Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut and Cashews

Vegan

Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut and Cashews, plato

Adapted from Going Veggie by Trudy Slabosz

This dish would go great with rice or naan bread but it makes a good, hearty meal on its own as well. Lentils are a great source of vegetarian protein, fiber and iron. What makes this recipe even better is the fact that it’s a curry dish. The cashews give it a nice texture and the coconut also adds a nice little tweak to the flavor.

Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
  • 1 pound (450 grams) red lentils
  • 14 ounces (400 grams) tomatoes, roughly diced
  • ½ teaspoon raw or turbinado sugar
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • ¼ cup raw cashew nuts, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup shredded coconut

Directions:

  1. In a pot, heat the oil and mustard seeds over high heat until the seeds start to pop.
  2. Add the onions and sauté over medium heat until soft.
  3. Turn down the heat a little. Add the cumin, garam masala, turmeric and ginger. Continue to cook over medium-low heat for another minute until fragrant.
  4. Add the red lentils and toss to combine. Add the tomatoes and sprinkle with the sugar. Bring the heat up to medium-high and add a splash of the stock, continuing to toss the tomatoes and lentils with the spice mixture for a minute or so, adding more stock when needed to stop it from sticking.
  5. Add the remaining stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook uncovered for about 25 minutes, until the lentils are soft and the soup is a thick stew.
  6. Serve in warm bowls topped with the cashew nuts and shredded coconut.

Comments: The original recipe says it serves four though it really is a lot of food. My parents and I didn’t even finish half and we froze the leftovers. I would say it serves at least eight people. The book also suggests adding golden raisins as a topping however I don’t like raisins so I skipped that part. This recipe has relatively little hands-on time but I do recommend having all the ingredients ready beforehand because you have to work fast.

Curried Lentil Soup with Coconut and Cashews

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Roasted Chayote Squash

Side Dishes, Vegan

Roasted Chayote Squash, para servir

Adapted from museinthekitchen.com

This year, I have finally learned to love all kinds of squash. Chayote can be considered a type of summer squash. It has a green outside and whitish flesh. Some people eat it raw but I’d rather have it cooked. Here is a very simple recipe for roasting a chayote.

Ready for the oven!

Ready for the oven!

Ingredients:

  • 1 chayote squash, cut into 8 pieces (like an apple)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper (or to taste)

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F (177C).
  2. In a bowl, toss the cut chayote with the olive oil to coat.
  3. Sprinkle the chayote with the cayenne pepper and salt if desired.
  4. Place the chayote on a baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes.
  5. Flip the chayote pieces over and roast for 15 more minutes.

Comments: As I said, previously, this is a very easy recipe. It doesn’t require a lot of hands-on time and makes for a great side dish. I made these for lunch to accompany a Buckwheat, Mushroom and Rye Burger on German bread.

Roasted Chayote Squash, plato

Oatmeal Pancakes

Vegan

Oatmeal Pancakes

Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

Yesterday was the first day I spent with both my parents after coming back from California. I decided to celebrate and show my gratitude by surprising them with a special breakfast. What better way to wake up than to a plate of hot pancakes?

Yield: 9-10 pancakes

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup oats
  • 1 ½ cups water, divided
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp all-spice or cinnamon
  • ¼ cup of nondairy milk (I used regular almond milk but you can use vanilla as well)

Directions:

  1. Combine oats and ¾ cups of water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and continue cooking, stirring regularly, until you have oatmeal.
  2. In a blender or mini food processor, blend the banana with remaining ¾ cups of water. Set aside.
  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder. Add the all-spice or cinnamon.
  4. Add the banana and water mixture and stir a few times.
  5. Add the oatmeal and stir again, adding the milk.
  6. Grease a skillet with cooking spray and heat it over high heat. Reduce the heat slightly (to medium or medium-high) and pour in ¼ cup of the batter. Use the back of the measuring cup to flatten and expand the pancake.
  7. When the pancake is filled with bubbles, slide a spatula under and flip it over.
  8. Let it cook another 2 minutes or so, pressing down on the pancake with the spatula a few times.
  9. Flip over again and cook for 15-30 more seconds.

Comments: These pancakes were really easy and quick to make, a perfect breakfast for the week or weekend. I was able to leave them a bit raw in the middle, the way I usually make my pancakes. You can taste the oatmeal and a hint of banana. They are really quite versatile and you can top them with anything. The book suggests topping them with applesauce, fresh fruit or maple syrup; I’m sure peanut butter would work well too. At home, we also like pancakes with dulce de leche.

Oatmeal Pancakes, syrup

Brown Rice-Stuffed Eggplants

Other

Berenjenas rellenas con arroz integral, cocidas

Translated and adapted from artistasargentinos.com

I adore eggplants. I’d have to say they are one of my favorite vegetables and I find them to be quite versatile. They are great in Greek dishes or just simply roasted. I found this recipe in an Argentine website and I loved the combination: eggplant with whole grains and cheese. It can’t get much better than that.

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants
  • 110g brown rice, uncooked
  • ½ tablespoon oregano
  • 50g cream cheese
  • 50g Port Salut cheese (see Comments)
Berenjenas rellenas con arroz integral, sin cocinar

Ready for the oven!

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 420F (215C).
  2. Wash the eggplants. Cut off the ends and cut them in half lengthwise. Cook them in boiling water or in a steamer in the microwave. Let cool.
  3. When cool, spoon out the pulp. Make sure to leave the eggplant boats with a 1-centimeter rim so that they are easier to stuff later. Finely chop the eggplant pulp and set aside.
  4. Cook the brown rice according to the package and let cool.
  5. In a bowl, mix the eggplant pulp, rice, oregano, cream cheese and Port Salut cheese.
  6. Place the eggplant boats into a baking dish. Spoon the filling generously into the eggplant boats.
  7. Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and the filling is hot.

Comments: The original recipe actually makes double the amount, using 4 eggplants. I made half since it was just for my mom and I. However, keep in mind that they are very filling. Of course, it’s not at all a problem if you have leftovers; lunch for tomorrow! The original recipe also only uses cream cheese (or queso blanco as we call it in Argentina). I really wanted to add the Port Salut to the eggplants and I did half and half. Port Salut is a very common cheese in Argentina. It’s very soft and melts easily. It’s my favorite cheese for when we make empanadas but it’s not the easiest thing to find out of Argentina. I have found that a good substitute is Oaxaca cheese. You could also use mozzarella instead or some Emmental or Gruyère if you want the eggplants a bit sharper. One last tip: you can tell when the eggplants are well cooked (first step) by piercing them with a fork like you would with potatoes. If you can easily pierce the eggplant, it is ready.

Berenjenas rellenas con arroz integral, plato