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The Inevitable Post about POM Wonderful.

March 11, 2010

Ahh, the life of a food blogger is a rough one, indeed…I was nearly orgasmic to have been chosen to receive a free case of POM Wonderful pomegranate juice.  Yes!!  I have arrived!! I thought that someone out there in POM-land really appreciated and connected with my writing, and wanted to reward me–and only me–with 64 ounces of juice from concentrate.  Until I did some Googling and found I was not so special after all.  Not by a long shot.

After a minute or two with my lower lip poked out, my mirthful feelings returned.  FREE SHIT!!

Some bloggers, afraid of alienating or misleading their readers, wouldn’t dream of accepting product samples.  I, however, am a whore for freebies and will write about whatever edible delights appear in my mailbox, as long as they’re vegan and as long as I can write about them honestly.

Because I try to avoid drinking my calories (unless it’s booze) and because I’m just not a big “fruit person” period, juice has become a last-resort beverage for me.  I don’t think I’d ever had pomegranate juice before trying POM Wonderful, so I don’t know if this brand tastes better than other ones out there.  But this stuff is pretty tasty!  Reminded me of cran-grape juice, only without all the apple juice and chemicals thrown in.

They also sent me some information about pomegranates. Did you know that many scholars think the pomegranate was in the biblical Garden of Eden, not the apple?  And did you know that pomegranate juice supposedly improves erectile function?  Really?

I don’t know if pomegranates are the miracle fruit everyone seems to think they are, but after I drank a bottle (diluted with water, ’cause I’m weird like that) I did feel more energetic, ready to type-tap-tap-tap away at this blog for all it’s worth.

Pomegranate juice seems to be popular in a several different cuisines, which made it tough to decide on a recipe.  Because I didn’t want to go to the store again, I was determined to use what we already had.

I always have lentils, and last week, I mentioned that I wanted to make a lentil loaf.  There you go!  I could use the juice to make a sauce to go on top–you know it’s all about the sauce, anyway.

Since I don’t have a loaf-pan (sheesh) but I do have a muffin tin, now I decided that mini lentil-loaves would be the way to go.  Smart move, if I do say so myself–everything just tastes better when it’s teeny-tiny.

Mini-Lentil Loaves with Pomegranate Curry Ketchup
Makes 12 mini-loaves and enough sauce to cover them

For the lentil loaf:

1 lb brown lentils
Water, enough to cover the lentils
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup oats (I’m really trying to use up these oats!)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp. tamari
1/2 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup ketchup (you can use the pomegranate curry ketchup or the regular stuff)
More oil or margarine, for greasing muffin pan

First, place the lentils in a large saucepan and cover them with 1/2 inch or so of water.  Cover and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce heat and simmer until water is absorbed–about 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent.

After 30 minutes or so, check on the lentils–if they’re starting to look dry, add just enough water to keep them moist.  When the lentils are cooked down and looking a bit mushy, they’re ready.

Transfer the onions, garlic, and lentils to a large bowl (or in my case, a stock pot because I don’t have a large bowl).  Add all the remaining ingredients and combine thoroughly.

Grease the muffin pan, press the lentil mixture into each cup.  (You’ll have some left over–do you have any ramekins?)  Top each loaf with a small amount of pomegranate curry ketchup, leaving some of it to drizzle over the finished dish before serving.

Bake for 45 minutes, and let cool for 15 minutes before serving–tough, I know!

Pomegranate Curry Ketchup

2 cloves garlic, minced
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup agave nectar
8 oz pomegranate juice (yeah yeah yeah, POM Wonderful)
1 tbsp. curry powder
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Combine ingredients in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for 15-20 minutes.

I served my mini loaves with frozen peas, covered in a silly little sauce I made from shiitake-mushroom salad dressing mixed with brown mustard.  Nice!  I hadn’t had peas in forever, and I think I enjoyed their innocent green goodness more than the entree.

Could’ve done another side dish, but after all the chopping–I don’t have a food processor!–I was too tired to mess with it.

Andy made me a pomegranate martini and my meal was complete.

Ahhh…

Cheers to POM Wonderful!  I still have two bottles left, which I’ve been instructed to use to make more sauce.  That was fun!

So… if anyone wants to send me a food processor, that would be lovely.  Thanks.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 11, 2010 1:23 pm

    Wow, I love your recipe! I eat lentils almost every day too, nice to have a new way to prepare. The POM Community (our website) has some great recipes using the Juice, if you need more ideas. :)

    • March 11, 2010 7:53 pm

      Glad you like it! Damn, almost every day?? I don’t eat lentils that often–once a month, tops–I just always seem to have a bag on hand. They’re really versatile. :)

  2. March 25, 2010 1:36 pm

    POM has a pretty terrible reputation for animal testing, unfortunately. I think they’ve stopped, but it’s still a “WTF?” situation. haha.

    Pomegranate is delicious,though!

  3. March 27, 2010 9:19 pm

    Hey Kristen–thanks for the comment, that’s a good point to bring up. I’d read about POM’s dirty past and wondered if I should accept the “free shit” from them, almost deciding against it.

    Then I realized: I give money to and write about restaurants that serve meat. I’m not eating the meat myself, but still…

    So why wouldn’t I accept free products from a company that used to test on animals? (Even if I know that they’re pretty much using me and other vegan bloggers to help erase the ugly memory of their past cruelty?)

    Hmm. Okay, my brain hurts now.

    Pomegranate is delicious. :)

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