While stopping in to grab a quick bite from Trader Joe's today, I was informed that their fantastic Middle Eastern Lentil and Brown Rice Salad has been DISCONTINUED! Noooooooooo! Apparently it wasn't a big seller and they wanted to make room for new products. It's hard enough to find a GF ready-to-eat meal, so I'm dismayed that they've narrowed the field. (I do also like their Curried Chicken Salad, but still.)
In theory, this dish, consisting simply of lentils, rice, onions, olive oil, and sea salt, would be easy to recreate. It's mujaddara, recipes for which abound online. I have tried several times, though, and haven't been able to make my own version that tastes as good and has the same texture as Trader Joe's - not to mention the convenience factor. Lentils hate my guts, however, despite what my mouth thinks, so being forced to go cold turkey is probably a blessing in disguise.
In case you couldn't tell, today is one of the (few) days where I feel really frustrated about my food restrictions and the fact that so often I still don't feel good, despite being carefully gluten-free. In general I'm surprisingly positive and zen about it but every so often, especially when I'm stressed out, low blood-sugary, and cranky to begin with, self-pity does set in. On one hand, I'm really glad that I can never again succumb to the grossness of fast food, but on the other hand, it's such a pain when you just want to grab a sandwich, or a cup of soup and a slice of fresh bread at Panera, or a quick spaghetti dinner. Yet on the third and largest hand, I'm grateful and lucky that celiac disease is what it is -- an inconvenience, not a tragedy. It could be a whole lot worse.