Lentil Stew & Sesame Rice

I’m sure I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: my family are difficult to feed. Each one has a different food that they dislike. Some won’t eat peppers, some won’t eat anything green, some won’t eat spices and others won’t eat mushrooms or tomatoes.

My way of eating changed dramatically when I left home. I started to experiment with world cuisine and ate foods I’d never have dreamed of eating before, which goes to show that a lot of people who are fussy eaters, me previously included, carry a lot of their dislike in their head rather than in their taste buds.

I am often tasked with cooking when I stay at my parents because I am adept at cooking large quantities of tasty food in a relatively short time. I decided to make this lentil stew and add various ingredients that I am constantly told won’t be eaten. Needless to say, it was all eaten.

Ingredients:

  • 285 g red lentils
  • 2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 2 large white onions
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 cube of frozen ginger
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper (All of them hate spice.)
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes (My mum and little sister hate tomatoes)
  • 1 lemon
  • 700 ml vegetable stock
  • Fresh parsley
  • 400g brown rice
  • 65 g sesame seeds (My little sister won’t eat seeds.)

Method

Do the rice first because it takes forever!

  • Place rice in a pan of boiling water and allow to cook on a low heat for about 45 minutes.
  • When rice is cooked, drain and mix with sesame seeds.

In the 45 minutes it takes to cook, get on with the stew!

  • Rinse the lentils under cold water and leave to drain.
  • Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and salt and cook until the onion is soft.
  • Now add the garlic, ginger, cumin and cayenne and keep stirring.
  • Add the vegetable stock, lentils, half of the lemon cut into slices and chopped tomatoes.
  • Simmer on a low heat for about 30 minutes.
  • Finely chop your parsley and sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice from the remaining half of the lemon.
  • Serve to your fussy family and watch them all eat it! 🙂

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What I Ate Saturday

Saturday can be a lazy day for us when it comes to food, but we still try and make it as healthy as possible.

For breakfast Mykey made blueberry and banana pancakes drizzled in maple syrup. He has a way of making them really thin and light so that they aren’t overly filling, but still really tasty. I don’t like to feel too full up in the morning, especially if we are going out for a long dog walk straight afterwards.

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For lunch we had two whole meal pitta breads sliced into pockets and stuffed with cucumber, fresh tomato, sun dried tomato and hummus.

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For dinner we were really lazy and went to the Toby Carvery. Now I know what you’re thinking, however both of the big UK carvery chains have vegan options. Crown has one and Toby has two. You can read more about the Toby Carvery on this great blog site: http://veganvoxblog.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-ordinary-vegan-toby-carvery.html?m=0

I had the vegan shepherd’s pie with loads of veg, but sadly I didn’t take a picture. I found this one online though, so I hope it will suffice. (It’s almost what I had anyway, but with much less potato! :P)

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Stay healthy.

Get Your Healthy On: Vegetable Stir-fry

Sometimes to be healthy it’s all about taking it back to basics. Here’s one of my favourite and very basic recipes that is guaranteed to fill you up and not break the bank.

Ingredients:

A whole pack of mushrooms

2 carrots

2 sticks of celery

1 onion

2 cloves of garlic

A mug of brown rice

A mug of red lentils

Method:

  • Place the lentils and brown rice in a pan of boiling water and cook for 30 minutes on a medium heat.
  • In the meantime, cut, chop and peel all of your vegetables.
  • Place in a hot pan without oil and stir constantly for 10 minutes so that they do not stick.
  • Turn the heat off and allow to cool, whilst you wait for the rice and lentils.
  • When the rice and lentils are nearly done, crank up the vegetable pan again.
  • Drain and rinse the rice and lentils and place at the bottom of a bowl. Top with your steaming hot vegetables.
  • Sprinkle with chilli flakes, fresh coriander and soy sauce for some epic flavour.

500 calories, low fat and high fibre – not that us vegans really worry about fibre! 😉

That recipe will serve two adults.

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Red Lentil Dahl

This is a dish I have been making for years. It’s really simple and totally yummy! 🙂

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Firstly you’re gonna need some ingredients:

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* Two handfuls of red lentils

* 800 grams of chopped tomatoes

* 4 cloves of garlic, crushed

* 1 can of coconut milk

* 2 cubes of vegetable stock

* 2 white onions

* 1 tablespoon of garam masala, cayenne pepper and cumin (each)

 

1) Heat some oil in a large pan. I used a wok because this makes plenty.

2) Now add in your two chopped onions and garlic. Give it a good stir to cover everything in the oil.

3) Turn the heat off and place the red lentils in the pan. Mix through thoroughly adding all the spices as you go.

4) Now add the whole can of coconut milk and again mix and stir through. (Turn the heat back on now.)

5) Open and pour the chopped tomatoes into the pan.

6) Place your stock cubes in the pan, add half a pint of cold water and again mix through.

7) Turn the heat right down to it’s lowest and stir the pan every few minutes for about 20-30 minutes, or until a good chunk of the liquid has been absorbed.

8) Serve with garlic and parsley vegan buttered chapatis.

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Red Lentil & Cauliflower Curry

This recipe is from the glorious book, Veganomicon. If you’re vegan and you don’t have this book, GET IT! It’s amazing!

This dish makes enough for four people because both Mykey and I had it for dinner and then had it for lunch the next day.

Ingredients:

  • 3 teaspoons of oil
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 chilli peppers, minced (I used jalapenos.)
  • 1/2 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • 1 large parsnip, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 a teaspoon of turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, coriander and salt
  • 2 teaspoons of curry powder (I went for a medium spice)
  • 2 big handfuls of red lentils, rinsed
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 3/4 of a head of cauliflower
  • 2 tablespoons of lime juice

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Method:

  • In a large pan heat your oil.
  • Saute the onion for about 4 minutes.
  • Add the grated ginger and chilli and stir for another minute.
  • Add the spices, parsnip, lentils and cauliflower and stir briskly for another minute.
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  • Add vegetable stock and mix in.
  • Allow to cook on a gentle heat for 30 minutes stirring every 5 minutes or so.

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  • Leave to cool for 10 minutes to allow for the flavors to meld. 
  • Sprinkle with some lime juice and serve.

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