Pearl Couscous with Green Lentils, Kale and Caramelized Onions

After seeing my naturapath yesterday I realised I really have to amp up my bean intake and make more of an effort to combine plant-based proteins for the baby. As much as I love eating beans I always forget to put them to soak the night. Although I don’t enjoy lentils as much, they are really handy when you have limited time and are out of bpa free canned beans (which I have been relying on). I was also craving pearl couscous after that delicious dish I had from East Elevation a few days ago in Melbourne.

This dish was inspired by Mujaddara but with a few alterations. I used pearl couscous for a different texture and some kale and pepitas seeds for an extra nutritional boost. This dish usually calls for crispy fried onions on top, but I decided to not over cook the onions, to  leave as much nutrients as possible. It was a delicious combination. I hope my little one is enjoying some new flavours.

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 Pearl Couscous with Green Lentils, Kale and Caramelized Onions (vegan, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1/2 cup green lentils (you only need 1 cup of cooked lentils, so cook 1 cup dry for leftovers)

2 cups diced brown onion (about 1.5 onions)

olive oil

3 garlic cloves, diced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon all spice

1/4 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup pearl couscous

1.5 cup liquid vegetable stock (chicken or veg flavoured)

2 cups sliced kale, tightly packed (about 2 large kale leaves, large stems removed)

3 tablespoons pepitas seeds

Method:

1. Place the green lentils in a pot with enough water to cover and bring the boil. Then place on a simmer and cook until tender. Once cooked leave to the side.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet and then add the onion. Cook on a low to medium heat until the onions have browned and caramelized. This should take about 20 minutes. Once they are browned remove from the skillet and place to the side.

3. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sized pot and add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the ground cumin, ground cinnamon, all spice and sea salt. Cook for a future 30 seconds or until fragrant.

4. Add the couscous and vegetable stock to the pot. Bring to the boil, then place on a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until the couscous is tender. Add more stock if it starts to stick to the pot.

5. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet and then add the kale. Lightly saute until the kale has wilted and is a vibrant green colour.

6. Toast the pepitas seeds in a dry pan until they start to pop a little then place to the side.

7. Make sure the couscous is off the heat and then add 1 cup of cooked green lentils, 2/3 of the caramelized brown onions and kale to the pot. Stir through.

8. Serve the couscous with extra carmelized onion and toasted pepitas seeds.

*Serve as a main for 3 or as a side for 4

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Potato and Green Lentil Curry

Tonight I have another curry for you. This is the first Indian curry that I have ever made that actually tasted Indian. I’m not sure why but whenever I try to cook something Indian, even if its from a cookbook, it never actually tastes that Indian. I have to admit though it did taste more authentic the next day, when we ate it again. I usually use pre-made spice pastes. But this time I blended onions, garlic, ginger, chilli and tomatoes into a liquid and then add it to some simmering ground spices. Perhaps that was the key or maybe it was a fluke.

What is your secret to making an authentic tasting Indian curry?

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Potato and Green Lentil Curry (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

1 onion, roughly chopped,

2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped

2-3 small red chilli

2 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 small knob of ginger

2 tablespoons coconut oil

2 teaspoons ground cumin

3 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

2 cups vegetable stock

2 medium dutch potatoes, peeled and chopped into cubes

1/2 red green capsicum, sliced

1.5 cups green lentils, cooked

steamed brown basmati rice, to serve

Method:

1. First place the onion, garlic, chilli, tomato and ginger in a blender. Blend ingredients so that they are mostly liquefied.

2. In a large pan heat coconut oil  on medium heat until it has melted. Then add all the spices. Cook for a minute or two until it is fragrant.

3. Add the blended ingredients to the spices in the pan. Cook for another 2 minutes.

4. Add the vegetable stock and potatoes. Bring to the boil, then leave on a simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Add the capsicum and lentils and cook for a future 10 mintues, or until the capsicum has softened.

6. Serve the curry with steamed brown basmati rice

*Serves 4

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Cumin Cardamon Spiced Rice with Green Lentils and Roasted Brussels Spouts & Garlic

This is my last green lentil dish from the leftovers that I cooked a few days ago. I can’t believe how far 2 cups of lentils went. I served these dishes with some crunchy roasted kale, some twice roasted potatoes (also leftovers) and Fry’s Golden Crumbed Schnitzels.

I have been feeling really tired the last few days. I have been working and not eating fresh greens or much fruit. I also have been relying to much on coffee. After becoming really lethegic, I decided to be different today. For breakfast I had Organic Kamut Bread toasted with hummus and a Cherry Berry Oat Milk Smoothie. For lunch I had these dishes again. For dinner tonight I am  making some vegetarian salads for Marco’s mothers big 60th party. So I will post on what I come up with soon.

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Cumin Cardamon Spiced Rice with Green Lentils (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

2 cups brown jasmine rice

2 cups cooked green lentils

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 red onions, sliced

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground cardamon

juice of 1 lemon

sea salt to taste???????????????????????????????

Method:

1. First cook rice in the rice cooker. ???????????????????????????????

2. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a large pan. Then add red onions, cumin and cardamon. Cook for 8-10 mins or until the onions are soft and browned. Don’t let spices burn, if you need add more oil or water.

3. Add green lentils to the pan and heat through. Cook for 2-3 mins.

4. Add cooked rice to the pan, lemon juice and seas with salt. Cook until heated then serve.

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Roasted Brussels Spouts & Garlic (vegan, gluten free, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

12-15 brussels sprouts

1 whole garlic head

olive oil

sea salt

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 200 degrees. Wash and remove any tarnished outer leaves of brussels sprouts.

2. In a small baking dish combine the brussels sprouts, the whole garlic (don’t remove outer skin), olive oil and sea salt.

3. Roast for 30 mins or until you can pierce the brussels sprouts with a fork.

4. Peel the roasted garlic and stir through in a bowl with brussels sprouts and adjust seasoning.

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Lentil & Potato ‘Meatballs’ and Spaghetti in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms & Kale

Hi all! These recipes are inspired by the leftovers in my fridge. I love using leftovers, because it means its time to go food shopping again.

The recipe for the ‘Meatballs’ is adapted from this Italian vegan recipe, Polpette di lenticchie, from Veganblog.it. I just tweaked some of the ingredients and the method a bit, so it was more like the meatballs I use to make. I have never used potatoes in meatballs before, but it bound the ingredients really well and tasted really good fried. I was going to make a sauce, but my family really liked them the way they were.

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Lentil & Potato ‘Meatballs’ (vegan, gluten free option, soy free, nut free)

Ingredients:

400g of cooked green lentils

250g of boiled potatoes

1 carrot grated

1 red or brown onion, diced

2 garlic cloves, diced

3 tablespoons diced parsley

1/2 tablespoon sea salt

4 tablespoons corn crumbs or breadcrumbs

plain flour (use gluten free plain flour if you prefer)

grapeseed oil for frying

Method:

1. If you haven’t already cook the lentils and boil the potatoes with water in separate pots.???????????????????????????????

2. Take a large mixing bowl and place the lentils inside. Mash the boiled potatoes then add to the lentils.???????????????????????????????

3. Heat a drop of oil in a pan on medium heat and add the onion, garlic and carrot. Cook for 3 mins or until softened and slightly browned. Stir constantly, so its consistently cooked.???????????????????????????????

4. Add the onion, carrot and garlic to the mixing bowl. Add parsley, corn crumbs and stir and stir through. Add more corn crumbs is the mixture is too wet.

5. Form a small balls with the mixture and roll in flour. Repeat until mixture has been used. You should have about 40 balls.

6. Heat a pan with oil to fry. Then fry the balls for 2-3 mins or until they are golden brown on all sides.

*Makes 40 balls

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Spaghetti in a Creamy White Wine Sauce with Mushrooms & Kale (vegan, gluten free option, nut free)

Ingredients:

4-5 serves of spaghetti or other long pasta

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 garlic cloves

10 white mushrooms, thinly sliced

leaves from three large leaves of kale

1/2 cup white wine

2 teaspoons vegan butter

2 cup soy milk (more if too thick)

2 teaspoons arrowroot flour

4 tablespoon vegan parmesan (or nutritional yeast)

sea salt to taste

Method:

1. Cook pasta in boiling salted water. When its ready strain and set to the side.???????????????????????????????

2. In a large pan heat olive oil, then add garlic and mushrooms, saute for 2 mins.

3. Add the kale and saute for another minute. Then add white wine and cook for 3 more minutes. Then take off the heat.???????????????????????????????

2. In the meantime heat vegan butter in a small pot then add soy milk and arrowroot. Cook until it has thickened, stirring constantly.

3. Place mushrooms back on the heat and add the cream sauce. Add vegan parmesan and sea salt. Add more soy milk if it is too thick.  Cook until heated.

*Serves 4-5

*I really recommend making some vegan parmesan, rather then using nutritional yeast. The cashews give the sauce creamy sweet taste.

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Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Loaf

Its been pouring all day here and the air is a little cooler. So tonight I felt like some comfort food. This recipe is adapted from Lentil Loaf by The Vegan Stoner. I recently came across their recipes and I really like them. They are simple to follow and the drawings are really cool.

I changed the recipe by using oats instead of crackers and added some extra spices. Mine was not as firm as I would of liked, but that was probably because I didn’t mash the lentils.  It tasted delicious and I got to make use of my dried organic green lentils and organic frozen vegetables from Woolworths, which have been waiting to be used for a while. I just served it with some simple roasted vegetables and added a little bit extra ketchup to serve.

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Spiced Vegetable and Lentil Loaf (vegan, gluten free, soy free)

Ingredients:

2 cups cooked green lentils

1 red or brown onion

1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped

1/4 cup organic instant oats

1 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 teaspoon cardamom

1 teaspoon cumin

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables, roughly chopped

4 tablespoons apple sauce

2 tablespoons ketchup sauce

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and prepare a loaf tin with baking paper.???????????????????????????????

2. In a mixing bowl combine green lentils, onion, walnuts and oats and stir through. Mash the lentils, if you want a more firmer consistency. ???????????????????????????????

3. Then add sea salt, black pepper, cardamon, cumin, cinnamon, ginger, garlic powder and cayenne, stir through.

4. Lastly add the frozen vegetables, apple sauce and ketchup, stir through.

5. Press the mixture into a loaf pan and cook for 40-50 mins, or till golden brown on top.

* Serves 6

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My highlight of today was receiving my long awaited Chloe’s Vegan Desserts recipe book, that I purchased as soon as I found out it was coming out. To celebrate I made Chef Chloe’s Peanut Butter Cookies. I burned mine a little because silly me though I should put two trays of cookies on the same rack. Nevertheless they were so delicious. I used coconut sugar, so I didn’t feel so guilty eating them too. They really tasted like professorially baked cookies as well. I can’t wait to try so more of her recipes!

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