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