I’ve come to realize that the weather completely dictates what I eat. Given this week-long downpour we’ve been hit with, I was craving something heart-warming last night. Matt, the chef of the evening, was inspired to cook something Indian and Daal-esque. I said, ‘Yes. That sounds great. Im going to yoga. Indian + wine is perfect.’ (i.e. done deal). Our fridge was running on empty, so in an attempt to stay dry, we decided an ingredient-scavenger-hunt through the cabinets would be a much better idea. Lentils + chorizo + tomatoes + slow cooker never fails, I tell you. As long as you have a well-stocked spice rack, you’re almost always good to go. It did turn out de-lish, and we also enjoyed a bottle of the Sattui Family Red, from the famous Sattui Winery in St. Helena, CA (a bottle we shipped back from our Napa trip in July!)
- 1-2 medium chorizo sausages
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2-3 red peppers, chopped
- 1 cup veggie stock
- 3-4 whole tomatoes, chopped or a 16 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup dry lentils, soaked
- 2 tbsp coriander
- 2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Heat the oil in a large sauce pan and saute onions, garlic and paprika. Add chorizo and peppers and saute until cooked.
Add the veggie stock, tomatoes and lentils and reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or so. (a tip for cooking lentils: microwave for a couple minutes in a bowl of water to pre-cook).
Add remaining herbs to taste and top with a dollap of greek yogurt or sour cream.
For the salad:
- 1 cup dried green lentils, soaked overnight or for 8-10 hours
- 1/2 cup white, pinto or kidney beans (or a combo)
- 1 package of tofu, patted dry with a paper towel
- a handful of almonds, crushed
- a handful of dried cherries or cranberries
For the Dressing:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp of lemon juice
- 1-2 tbsp honey
- sea salt, fresh black pepper and fresh thyme to taste
Place lentils and bean in a pot with about 3 cups of water. Cover and let simmer over medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Once beans are cooked, drain water and rinse with cold water.
Meanwhile, slice tofu into 1 inch squares and coat with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil, ghee or butter and saute tofu until browned (about 10 minutes).
In a medium bowl, combine cooked beans and tofu with the almonds and cherries.
For the dressing: In a small bowl, combine all ingredients (these measurements are approximations because with dressings I tend to combine due to taste – so use your best judgement). Pour dressing over the salad and lightly mix to coat.
This salad is really delicious served with hummus or tahini and small pita pockets.
Despite the veggie in me, I still have a deep love for burgers. And for things ‘mini’. Thus, the creation of this veggie burger (in its ‘mini form’) makes me very happy. And its even more satisfying to have come up with the right combination of ingredients because its been a long-time coming. This has not been a small task. Many of my veggie burger attempts over the last year have gone from veggie paste to veggie mush to veggie scrapple. Its been a process to say the least. So after many experiments with different ingredients and variations, this one worked itself out! Wohoo! I think the secret ingredient is using the instant oats as the binder. Because they are instant, they quickly absorb the liquid and bind the burger together nicely. Oh, and they were a hit at our Real Food Party.
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- 1 carrot, chopped
- 1 can of balck beans or 1 cup brown lentils, cooked (either are great, but I like 1/2 and 1/2)
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- 1 clove garlic
- 1-2 tbsp vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 1 tbsp hot sauce
- 1/2 tsp veggie bouillon broth base, 1 bouillon cube, crushed or 1/2 tsp miso paste
- 1 cup instant rolled oats
- salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
In a small saute pan, saute the onions until soft. Put aside in a large bowl. Then, saute mushrooms with balsamic vinegar until soft. Add to onions.
In a food processor, puree the beans/lentils and tomatoes with a few pulses until it becomes a saucy chunky mixture. Put aside in a small bowl.
Next, in the food processor, puree the onions, mushrooms, carrot and garlic until finely blended. Add this mixture to the bean mixture.
Season the mixture with spices and sauces to taste. Next, add the oats and mix well until a loose paste is formed. Let the mixture sit for about 5-10 minutes and form into small disks and places in a cupcake tin to bake.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes. Serve on mini buns with BBQ sauce and pickles.
Im really excited about this one! Matt and I are big burger people and so I love to experiment with ’alternative’ mish-mash burger recipes. I also love that nutty, hearty flavor, and this burger is just that. Perfect for a chilly day or when you are in need of grounding or comfort food. This recipe has been on my list for a couple months, but I was waiting for a cold night to try it out. The rich flavors of the lentils, walnuts and cashews combine to make it super flavorful. Also, if you buy pre-cooked lentils, this meal take less than 20 minutes.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup of cooked brown lentils (the packaged lentils at Trader Joes are great)
- 1 cup of walnuts, chopped
- 1/2 cup raw cashews, chopped
- 1 slice of whole wheat bread, ground in food processor
- 1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- sea salt, pepper and cayenne to taste
Heat olive oil in a saute pan on medium heat and cook onions until soft and browned. Ad lentils for just 2-3 minutes to blend with the onion. Transfer lentils and onion to food processor and grind just until blended. Transfer to a medium bowl.
Put nuts in food processor and lightly grind for about 30 seconds (you want to grind to small pieces). Add nuts to pureed lentils/onions. Grind the slice of bread in the food processor and add to lentil mixture. Add salt, pepper, and cayenne to taste.
Shape the mixture into small patties. Heat olive oil in saute pan and cook the burgers on each side until browned.
Serve with small sweet rolls or as an entree topper. The burger is pretty flavorful on its on, so I personally think some sort of light lemon-tahini sauce, a brown sauce or a basic hummus would go nicely with them.
Lentils remind me of my dad because, when we were growing up, he would tell us the story about how him and Uncle Tony would eat pots of lentil soup through college. ”A bag of lentils cost us 69 cents! We would throw in a ham bone, whatever vegetables we had in the fridge and some herbs and we had dinner for a week!” he boasted. ”It was tough in those days. Walking uphill both ways (right) – in the snow (likely) – living off of $5/week, we were survivors.” To their credit, it was a good find. Lentils are cheap – but they are also hearty, full of fiber and offer much comfort and grounded-ness, especially through the fall and winter months. I think I enjoy lentil soup so much because of the ‘throw-in-whatever-you-got-in-the-fridge’ approach we grew up with. So although I enjoy a better quality of life (I luckily do not eat ketchup sandwiches and live off of $5/week) than my father and uncle did back in the day, a hearty bowl of lentil soup has always been a satisfying meal. And although I like to live by a ‘no-recipe-lentil-soup’, this experimental pot I made one night, I decided, was worth posting. It offers a color range of vegetables, and an earthy, bitter sweet flavor you get from the cinnamon. So I dedicate this post to the dads in honor of their tough days in college.
- 2 1/2 cups of dry lentils
- 8-10 cups of water or veggie stock/broth
- 6 carrots, chopped
- 1 sweet potato, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 6-7 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1/2 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 cup of ham or sausage, chopped (optional)
- thyme, oregano, cinnamon, pepper, salt to taste
Saute onions, garlic (and meat) in sauce pan. Add water/broth and lentils and bring to a boil. Let simmer for 30 minutes. Add veggies and herbs and simmer for another 30 minutes. Finally, add tomatoes and any additional herbs to taste.