After spending most of fall quarter being sick, one of my goals this quarter is to try to stay healthy. It can be hard to prevent illness when you're interacting with hundreds of people every day, and when you are dealing with stress from school and work. That's why I'm trying to give my immune system as much help as I can by eating right.  Sugar is out (well, maybe not completely), and veggies are in.

    I think there's a lot of anti-new-years-resolution backlash in mid-January, because people try to deprive themselves of the things they love and get discouraged when it makes them feel like crap. Self-deprivation is not what I'm into, but a little self-control is never a bad thing. This lentil stew is great because it's healthy and vegetarian, but won't make you feel like you're eating rabbit food. It's hearty enough to eat on a cold night, and light enough that you won't feel guilty about accompanying it with a piece of toast. Oh, and did I mention that it tastes good? The sweet nuttiness of lentils is brought out beautifully with a classic mirepoix, canned tomatoes, garlic, and thyme.

*serves 3-4
1/2 carrot, thinly sliced
1 celery stalk, thinly sliced
1/2 onion, diced
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1+1/2 cup dried lentils
1 cup canned diced tomatoes
2 cups water
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
salt to taste
parsley to garnish

    In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until it spreads to coat the pan. Add the carrots, celery, and onions and saute them until the onions are almost transparent. Rinse the lentils and inspect them to ensure there are no little pebbles hiding among them-they're pretty painful to bite into, those little pebbles!  Add the garlic, lentils, tomatoes, water, thyme, and salt to taste to the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Serve immediately, garnished with parsley.