This post was created in partnership with my friends at Canadian Lentils for their #LetsLentil campaign. As always, all thoughts & opinions expressed are purely my own. Thank you so much for supporting the companies that inspire The Road to Honey and keep it thriving!!!
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Nearly one year ago, the Mr. and I came to the startling realization that Boston was more than the temporary rendezvous we had originally earmarked it for. Instead, fate dictated that it would become a place that we should embrace with open arms and set up more permanent roots in.
With this new found realization, it only seemed logical to scour the highly competitive and overpriced real estate market and find a place that we could turn into our own. But as exciting as this prospect may have seemed, there were countless days that we felt like throwing in the towel and abandoning the search entirely.
Too outdated, too small, overpriced, no parking, wrong neighborhood. . .there was always a glaring excuse as to why each home would not work. That was until one fate filled day, when we crawled over a pile of dirt and debris and shimmied past a construction barrier only to find ourselves in a mystical space that was once a landmark church constructed in the late 1800’s.
The soaring 18 foot ceilings and two story church windows took our breath away. I started to envision setting up my photography studio in the loft above the master bedroom. I could see it now. ..the animated beam of light piercing through those giant church windows and punctuating my photos with a dreamy atmosphere.
We couldn’t get pen and paper in our hands fast enough as we eagerly signed the contract and started to make move day arrangements. But time passed and construction plans lingered to the point that the move date always seemed permanently out of grasp.
So, last November, while I was in Patagonia snuggling with tuxedo clad Penguins and collecting data on their nesting habits, the Mr. decided he’d had enough and made the difficult, but smart, decision to pull out of the contract, leaving us once again in search of temporary housing.
This was a huge blow as we spent the past 5 years setting up a temporary home time and time again. I was tired and so desperately yearned to lay down some roots. . .so to speak.
We settled on an apartment in the heart of Seaport, a once thriving shipping area turned up and coming neighborhood with mesmerizing city and sea views. It was a small place – much smaller than the Victorian with the coveted ocean views we had enjoyed prior to putting a contract on the church. Treasured antiques collected during our time in Africa would have to be stowed away offsite as would the dining table that traveled with us around the globe. It felt as though we would never find the peace that comes with the comforts of having a more permanent home.
But all was not doom and gloom. With this temporary resting place high in the sky came conveniences such as a full time concierge – a complete blessing as this provided a feeling of safety when the Mr. was away on business for months on end. Oh. . .and the dog run. It really did make taking Pinta out on those notoriously cold Boston winter evenings so much more bearable.
While these perks certainly were nice, probably the biggest blessing of them all was moving into an apartment that had a fitness center tucked only a mere 5 floors below.
For the first time in 10 years, I found myself reunited with the super fit lifestyle that was once a top priority for me. And the Mr. . . well. . . he discovered muscles he never knew he had. But just between you and me, this healthy, more beef cake lifestyle has gotten to his head a little bit. Okay. . .more than a little bit. Case in point. . .during our last visit to Shanghai it was not uncommon for locals to politely ask to take photos with us. The Mr. was certain this was because he was being mistaken for a famous muscley wrestler turned actor. Ahem. . .sure honey. . .I’m sure that’s what it was.
Now I know what you are thinking. . . this site, flooded with all its carb rich, super indulgent treats, is hardly catering towards a healthy lifestyle. And you would be right. But while the Mr. and I like to enjoy sweet pleasures every now and then, this is not how we eat on a regular basis. Instead, we try to stick with a high protein diet and are always on the lookout for new ways to sneak a little extra protein into our meals. That’s what we love about lentils. These beauties may be small, but they sure do pack a giant dose of protein, fiber and even essential minerals in each and every bite. Best yet, they are also very low in fat. That’s what makes them perfect as part of a post work-out snack or meal.
Not only that, we find lentils to be extremely versatile. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper on them and they really do make the perfect snack. As a matter of fact, I couldn’t stop popping them into my mouth while I was making this tart and, at one point, I had to stop myself as I started to worry that I wouldn’t have enough to finish this tart.
I used lentils two ways in this Lentil & Carrot Tart. First, I toasted them in the oven, then ground them up into a flour which I used in the crust. It worked perfectly and I loved the toasted peppery flavor the lentils added to the crust.
And since lentils come in all kinds of colors, shapes and sizes, I decided to create a beautiful mosaic pattern on top of the tart with green, red, and brown lentils. This gave each tart I made a truly unique appearance and I must say that I had a lot of fun creating this little edible piece of art. I couldn’t help but think, having kids help decorate the tart with the lentils would be a fun way to involve them in cooking.
While this Lentil & Carrot Tart might look super fancy, I can assure you that it is extremely easy to make and could even be pulled together during a weeknight if you prep your ingredients ahead of time.
Now I recognize that pie crust can be challenging to make and I must admit that this crust wasn’t the easiest to work with, but you can either cook the crust ahead of time, or if you are short on time, you could even use a pre-made pie crust. I added garlic and other seasonings to my pie crust for added “oomph”, so if you do decide to go the pre-made route, you might want to brush a little olive oil on the crust and sprinkle the garlic and herbs on top.
And the lentils. . .well, the nice thing about them is they can be cooked ahead of time . . .so cook up a big batch of them and stuff them in an airtight container as they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 1 week and in the freezer for up to 3 months.
But be forewarned, lentils are so much fun to snack on that you just might find that they disappear before they even have the chance to make it into this tart.
P.S. I discovered that my dog loves lentils too and she was secretly stealing them when I wasn’t looking.
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