Tag Archives: Lentils

Super Filling Lentil and Wild Rice bowl

Good evening y’all!

Remember how in my last post how I complained about the cold weather? Well would you believe that its shorts and t-shirt weather again? It went from six degrees on Sunday to what should be twenty-seven degrees come the end of the week!

How crazy is that?

Well I sure don’t mind! Though I will hopefully be getting a pair of boots in the mail from JustFab soon. Even if the weather isn’t as cold as it was the other day, it will be colder soon enough and I can rock my taupe wide-calved heeled boots!

Anyway I had the BEST supper tonight! You know when you have just one plate/bowl and you are instantly full? Well the meal for the evening was one of those meals.

I have a love/hate relationship for those types of meals though. Because they are generally so good that you just want more however your body is so full that you can’t have any! How heart breaking is that? My poor stomach is sobbing. And no it isn’t just gas! It wants to eat more!

I got the recipe from A Family Feast, this is the first time I’ve ever visited this place, but with this recipe I will definitely be coming back for more fabulous recipes! The direct link to this recipe can be found here.

Wild Rice and Lentils with Feta

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) wild rice
  • 2 cups (500ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 cup (400g) orange lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 cups (1000ml) water
  • 4 green onions, both green and whites, sliced
  • 1 medium sized red bell pepper (90g) (I used yellow though), diced
  • 1 medium sized zucchini (115g), cubed
  • ½ cup (50g) feta, crumbled
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a medium sauce pan cook wild rice in vegetable stock (or water) as directed on the package.

  2. In a large sauce pan combine lentils, bay leaves, and water and cook until lentils are soft.

  3. Once both rice and lentils are cooked, drain and combine in a large bowl.

  4. Chop green onions, bell pepper, and zucchini and add to the rice and lentil bowl.

  5. Add feta, olive oil, white vinegar, thyme, lemon pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.

  6. Mix well and serve!

Love this! It was the perfect amount of heaven.

I absolutely loved this meal! Oh my god! I will be enjoying this for lunch tomorrow too! Can’t wait! Because I’m already too full to have anymore right now.

Anyway, do any of you hate cross contamination when it comes to chopping boards? Because I majored in international hotel and business management, I know all about chopping boards and like things neat and tidy in my kitchen. Especially when it comes to the chopping boards.

Chopping Boards

I finally got the permanent markers I needed to write on the chopping boards. I’ve been needing those markers for a good long while and only JUST got them. I’m very happy now!

So now I feel organized, content, and my stomach is happy.

I hope you all think about making this dish too and enjoy it as much as I did!

Happy eating

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It was a Japanese Style Night!

Asian cuisine is the absolute way to go. I mean Asian women are predominately slim and fit, so it must be the cuisine and way of eating it that keeps them that way. Chopsticks are incredibly slimming. Not because you eat the wood but because of how you go about eating your food. One small bite at a time.

Fabulous right? It is said that if you eat your meal slowly you will become full quickly which is likely how Asian women stay so slim.

So I guess we should all be eating sushi for the rest of our lives! Not that I would mind as I love it!

Although sushi is fantastic, so is what I made for last nights meal.

Onigiri is very similar to sushi in the way that it is made of rice and most commonly wrapped around with nori (seaweed), the only difference from sushi is that it’s small while onigiri is usually the size of your palm. Maybe even bigger.

Onigiri

I first encountered onigiri when I lived in Brazil and my Japanese friend brought onigiri to us once for a snack. It was amazing. This little rice ball filled with small slices of nori made my mind whirl. I loved it so much.

Well for last nights meal I didn’t quite make the traditional onigiri ball with plain Japanese rice and seaweed, but went for a different take on it. Mostly because my mom abhors nori and my dad isn’t keen to have any starch in his diet.

I got the recipe to make these protein-packed onigiri balls from BittersweetBlog. Her creation of this treat featured lentils, the most difficult legume to ever make a dish attractive! Though because the lentils did not have to be made into a mush-like consistency, the dish didn’t look as unattractive as any other lentil-filled meal I have ever made.  So that was good! Here is the direct link to the recipe I followed and below will be my re-written recipe.

Onigiri before Forming Balls

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups (300g) sushi rice
  • 2 cups (470ml) water
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 large yellow onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon Balsamic vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1/3 cup (10g) fresh parsley, chopped
  • 2 cups (400g) lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups (940ml) water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. In a small pot, bring water to boil while at medium heat. Once water is boiling add sushi rice and immediately turn heat to low while covering pot with lid to cook rice. Allow to cook for 15-20 minutes. Once cooked rice should absorb all the water.

  2. While rice is cooking, in a large pot combine lentils and 4 cups water and bring water to a boil. Once at a rapid boil turn down heat until lentils are simmering. Add 2 bay leaves and allow lentils to cook uncovered. Lentils should cook 20-30 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large frying pan/wok and add onions to hot oil to sauté. Once onions become translucent and begin to brown ever so slightly on the edges (approx. 10 minutes), add ½ teaspoon of salt and turn heat down. Continue to cook at a low heat stirring occasionally until onions take on a caramelized deep brown color. This should take approximately 30 minutes. Once onions are at desired color remove from heat and add balsamic vinegar and spices. Mix thoroughly and keep aside.

  4. Once lentils are finished cooking, drain excess water and remove bay leaves. Season with salt and keep aside.

  5. When rice and onions are warm enough to touch mix together with lentils and chopped parsley and add additional salt to mixture.

  6. Scoop out about 1/3-1/2 cup of onigiri and press into rounded triangles within your palms. If rice mixture isn’t holding allow to cool further. Or you could place a sheet of nori just beneath your onigiri form and fold the onigiri on your desired shape. Remember that water is necessary to keep nori folded on your onigiri.Onigiri wrapped in Nori

  7. Serve immediately. You can also wrap your onigiri (with and without nori) in plastic wrap to save for another time. Ensure your onigiri is in the fridge to keep firm.

Although this is not the normal onigiri recipe, it came out quite well. I was definitely content but I adore seaweed and rice. All one needs is a little soy sauce and all is good.

We had the onigiri with a Japanese style chicken. This being normal grilled chicken with a soy sauce type liquid poured into the sliced chicken. This sauce contained soy sauce, brown sugar, rice vinegar, ginger, and white wine (because we couldn’t find sake). To me the sauce tasted very similar to teriyaki, but not as sweet. It was a unique taste, that’s for sure. The recipe we followed was from the Best Recipe Box, the direct recipe is here. So if you want to do a lentil nori wrapped origini with the chicken you now can!

Final look for Onigiri

I’ve been eating the onigiri all through the morning as a breakfast. Which probably isn’t the best thing for someone, but I am very American in the way that I eat leftovers for breakfast. I’m known to eat pasta, rice, soup, and now onigiri for breakfast. I also like to have cereal and yoghurt for dinner or a late night snack. How odd am I? Oh well, the onigiri was delicious and I hope you all enjoy it too!

And if you are wondering, I ended up making sixteen onigiri rolls, most with seaweed but five were plain rice and lentil onigiri rolls. Though the original recipe said 24 rolls can be made.

Anyway, happy eating everyone!

Lentil Curry Meatless Monday

It has been a very long time since I’ve had a Meatless Monday and you know what? Today I’ve got a Meatless Monday Meal for y’all! Woohoo!

So my dad thinks he should go on a diet and his version of a diet is meat and veg. Well since I do not eat most of the meat he likes I thought I would give him a protein packed vegetarian meal. The best protein packed ingredient that I know he also enjoys would have to be lentils so that is what I made for dinner tonight, something very lentil filled.

I got the recipe from here but I was very dissatisfied by the way it was written. Both the instructions and the grammar were atrocious. Though it could just be that I dislike poor spelling and grammar. So if you are like me and dislike poorly written recipes just read below and you will see my version of the recipe!

Spinach Lentil Curry

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup (200g) dried red lentils
  • 5 cups (565g) spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¾ cup (115g) red onion, diced
  • 1 small green chili
  • 2 cups (470ml) water
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 2 teaspoons cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon mustard
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • A pinch red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Sauté the red lentils, spinach, half the garlic, red onion, and green chili in a large pan until spinach has wilted. Then pour water and bouillon cube into pan and allow lentils to cook. When lentils are finally soft drain water (though keep it to adjust consistency of curry).

  2. With a handheld food processor or potato masher mash cooked lentils and vegetables to a semi-purée with chunks. Add salt for more flavour.

  3. Use stock water to make a more curry-like consistency.

  4. In a small frying pan fry the remainder of the garlic, add cumin, mustard, and red pepper flakes. Cook until a smooth hot consistency.

  5. Pour hot garlic-mustard mixture into lentils and mix well.

  6. Serve with rice and/or naan.

Lentil Spinach CurryI’m sure cumin seeds and mustard seeds would have made a better combination for the flavouring but I just used American mustard and cumin powder from a jar. Why buy something you won’t end up using another day?

I do not know if you all know of my background in the hospitality industry, but I had a teacher who would call the handheld food processor a dildo and now to this day I call that device the dildo. Thanks Mr. Young! There are a few items that I sexualize due to my teachers actually. Mr. Young made certain kitchen devices sexual while Mr. C would make the professional coffee machine in the restaurant dirty. I guess it is a good way to remember what to do and how to clean things. Kind of like acronyms to help you remember certain things in school.

Anyway this was my meal for the day and it went pretty well. I am definitely full and believe my parents are too. Lentils definitely rock and keep us well fed!

If you all end up making this I hope you enjoy it too! Curry is always nice for a cold day for those of you in the Northern Hemisphere.

Happy eating!

Colorful Lunch and Dinner for Spring Day

Happy belated Spring Day!

I learnt that yesterday was an official celebrated day in South Africa. A day called Spring Day. We don’t have that in North America and yet we have every other holiday it seems. So why don’t we have a Spring Day?

Well I spent my Spring Day relaxing in the sun. I am starting to get a nice tan, let me tell you! But our housekeeper told me that where she is from people splashed each other with water – think like the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS awareness, except it is to remind the locals that summer is on its way!

Tan lines!

All of yesterday was a pretty lazy day all in all, so I thought I’d do a whole bunch of cooking today. When Lizzie comes I like to make a special lunch for her sometimes so that she can get a great meal. So for today’s lunch I went for a pita bread type sandwich.

There was a perfect amount of colors and a balance of flavours. Perfect!

 Pesto Veggie Pita

I got the recipe from here though I did change it some.

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup (7g) packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup (25g) finely shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic
  • Salt and pepper to taste 
  • ½  zucchini cut into ½-inch slices
  • ½ squash cut into ½-inch slices
  • 1 medium green sweet peppers, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
  • 1 (8 ounce) package Halloumi cheese, cut into 1/3-inch-thick slices
  • 2 large pita breads
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive oil
  • 1 cup (47g) shredded romaine lettuce

 

Directions:

  1. For pesto vinaigrette, in a food processor combine basil, olive oil, the Parmesan cheese, nuts, vinegar, and garlic. Cover and process until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and set aside.

  2. In a large bowl toss together squash, zucchini, sweet peppers, the olive oil, and oregano. Grill in a pan for 6 minutes or until lightly browned and soft. Meanwhile, lightly brush cheese slices the additional olive oil. Place on grill rack; cover and grill about 2 minutes or until heated through and cheese is golden brown, turning once halfway through grilling.

  3. Place pita breads in toaster to toast some. Remove from oven and fill pita with romaine lettuce, halloumi cheese, and grilled vegetables. Top with homemade pesto vinaigrette. Serve immediately and enjoy!

 Lizzie and I loved it to bits. She loved the flavours and everything. Makes me happy.

Then for dinner, well dinner was fantastic. Another vegetarian dish for the day, but a superb one. Both mom and dad went for seconds even! Everyone loves a good stew, right? Well this one obviously does not have moist meat, but protein packed with lentils and soft cauliflower!

Harissa Lentils and Cauliflower

Food is truly my happiness. I got the recipe from here and also tweaked it some. Some being an understatement. It came out like magic, anyway!

But can anyone tell me what adobo sauce is? I haven’t a clue and cannot find it in South Africa! But luckily I found a recipe for an adobo seasoning.

So this meal is called Harissa. What is Harissa? Lord knows I didn’t know. Only found out when writing this post even! It is a Northern African condiment type sauce. It is made with chilies and peppers and is used with meats usually. To make Harissa you need adobo sauce AND chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. None of which I had. So this is where Tracy’s adobo seasoning helped out like crazy! Though I am pretty sure my meal looked nothing like the recipe I followed!

Harissa with Lentils and CauliflowerHere’s the recipe I followed:

Ingredients:

Harissa

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 ½ Tablespoon Tracy’s Adobo Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin powder
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup (15g) fresh cilantro
  • 2 Tablespoons dried cilantro

Lentils

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 2 cups (200g) small cauliflower florets
  • ½ cup (100g) red lentils
  • 1 can (400g) stewed tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500ml) low-sodium vegetable broth

Directions:

  1. In food processor, pulse garlic until minced. Add remaining ingredients and pulse until harissa is well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.

  2. In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-low. Add onion and sauté until translucent, 6-7 minutes. Add cauliflower and continue to cook for another 5-6 minutes. Stir in lentils, stewed tomatoes, ¾ cup of the harissa, and 2 cups vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, cover, and let cook until lentils are tender, 20-24 minutes.

  3. Serve over grains and drizzle with remainder harissa sauce.

  4. Enjoy!

 IMG_5361So I am pretty damn sure that is not what it was meant to look like, BUT you know what? Who cares? It tasted amazing. Even the Harissa without this mysterious adobo sauce! That was quite spectacular actually. 

This could and probably would be made again! Although my father needed some additional salt, it was perfect for both mom and I. AND it was still pretty colorful to go with the Spring Day meal from lunch, right?

I hope you get around to eating one or both of these recipes. They were both delicious so they should be great in your kitchen and on your plate too!

Enjoy your meal everyone!

L

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Chili without the Chili Powder

Good evening (or afternoon) everyone! Hope you’ve had a lovely day.

It has been super hot here. Although according to yahoo weather (the weather app on my apple devices) it was only 21ᵒC, while right now it is 19ᵒC. If I am honest, that isn’t hot at all. Especially since I was raised almost on the equator so I’ve seen my fair share of hot days.

Today I’ve been cleaning my apartment thoroughly as the last couple of days I’ve been neglecting any cleanly activities. In a couple of hours an old friend is coming over for dinner and to spend the night. So I’ve decided to cook her a homemade meal. Now usually that would be an easy feat except she’s got a whole array of allergies. So I have to make something without cane sugar (which is usually in normal sugar), citrus, cow’s dairy products, and a few other things which I do not cook with often (like coffee or aspartame). Oh and to top that off, she is a vegetarian.

Good thing I cook mostly healthy foods without cow’s dairy products and keep it predominately vegetarian! This should be easy!

Cooking my Meal

So there aren’t any final photos of the meal as it is still simmering away in my cauldron-like pot.

But I can tell you that this is a Sweet Potato and Lentil chili. Totally vegetarian and set for eating.

I got the recipe from here. But like always, there are a few tweaks!

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 shallots, diced
  • 1 bell peppers, diced
  • 3 small sweet potatoes, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 cups canned lentils
  • ½ teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium high heat. Add onion and bell peppers, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 3-5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until potatoes begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth, diced tomatoes, lentils, and spices and salt and pepper.

  • Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until thickened, about 30 minutes.

  • Serve immediately.

UPDATE: Complete photo of Chili with Parmesan on top
UPDATE: Complete photo of Chili with Parmesan on top

Really straight forward, eh?

Now, can someone tell me what caraway seeds are usually used for? I went to the grocery store looking for cumin but couldn’t find it! Weird right? In Dutch cumin is komijn which is easy, but my grocery store does NOT have it. I’ve looked at this store a few times even and every time I can’t find cumin. What is wrong with you Albert Heijn!

Anyway I’ve tasted this as I have cooked it and it tastes great, even with this said ingredient called caraway. Hopefully my friend also likes it! If not… there’s always take out!

Thanks for reading and I hope you have a wonderful evening!

P.S. here is a picture of the heavy looking sky as the day ends.

Smoggy Den Haag

It looks lighter now, but during the actual day when the sun is high above the city, the sky looks so heavy! Like smog, except we don’t have a lot of pollution here. This heaviness is definitely why it is so hot though!

Hope you aren’t feeling that heavy!

L

Vegetarian Lentil and Quinoa Chili

It is officially winter time! Today is the twenty-first of December, the first day of the winter solstice… however if you live below the equator it is the first day of the summer solstice! In Buenos Aires it has been between 32-40ᵒC (90-104ᵒF) so far, while in New York it has been mostly cold at between -9-1ᵒC (16-34ᵒF). Although, oddly enough it is currently 15ᵒC (59ᵒF)! It seriously fluctuates over there. While if you are up here in Europe (at least on the coast), we have yet to experience both snow and negatives. Which of course usually go hand in hand.

But to begin the winter season, I thought to make a nice vegetarian chili.

Vegetarian Chili

Daddy came home the other day from Angola and when that happens I need to kind of cut my type of cooking to a bit of a minimum. He loves food with a kick, but it is more standard than my style. So I thought of making my chili because to me this tastes like the beef chili mom used to make when I was a meat eater some three years ago.

This is a super hearty meal that hits all the right spots, keeps you warm, while makes you hot from enough spicy flavouring. Honestly truly delicious. The recipe I followed can be seen below:

  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 4 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt (or to taste)
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups chicken stock or 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup lentils, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup cilantro
  • Avocado, if desired (to garnish)

Directions:

1.  Heat olive oil in large pot over medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook for a minute or until fragrant and slightly golden.

2.  Add onion and pepper and cook for a few minutes or until onion is translucent.

3.  Add in tomatoes, cumin, chili, cinnamon, curry powder, and pepper; bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until tomatoes begin to break down.

4.  Add broth, quinoa, and lentils, and bring back to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30-40 minutes or until lentils are tender and quinoa has expanded.

5.  Stir in black beans, kidney beans, salt and cilantro. Chili will continue to thicken.

6. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. Simmer a few more minutes.

This recipe can be found here. If you go to that link you will see the first time I made this chili. I am so happy that they used my photo as their cover photo. Makes me almost feel like a real chef.

And yes, I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but it is a quick make. Takes just an hour and ten minutes if made properly. The first time I made this recipe I used canned lentils, which obviously makes things go a lot quicker, while this time I allowed the tomato, lentil, and quinoa mixture to simmer on a higher heat than usual. This allowed everything to cook for 20 minutes. So depending on the elements you use, you can shorten your cooking time.

Regardless of how you make it, it is a delicious meal!

Flashless Photo

You know, the reason behind my making of it is rather cheeky. The reason for that is that Daddy is not a fan of quinoa. I am not quite sure why, but it is the truth. I thought that making a chili with lentils, beans, and the almost secret ingredient of quinoa would be perfect. I mean who honestly needs meat when you’ve got those three protein packed foods? And you know what? He loved it!

So for his first homemade meal back home I think this was a proper hit!

I really hope that you all try making this chili once. It could quite possibly be my favourite.

¡Que aproveche!

Lentil Soup: Leftovers for Days

On Sunday I made a massive batch of lentil soup for both my mom and I. I said that we had enough for days on end… I must say I was definitely not lying. I wasn’t going to return home today but due to a furnace failure in my apartment building I ended up returning to my mom’s place. This meant that instead of having her peperoni pizza which only mom and my sister can eat, we just ate more leftovers. Mom told me that she already ate this soup yesterday and that we’ll be eating it for dinner tonight too. That’s a helluva lot of lentils!

Leftovers with Extra Flavouring

To me, the lentil soup I made Sunday was just a bit on the dull tasting side, so I thought I would add some more flavour to the mix for tonight’s meal. For those who know me, they know I am addicted to curry powder. I swear, I am more Indian than my Indian boyfriend. So I added ½ a teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of curry powder, and some fresh black pepper to taste. So we ate some more lentil soup which took on a more stew-like consistency.

I never knew that lentils absorbed so much liquid, did you? But that was our meal for the evening. Just to let you know, the rest of the leftovers will be disposed of. Day 2 of leftovers for Africa is probably enough for this household.

Another Photo of Leftovers

You know, after looking at these photos for some time I am starting to think that this meal looks like something you’d find public school cafeteria ladies putting on your plastic plate. Looks pretty awful. Kind of like mystery meat. Alas, I can assure you that this meal is much tastier… I mean c’mon, my mom has been eating it for three days straight. We didn’t just toss the rest in the bin, but she ate it till the end.