Smokey Beans with Kale and Sweet Potatoes (v)

img_20191105_185320

Another winter warmer, this has the warming scent of smoke paprika running through the earthiness of butter beans and tomatoes. Internal central heating! I served it with baked sweet potatoes, mashed swede and potatoes and quinoa cooked with red lentils. It was a winning combination that was so good the teen requested the same meal again three days later!

For six portions you need

Stew

  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 onion, chopped.
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed.
  • 2 carrots, peeled and sliced.
  • 1 large jar passata.
  • 1 can butter beans, drained and rinsed.
  • 1 tsp sweet smoked paprika.
  • 1 tbsp italian seasoning.
  • 1 tsp vegan stock powder.
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar.
  • salt and pepper.

Quinoa and Lentils

  • 1/2 cup quinoa
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1.5 cups stock
  1. Sautee the onions, garlic and carrots in the oil for 5-10 mins.
  2. Add everything else and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in the oven (170 degrees) for 45 mins until cooked through.
  3. Meanwhile cook the lentils and quinoa in the stock – bring to the boil, cover and cook for 17 mins. Turn off the heat and leave to stand until the stew is ready.
  4. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for an hour until soft.
  5. Roast kale to make kale chips.
  6. Boil swede and potato together and mash once tender.
  7. Serve, eat, be happy!

Lentils in Cider and Mustard (v)

img_20191111_191314

We are lucky enough to live near an excellent farm shop (Nelson’s) and each week I plan my meals around what’s in season and looks good to eat. We were spoilt for choice this week with all the delicious root crops available, along with bags of vibrant green kale.
I LOVE KALE CHIPS!! We are also trying to keep up with the teen’s insatiable demand for protein, protein and more protein so lentils have featured heavily as a cost effective way to achieve this. I snuck in a Linda McCartney sausage too for some contrast in texture and flavour. This keeps and freezes well so it’s worth making a large batch and stashing some in the freezer if you’re able to.

For 6 portions you need

  • 1 tbsp olive oil.
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped into roughly 1cm dice.
  • 2 carrots, ditto.
  • 1/2 a swede, ditto.
  • 1 sweet potato, ditto.
  • 1 leek, sliced.
  • 2 sticks celery, sliced.
  • 1 cup mixed lentils – we had brown, green and puy.
  • 1/2 cup pearl barley.
  • 1 can cider.
  • 1 pint vegetable stock.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1 tbsp dried sage.
  • 1 tbsp whole grain mustard.
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  1. Begin by sauteeing the vegetables in the oil for 5-10 mins. Use a large ovenproof pan with a lid to save on washing up!
  2. Add the lentils, mustard, cider, herbs and stock and bring to the boil. Cover and cook in a 170 degree oven for an hour.
  3. Serve with kale chips and other veg of your choice.

 

Lentil Hot Pot with Beer (v)

img_20191109_182120

I spend an inordinate amount of time wishing Autumn would stay away each August, holding on to each and every beam of sunshine like it’s the last I’ll ever see. But once the autumnal weather appears in full I am happy to embrace it. This plate epitomises autumn to me – earthy colours and flavours, pepped up with sharp cranberry sauce (it’s not just for Christmas 😉) and delicious local sprouts. This recipe was inspired by a Lancashire Hot Pot recipe in Linda’s Kitchen. I did threaten to serve it with Yorkshire Puddings but the teen declared that would be heresy 🤣.

For 4-6 portions you need

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 leek, washed and cut into 1cm slices.
  • 2 celery stalks, washed and thinly sliced.
  • 1 cup mixed dried lentils – I used brown and puy.
  • 1 bottle of stout of your choice.
  • 1 pint of vegetable stock.
  • 2 bay leaves.
  • 1 tbsp mixed, dried herbs.
  • 450g potatoes, thinly sliced – I braved using the mandolin for consistency in slice thickness.
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C and fry the leek and celery in the oil for 5-10 mins in a large oven proof sautee pan that has a tightly fitting lid.
  2. Add the lentils, herbs and stock. Bring to the boil.
  3. Add the sliced potatoes and cover with the lid.
  4. Put the pan in the centre of the oven for 30 mins. After 30 mins, reduce the heat to 170 degrees and cook for a further 30 mins.
  5. Serve with veg of your choice and sauce of your choice. It was nice the next day re-heated with a little extra veggie gravy.

Double Lentil Bolognese (v)

img_20190511_210648_072

I’m running a vegan cookery workshop tomorrow and wanted to demo a quick and easy pasta sauce that could help people choose not to eat mince. I hope the participants like it!

For eight portions you need

  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 fat cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 300ml water
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 250ml red wine
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp mushroom ketchup
  • 2 tbsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup puy/green lentils
  • 2 bay leaves
  1. Saute the onion, garlic and carrots in the oil for 10 mins, keep the pan covered and stir often to prevent them burning.
  2. Add everything else apart from the puy lentils and bay leaves. Bring to the boil and leave to simmer, uncovered, for 15 mins until the lentils are cooked.
  3. Meanwhile cook the puy lentils in water with the bay leaves for 15 mins until tender. Drain.
  4. Add the puy lentils to the sauce and mix. Season to taste. Serve as you wish. This freezes well so I usually make a double recipe and stash the portions in the freezer.

 

Quinoa, Lentil and Chestnut Loaf (v)

This was an experiment which thankfully worked and used up a packet of stuffing mix and a pack of whole chestnuts left over from Christmas. It freezes well and also makes a nice sandwich filling.

For a 2lb loaf which will cut into 8-10 slices you need

  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup black quinoa
  • 2 tsp stock powder
  • 1 packet of stuffing mix – I used Tesco’s Finest sage and red onion stuffing mix
  • 1 pack whole chestnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 200ml boiling water
  1. Begin by cooking the lentils and quinoa in 1.5 cups water with the stock powder for 20 mins until the lentils are mushy and the quinoa is cooked. Turn off the heat and leave to cool in a covered pan for at least 30 mins.
  2. Add everything else into the lentil mix and then pack into a lined and greased 2lb loaf tin.
  3. Bake at 170 degrees for 35 mins until cooked through. Slice and serve as part of a roast dinner.

Green Lentil Soup with Cumin and Coriander (v)

My son said this tasted “healthy” 😂 he was right. It tasted like the inside of a 1980s health food shop would smell but in a warming and pleasant way.

For six portions you need

  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 leek, washed and cut into 1cm slices
  • 2 sticks celery, ditto
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp each ground coriander and cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  1. Saute the leek and celery in the oil for 5 mins.
  2. Add the spices and lentils. Stir to coat then add the stock.
  3. Bring to the boil and cook for 20-30 mins until the lentils are tender.
  4. Blitz until smooth with a stick blender, season to taste and add the parsley. Enjoy with a side of alfalfa and a sprinkle of nostalgia 😉

Lentil Roast (v)

img_20181104_210304_207

I love a good veggie roast. You can keep your soggy filo pastry wrapped monstrosities. Give me a nut or a lentil roast any day of the week, but especially so on a Sunday.

I’m in festive planning mode at the moment and have tweaked this recipe to deliver a tasty and satisfying addition to our planned festive platefuls on the big day. It’s also nice cold in sandwiches with cranberry sauce, leftover stuffing and chestnuts.

For 6-8 portions you need

  • 225g split red lentils
  • 425ml veg stock
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp marmite
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • garlic pepper
  • 1 tsp dried garlic granules
  • 2 slices brown bread processed into breadcrumbs
  • juice of 1 lemon
  1. Place everything apart from the lemon juice and breadcrumbs into a pan. A non stick one is best to prevent the lentils from sticking but it’s not essential.
  2. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 15-20 mins until the lentils have broken down and gone lovely and soft.
  3. Add the lemon juice and breadcrumbs and mix well. Leave to cool slightly.
  4. Scrape out into a lined 1lb loaf tin and smooth the surface. Bake in a hot (180 degree) oven for 20-25 mins until lightly golden on top. Serve at once with all the usual trimmings.

Rose Elliot’s Lentil Croquettes (v)

IMG_4904

After a week on holiday eating and drinking whatever we wanted, I thought it was about time to get back into the kitchen and prepare something vaguely nutritious… These hit the spot. I love red lentils but usually just lob them into a dhal. I forget how lovely they are in their own right.

Rose’s recipe is very simple to follow. I added 2 tsp of marigold stock powder to the lentil cooking water as I like to boost the flavour a little. The mixture was also a little sloppy after I added the lemon juice and onions so I added 100g fresh breadcrumbs to stiffen it a little before shaping into croquettes. They were delicious hot for our tea and also nice cold for my lunch the following day. Enjoy!

Biriyani? Kichari? Kedgeree? Rice, Lentils and Vegetables! (v)

IMG_4079.JPG

I’m not sure what to call this. Is it a biriyani? A kedgeree? It’s rice and lentils and vegetables cooked in a spicy Indian base at any rate. And it’s utterly delicious, both hot straight from the pan and cold the next day for an easy work lunch. Add a hardboiled egg if you want to boost the protein and you aren’t vegan. Or leave it as is. You can choose what spices and veggies to use, the golden rule to follow is the rice + lentils to water ratio to ensure it all cooks properly without sticking or going gloopy. I served ours with minted almond yogurt and some lip puckeringly sour lime pickle 😀

For 3-4 portions you need

  • 225g rice – I use easy cook white as we still have 6kgs left from an over zealous Costco trip…
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 50g red lentils
  • 2 red chillies, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
  • 6-8 cardamom pods
  • 5 peppercorns
  • 4 cloves
  • 1/2 stick cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 2″ piece of fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1 cauliflower broken into florets
  • 1/2 pack fresh spinach
  • 650ml stock
  • handful cashew nuts, toasted in 1 tbsp oil
  • fresh coriander to garnish
  • 1 tsp mint sauce
  • 4 tbsp almond yogurt (or any yogurt)
  • lime pickle
  1. Begin by crushing the dry spices, apart from the turmeric and cinnamon, in a pestle and mortar until roughly ground.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan and toast the spices until they sizzle and start to release their aromas. Add the turmeric.
  3. Add the onions, garlic, ginger, carrots and chillies. Saute, covered, for 3-4 mins until softened.
  4. Add the rice and lentils to the pan and cook for 1-2 mins over a moderate heat until they are toasted.
  5. Add the stock and bring to the boil. Stir well and cover, reducing the heat to low. Cook for 10 mins.
  6. Add the cauliflower to the pan, mixing well. You might need to add a little more water at this stage if things are looking dry. Cook for a further 5 mins until the rice and lentils are pretty much done.
  7. Once the rice, lentils and vegetables are nearly done, turn off the heat and stir through the fresh spinach leaves. Cover and leave to sit for 3-4 mins until the rice is fluffy, the spinach is wilted and everything else is cooked to perfection.
  8. Mix the mint sauce into the yogurt, toast the cashews until golden brown and serve.

 

Versatile Savoury Lentil Sauce (v)

fullsizeoutput_3518

Yeah I know. It doesn’t look like much in the picture. A soggy jumble of bits in a wet sauce. If you could smell it though, it would smell GOOD! This sauce can form the basis of so many different things: bolognaise, lasagne, moussaka, savoury lentil bake, shepherd’s pie… I always make in a big batch as it freezes well and it’s a great work day staple to have stashed away for days when you have zero time or energy to cook from scratch.

Last time I made this, I made this quantity as I have a massive Le Creuset pan and it saves time in the long run. Obviously if you have smaller pans or no space in the freezer reduce quantities accordingly…

For 3 batches of sauce, each enough to feed 4-6 people you need:

  • 3 cups brown lentils (green also work, as do puy. Don’t use split red lentils!)
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, washed and sliced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 sticks celery, washed and diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 cans chopped tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp of marigold stock powder
  • 1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  1. Begin by cooking the lentils in plenty of water. How long will depend on the age and variety of lentils. My brown ones took 15 mins. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile saute the onion, leek, celery and garlic in the oil until softened.
  3. Add the tomatoes and seasonings to the sauce along with the lentils.
  4. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 5-10 mins.
  5. Taste and adjust seasoning. Tis done. Serve like this over pasta for bolognaise or use as a base in numerous other recipes.