“It will be boring”
“It will just taste of vegetables”
“I just wouldn’t know what to cook!”
We my point is it’s really none of the above…ok I admit at first it takes a little effort to get into the swing of things whether you are fully fledged vegan or simply trying to swap a in few healthy meals each week. It requires effort only because it’s different to how we’ve been brought up to perceive food, different to what we’re used to doing on auto-pilot…we need to break out of the cycle and yes that does require some effort until you get into the zone.
I personally enjoy the challenge, and when I first started the transition I loved the fact it forced me to think outside the box and come up with new quirky ways to enjoy these foods and flavours. However I fully understand that for the others that side of things just holds no interest, food is functional and the creativity is not sparked…but that’s ok too ya know!
So, here’s where we strip it back, keep it simple…but tasty.
As I said, this is not so much a recipe but a principle. A quick and easy light lunch (as it was here) or bump it up for a hearty dinner. Combine as many colours and textures as you can with some beans of lentils for protein, all wrapped up with some tasty seasoning and you are pretty much there, and we all know the general principle…the more colourful a meal the more nutritious it is. Good to remember!
I have provided the ‘recipe’ below but it felt a little silly since the whole point is to mix it up with whatever you have to hand. This lunch came off the back of my ‘freezer prep session’ a week or so ago, when I cooked batches of beans and lentils (and much more) and bagged them up in potions for the freezer. I used these lentils as my main source of protein, lovely green lentil as they hold their shape and texture so well once cooked, I also used grated courgette for cooking speed along with a lot of chunky chopped tomato as I had a surplus of those too and not much else in the fridge at the time! A sprinkling of cashews gave a satisfying finish…perfect! You could easily increase the portion size or add some toasted pitta bread or flatbread with a dollop of humus at the side for some extra carbs.
Recipe: Lentil lunch
Serves 1 for a light lunch
1 tsp curry paste (I used madras)
½ cup cooked green lentils (see this post)
½ medium courgette grated
3 tomatoes cut into chunks
Handful of cashews
(note: you could add or substitute chickpeas, grated carrot, cauliflower, peppers, spinach…or so many more vegetables if you wished)
In a medium frying add the curry paste and grated courgette and stir fry for a couple of minutes. Add the cooked lentils (or pre-cook in a separate saucepan) along with the chopped tomatoes and continue to stir to warm through and allow the tomatoes to soften down and create a flavoursome sauce. Once fully cooked through, serve with a sprinkling of cashews.
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