.

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Did you know that you can view this month’s issue of Vegetarian Times magazine online for free? You can! You must! Click here and prepare to engage drooling mode.

When you get to page 71 you’ll see what I’m talkin’ bout. The lentil salad featured there is heavenly.

If you’re anything like me, since you began working out (or considering working out) you’ve heard, read, seen, and been advised by the neighbor and his dog that you MUST. EAT. PROTEIN. And if you’re a veggie/vegan athlete omigosh worse. Ze protein is ze tres important! And don’t you dare forget it.

Sure, protein (or really, amino-acids) is a super important part of nutrition, athlete or no athlete. I think the problem arises when peeps assume the only way ever to get protein is to grill a steak or down a carton of milk. Yes, those are protein sources, but– in my very humble opinion– sometimes the cons outweigh the benefit. There are alternatives, but to use them or not is of course entirely up to you.

That’s where this dish comes in.

I was able to make this recipe very fast because I already had lentils cooked and ready to be used. Lentils freeze really well, and that’s how I keep all my beans ready to be used on a whim, skipping the lengthy cooking times. I’m a ready bitch.

Lentils and Honey Cashews (adapted from Chef Ottolenghi’s recipe, for Vegetarian Times magazine)

I followed the recipe exactly as it is explained on the magazine (what, you’re not going to make me copy it here for you, are you), except that I didn’t have any endives. To be terribly honest, I don’t even know what endives are. You hear that? It’s foodies everywhere going oh no she di-n’t. It’s true. BUT. Instead of endives I sauteed some onion, zucchini and red pepper, and they complimented the dish beautifully. I sprinkled a bit of dried parsley (because I didn’t have fresh), and paprika. Oh goodness.

Tips: Do use parchment paper to line your baking sheet! The honey-turmeric coating on the cashews will become super sticky when it starts cooling down, so if you need to you can just pop the baking sheet back in the oven to warm it up a bit, thus softening the honey mix and making the removal of the parchment paper easy peasy. Clean up without fuss.

The taste of this stuff is amazing. The mixture of the vinegar with the honey on the lentils, and then the sweetness with the slight spiciness of the pepper flakes on the cashews… I made a super large batch for leftovers, right? Well, ask me where are the leftovers and I’ll deny even knowing what you’re talking about.

The lentils are protein and fiber, cashews are protein and healthy fats, turmeric is an amazing anti-inflammatory, honey is an anti-bacterial and anti-viral, and veggies are your best friends ever, always. So there: Perfect food, fit for a top elite athlete. Or for a regular person who likes eating like a motherfuckin’ king.

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