100 Days Project, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Vegan

Day 53 – Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

Day53

Gah!!! It was on of those way too busy Mondays, when you wish it was still Sunday and you can hide in bed with the covers over your head.   I definitely needed a quick and easy meal for tonight’s dinner.

Treehugger to the rescue!! Their recipe for a simple Red Lentil and Sweet Potato curry was just what I needed.

Curry is the generic English term to describe a wide variety of dishes from multiple word cusines. The similarity between dishes that are called a curry is the use of complex combinations of spices and herbs that is traditionally selected for each dish because of cultural tradition, religious practice, and family preference. Each individual dish usually has a specific name in the language of its origin describing the ingredients incorporated into the curry.

Simple Red Lentil & Sweet Potato Curry

adapted from: Treehugger

SERVES:4

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • coarse sea salt or kosher salt
  • 1 medium sweet potato or kumara, peeled and cut into 40mm or  1 inch chunks1
  • 40 mm or 1inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 ½ cups red lentils
  • green onion/spring onion
  • chili flakes

In a saucepan or kettle, bring 3 ½ cups of water to a boil.

In a large saucepan over high heat, warm the oil, and add the onion and a pinch of salt to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion softens (3 to 4 minutes). Add the sweet potato, ginger, garlic, curry powder and bay leaf and continue cooking for about a minute or until fragrant.

Then pour in the boiling water and stir in the lentils bringing the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils break down and the sweet potatoes are tender (18 to 20 minutes). Season with salt.

While the potatoes and lentils are cooking, make rice basmati or jasmine rice for serving, or warm pita bread in the oven.

Remove the bay leaf and dish curry out on top of rice or to eat with the pita bread. Chop green onion to sprinkle over the top along with a small (or large) pinch of chili flakes, and serve while warm.

ENJOY!!

 

 

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Recipes, Salads, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 34 – Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, & Lentil Salad

Day34

With all the heavy carbs I have been making lately, I felt like something simple green and leafy for dinner tonight.

Winter is always a good time for roasted vegetables, and combined with the fresh baby spinach and a tangy mustard based dressing this recipe for Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, and Lentil Salad, from the Hub-UK website, was exactly the kind of meal I was craving.

I have found many people do not know what a shallot is. This vegetable belongs to the same family as onions and garlic, and is thought to have originated in Central or Southeast Asia. Like garlic, shallots form in clusters with a head composed of multiple cloves. Shallots are used in many different cuisines from around the world. They taste somewhat similar to an onion, but have a milder flavour.

You can easily make this recipe Dairy Free  and Vegan by leaving off the cheese.

Roasted Shallot, Beetroot, & Lentil Salad

adapted from: Hub-UK

SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 12 shallots, peeled (If large, cut in half)
  • 2 tablespoon rapeseed or olive oil
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 250 grams or 9 ounces of beetroot, cooked
  • 1 tablespoons honey
  • 225 grams or 8 ounces cooked puy lentils
  • 150 grams or 6 ounces baby spinach leaves, washed and well drained
  • 200 grams or 7 ounces soft goat’s cheese

For the dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
  • 5 tablespoon rape seed or olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons cider vinegar
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 190°C or 375°F

Put puy lentils into a medium pot of boiling water and cook until done. Drain the lentils and rinse under water and place in a bowl.

If using fresh beetroot, chop into large pieces and put into a pot of boiling water. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the beetroot is mostly cooked.

Put the shallots into a roasting tin, drizzle with the 2 tablespoons of oil, toss well and season with sea salt and black pepper.  Place roasting tin in the oven for 15 minutes, then add the beetroot and drizzle with honey and toss well with the shallots. If using solid honey, put it in the microwave first for about 20 seconds to make the honey runny and easier to coat the vegetables.  Roast for a further 10 minutes, or until the shallots are soft.

To make the dressing, mix all of the dressing ingredients together and season with sea salt and black pepper.

When they are ready remove the shallots and beetroot from the oven and mix with the lentils and half the dressing while still warm and leave to cool.

To serve: Place  a large handful of spinach leaves onto a plate, top with the shallots, beetroot and lentils. Crumble the goat’s cheese on top, and drizzle with some of the remaining dressing.  You can serve this on its own, or with a hunk of crusty bread and a glass of medium bodied red wine.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Dips, Condiments and Dressings, Mains, Recipes, Uncategorized

Day 14 – Lentil & Chickpea Sliders with Coriander Cream

Day14)

Sliders (little mini hamburgers) seem to be one of the latest culinary trends . . .

At restraunts you can now find quite a few different varieties of Sliders, like beef, chicken, fish, etc . . .  Sadly, I have very rarely seen any vegetarian Slider options. So when I found this recipe for Lentil and Chickpea Burgers with Coriander Cream in my Kitchen Classics: Gourmet Vegetarian cookbook, I was inspired to make my own.

Looking through the ingredient list I found that all the ingredients were items I already had around the house except Tandoori Spice Mix, which is an Indian spice mix typically used on meats that are going to be roasted in a traditional clay oven called a Tandoor. A quick Google search pointed me in the direction of this Tandoori Spice Mix recipe, and it turns out that all of the different spices that make up this mixture were already sitting on my shelf, and most likely will be on yours too.

The Coriander Cream Sauce calls for the use of sour cream. As a vegetarian in New Zealand, I have found it hard to find yogurt or sour cream that does not use gelatine as a thickener. Gelatine is a product made from the skin, boiled crushed horn, hoof and bones, connective tissues, organs and some intestines of animals such as domesticated cattle, chicken, pigs, and horses. It is added to many dairy products here in New Zealand (you do not find gelatine used in dairy products as often in the United States) in order to give them a better texture; it also can be used in many other food products like gummy candy, jelly/Jello, honey comb, and other deserts.  There are certain brands like Cyclops that are gelatine free, but they also tend to be quite expensive and hard to find. Just for you, Herbivores, here is my vegetarian food tip of the day . . . Even though the full fat version of Tararua sour cream has gelatine, the Tararua Lite sour cream does not, and it is reasonably priced and easily found at the major food stores.

I used red onion, roasted red peppers, and avocado to top off these little burgers, but you can use any toppings that happen to be in your refrigerator or that you prefer.  Melted Swiss cheese with sauteed mushrooms and onions might be another excellent combination with this Lentil and Chickpea Burger recipe; one that I am planning on trying out on my left overs.

Lentil & Chickpea Sliders with Coriander Cream

from the Kitchen Classics: Gourmet Vegetarian cookbook

MAKES: approximately 14 Slider sized burgers, or 12 normal sized burgers

PREP TIME: 30 mins

COOKING TIME: 30 mins

INGREDIENTS

for the burgers:

  • 250g (9oz or 1 cup) red lentils
  • 1 tablespon oil
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tandoori spice mix
  • 425g (15 oz) either tinned chickpeas, drained or dry chickpeas soaked over night and then cooked
  • 1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tablespoons flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons corriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 180g or 2 1/4 cups stale breadcrumbs
  • flour, to dust

for the Coriander Cream:

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup fresh cream
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 table spoons corriander/cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil. Add the lentils and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes or until they are soft. Drain well once they have been cooked.

Heat the oil in a frying pan and cook the onions until tender. Add the tandoori spice mix to the onions, and fry off the spices until they are fragrant.

Combine the chikpeas, half the lentils, ginger, egg, and onion mixture in a food processor until smooth. Transfer into a bowl and add the remaining lentils, parsley, coriander/cilantro, and bread crumbs, and combine well.

Divide the mixture into portions. If the mixture is too soft, refrigerate for about 15 mins or until it becomes firm. Shape the portions into round patties, toss them in flour, and shake off any excess. Place the patties on a lightly greased BBQ and cook for 3-4 minutes on each side, until the are brown. Alternatively you can use a grill pan, a skillet, or bake the burgers in an oven.

Serve with the Coriander Cream: To make the Coriander Cream, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

To build the sliders: Toast the Slider rolls under the broiler of the oven being careful not to burn them. Place a large dallop of the coriander cream on the bottom half of the bun, add the burger patties, and top with another teaspoon or so of the Coriander Cream. Add the avocado, roasted peppers, and red onion or whatever other toppings you think will go nicely.

Both the burger patties and the coriander cream can be prepared 2-3 days ahead of time and stored covered in the refrigerator.

ENJOY!!

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100 Days Project, Gluten Free, Mains, Recipes, Vegan (with substitutions)

Day 1 – Lentil Sheppard’s Pie with Goat Cheese Potato Top

Day1_new

Today was Day 1 of my 100 Days Project challenge and the first official Herbivore food entry . . . how exciting is this!?!

Every good adventure needs a good story at the beginning, so I decided to start things off with a bit of a celebration. I invited a few friends around for dinner, set aside a nice bottle of wine (Barossa Babe 2006 Shiraz), and dug into my trove of untested recipes to see what gems I could come up with.  This recipe for Lentil Sheppard’s Pie with Goat’s Cheese Potato Top is one from a vegetarian food blog called The Cozy Herbivore that has been floating around in my collection for awhile now. As it is winter here in New Zealand, I thought it would be the perfect thing to fill our bellies on a chilly night.

Being a Friday and therefore somewhat limited in after work cooking time, I knew I was going to have do my shopping ahead. Some of the ingredients, like kale, tend to be difficult to find in New Zealand so I went to my favorite produce shop Art of Produce, in Ponsonby. If you have never been to this place, it is a must!!! Mostly providing to the hospitality trade, the place is a warehouse with with 2 giant walk-in refrigerators, that are stocked with pallets, boxes, bags, and baskets of almost any fruit and vegetable you can imagine and a few other hard to find products. While sometimes this over abundance makes looking for a particular item a bit of a scavenger hunt, the staff seem to readily know where any given item is in the chaos and you only have to ask. Everything is really fresh, well priced, and even sourced locally when possible.

As this recipe calls for red wine, I also had to decide what wine to use. Many people believe that you should cook with cheap wine.  The problem with this option is that often cheap wine does not taste very nice and you are transferring that “not so nice” flavor to your cooking. I believe you should cook with a reasonably priced bottle that has a flavor appropriate to the recipe you are making. I tend to choose the slightly nicer bottle, that just happens to be on sale at the bottle shop or grocery store. For this recipe I used Brancott Estate Living Land Series 2011 Pinot Noir, which coincidentally is a wine label undergoing conversion to being fully Organic and so in line with Herbivore ideology. To be completely honest, this is not a wine that I personally enjoy drinking, as it is too light and fruity for my palette, but that fruitiness is ideal for adding that extra depth to the flavor of this dish.

I was excited all day about starting my challenge, but of course I did not get home from work until much later than expected. Which means I was in a bit of a hurry, as my friends were going to start arriving soon for dinner. One of things to take into consideration is that there are a lot of processes in this recipe, and although they are all easy, they may take longer than expected to prepare. If I was going to make this dish again, I probably would save it for a weekend or make it up the night before to just pop into the oven the next day.  It ended up taking me almost 3 hours to prepare and cook this dish, which means we were not eating dinner till close to 9:30pm. Luckily for me, my friends are more than happy to sit around drinking wine, chatting, and being entertained by watching me run around in the kitchen like a mini cyclone. Plus, I did have a bowl of fresh bread rolls that I had made before going to work in morning for them to munch on. You must feed the masses if you are going to keep them waiting.

Even though it took longer than expected to make, I would consider this recipe a great success because it was YUMMY!! The recipe makes a large baking dish of Sheppard’s Pie, and between the 4 of us we pretty much ate almost the whole entire thing. There were lots of happy eating noises being made, going back for seconds and thirds even though supposedly “could not eat another bite”, and picking around the edges that might as well be another serving. Along with the Sheppard’s Pie I served sauteed Green Beans with Leek and Toasted Almonds (which one friend thought was the best part of the meal), and what was left of the Simple Bread Rolls. I will be posting the recipes for both of these over the next few days.

Another nice variation of this dish would be to make it as individual Sheppard’s pies in large ramekins.

This recipe is completely Gluten Free, and can easily be made Vegan by substituting out the goat cheese and buttermilk in the potato top.

Lentil Sheppard’s Pie with Goat Cheese Potato Top

by The Cozy Herbivore

PREP TIME: about 30 minutes
COOKING TIME: about 1 1/2 hours
MAKES: about 8 one cup servings

INGREDIENTS:

for the base:

  • 2 cups French green lentils (also called Puy lentils)
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups water (I used mushroom stock for a heartier flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 medium onions diced, about 2 cups)
  • 2-3 medium carrots, cut into 10mm quarter moons
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems and finely chopped
  • 200 grams Crimini mushrooms, sliced (Crimini mushrooms are similar to white Button mushrooms, but they are a darker brown in colour and have more flavor as they have been left to mature longer; they are the middle growth stage between white Button mushrooms and Portobello mushrooms)
  • 3-4 leaves kale, stems removed, chopped into bite-sized pieces (you can substitute with silver beet, if you cannot find kale)
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

for the top:

  • 1.5kg Yukon Gold or Russet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (neither of these potato types are available in New Zealand; I substituted with Agria potato, but you can use any floury potato)
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 head garlic
  • 125g herbed chevre or soft goat cheese, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk, plus more as needed
  • sea salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste

for the sauce:

  • 2 cups red wine
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • pinch of sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1 tablespoon cold unsalted butter

DIRECTIONS:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.Cut the top of the head of garlic off and wrap the whole thing loosely in aluminum foil. Place in the oven and roast until fragrant and very soft, about 45 minutes. When garlic is tender, allow to cool slightly and squeeze out roasted cloves, discarding papery skins. Set aside.

While the garlic is roasting . . . Spread lentils out on a sheet pan or clean counter and sift through them, discarding any stones or stems. Rinse lentils in cold water. Place lentils, 1 cup red wine and 2 cups water (or stock) in a large, heavy-bottomed stockpot. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until tender, about 30-40 minutes. When lentils are done, remove from heat, drain through a fine mesh, toss with a little olive oil, and set aside.

While lentils are simmering . . . place the chopped potatoes in another heavy-bottomed stockpot with 4 cups of vegetable stock and 4 cups of water. Bring mixture to a boil and immediately reduce heat to a simmer. Simmer until potatoes are extremely tender, almost falling apart.When potatoes are done, drain liquid and place potatoes back into stockpot with a loose lid to keep them warm and moist.

While the lentils and potatoes are bubbling on the stove and the garlic is roasting in the oven . . . heat up 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saute pan until the surface of the oil begins to shimmer. Add chopped onion and saute until soft and browned. Add carrot quarter moons and fresh thyme and saute for 5 minutes more, until carrots just begin to soften. Remove onions and carrots from pan and set aside . . .

Heat up another tablespoon of olive oil in saute pan. Add mushrooms and saute until mushrooms have lost their liquid and begin to brown, about 5 minutes. Add chopped kale and cooked onions and carrots to pan. Season with salt & pepper. Saute until kale turns bright green, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat, stir cooked lentils into vegetable mixture and set aside.

Prepare the mashed potato topping: pass cooked potatoes and roasted garlic through a potato ricer. (Alternately you can do this in a stand mixer or even with a hand-held potato masher for more rustic results, but a potato ricer will get you the fluffiest topping). Stir in goat cheese and buttermilk until a smooth consistency is reached. If you want to make this dish Vegan, you can leave out the goat cheese and substitute soy milk, rice milk, or olive oil for the buttermilk. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prepare the sauce: in a small saute pan, combine 2 cups red wine, 1 teaspoon honey and 2 teaspoons dried tarragon. Bring mixture to a boil and reduce by almost half, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. When mixture looks thick (but not too syrup-y: be careful not to over-reduce!), reduce heat and half-remove the pan from the burner. Place the cold butter in the pan and continually swirl the pan until butter is melted. When butter is melted, turn off burner. To make this recipe Vegan, substitute the butter with Olivani or other non-dairy butter alternative.

Grease a large casserole dish. Place lentil and vegetable mixture on the bottom and spread evenly through the dish. Pour red wine sauce over lentils and vegetables. Place mashed potatoes in a piping bag with a large star tip and make whatever design you like on the top of the pie. Or you can simply spread the potato mixture over the lentils with a spatula and use a fork to make a cross-hatch design.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until mixture is heated through. Place casserole under broiler for 5 minutes (definitely keep an eye on it, though– those things can take your food from brown to burned fast) or until top is crisped and browned.

ENJOY!!

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