Years ago, my sister-in-law told me about a cookbook called More-with-Less Cookbook (suggestions by Mennonites on how to eat better and consume less of the world’s limited food resources) by Doris Janzen Longacre
The copyright dates back to 1976 and has been renewed, renewed and renewed. Mine leads up to the 43rd printing in 1996.
“There is a way of wasting less, eating less, and spending less which gives not less but more,” the author says. She offers a fascinating analysis of North American habits related to food consumption. And then she compiled recipes submitted from all around the world, including personal cooking notes, inspirational thoughts, and helpful tips on substitutions.
The recipes offer clear instructions for making simple dishes that use basic, unprocessed ingredients. I’m not the most talented or intuitive cook, so I appreciate the layout—it’s easy to understand and follow. I’ve turned to it many times for soups, breads, main dishes, side dishes, and ideas for leftovers.
Sometimes I don’t know how to make really basic dishes, so I often start with this and see if they’ve explained it for me. The food isn’t fancy, but it’s tasty, filling, healthy, and down-to-earth. I recommend tracking this down at the library and checking it out. Try a few of the recipes and see what you think.
To whet your appetite, I’m going to include the best introduction to lentils ever. If you ever wanted to try lentils, but you weren’t really sure what to do with them, give this one a try. You’ll learn to love those lentils!
Honey Baked Lentils
350 degrees, 1 hr
Combine in a dutch oven of saucepan:
- 1 lb (2 1/3 C) lentils
- 1 small bay leaf
- 5 C water
- 2 t salt
Bring to a boil. Cover tightly and reduce heat. Simmer 30 minutes. Do not drain. Discard bay leaf.
Preheat oven to 350.
Combine separately and add to lentils:
- 1 t dry mustard
- 1/4 t powdered ginger
- 1 T soy sauce
- 1/2 C chopped onions (I sauteed them with the bacon instead of mixing them here to shave a little off the cooking time)
- 1 C water
- Cut in 1″ pieces: 4 slices bacon (I cooked this with the onions in a skillet to crisp it up a bit) Stir most of the bacon into lentils and sprinkle remainder on top.
- Pour over all: 1/3 C honey
Cover tightly. Bake 1 hour. Uncover last 10 minutes to brown bacon.
Bacon may be partially precooked if desired (I desired). Substitute 1/2 lb browned ground beef or sausage (never did this, so I can’t vouch for other meats), or omit meat completely (I like the bacon flavor, but I’ve made it without).
Delicious served with hot baked rice. Pass soy sauce. (This is true.)