Posts tagged lentil
Carrot and lentil soup

I am going through a bit of a lentil phase at the moment, and have been creating all things lentilly. Lentils are a classic soup base and here I have opted for two different types.

Orange and yellow was the generally look I was going for.... enter the carrots! When I first made this soup in a 4-portion batch as I usually do, I served it without the corn- hence the photos are ‘corn-less’, but the next day as I filled a flask of soup for a lunch, the leftover tub of sweet corn in the fridge caught my eye and on a whim I added it to the mix. It was even better this way, the juicy sweet kernels of corn really add to both the texture and flavour of the soup. So whilst I have added it as an optional ingredient in the recipe, I would encourage you to do so!

You can find more soup recipes to warm you up  here!

For those who saw and commented on this picture on my Instagram and Facebook a few days ago... I will try and recreate the recipe for you and post it very soon!

Recipe: Carrot lentil soup

Serves 3-4

Ingredients

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 tbs coconut oil or red palm oil (I used red palm oil to keep an extra orangey colouring)
  • 2 crushed garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp dried cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp dried coriander (or fresh if preferred)
  • 3 grated carrots
  • 1 cup dried red lentils
  • 2 tbs soy sauce
  • ½ cup green lentils
  • 3 ½ cups veg stock (more if needed)
  • 1 cup sweetcorn- optional

Method

Saute the onion and garlic in the oil for 5 minutes until softened.

Add the spices and grated carrot and sauté for 2-3 more minutes.

Add all remaining ingredients and bring to the bill before simmering for approx 20 mins until the lentil are cooked.

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peanut butter and lentil dip

I love this dip so much I haven’t really had much need for exploring other dip or hummous type recipe in recent weeks…and that is very unlike me! I’m actually surprised I haven’t got it up on here before now.

vegan Peanut Butter & Lentil Dip

So simple. I use my freezing method and whip up a big batch (often doubling the recipe) and then freeze dollops ready for when I need a dip or sandwich filler at short notice.

This dip is deliciously smooth and creamy and with a lovely warming amount of spice. Not overly spicy (well that’s up to you!) but just super tasty and also smoky if you use smoky chipotle sauce (I really recommend you do!) I love the peanutty taste, if you make your own PB make sure you roast the peanuts first to give it a great depth of flavour. You could of course use other nut butters if you fancy, although I find peanut butter has a strength of flavour that works really well with the lentils.

I nearly always serve this dip warm with a load of raw veggie sticks, as that’s my personal preference, but if you prefer it cold….go right ahead.  If serving from frozen, defrost a ‘dollop’ and then mix through with a spoon, adding a splash of oil or milk alternative as necessary to get a good cream texture. Warm through in the microwave for a few seconds…and there you have it..

So, how would you dress this dip up? When I’m not simply ‘dipping it’, I use it as a base for a sandwich or a wrap, I have also used it to fill a jacket potato…now that was yummy! With a little more liquid it would probably make a great pasta sauce too.

Get creative…have fun!

Recipe: Peanut Butter & Lentil Dip

Makes approx. 3 cups worth

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbs oil

  • 1 onion- chopped

  • 1 cup red lentils

  • 2 cups veg stock

  • 1/3 cup peanut butter (or other nut butter)

  • ½ tsp each garlic powder, cumin powder, chilli or smoky chipotle sauce

Method:

Cook the onion in oil for approx. 5 minutes to soften. Add the lentils and veg stock and cook for 20 minutes. Drain the lentil mixture and return to a food processor/blender. Add the remaining ingredients and puree all together to get a thick smooth dippy paste.

Store in the fridge (eat within 2-3 days) or spoon serving sized dollops on a baking sheet and freeze individually on the sheets before removing and storing together in the freezer.  Simply defrost to serve. Also created warmed through as a hot drip, dressing or sauce.

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Lentil and root vegetable dip

My little announcement: this is my 100th post! I'm getting somewhere at last. This week was also another mini milestone as I reached 100 followers on my FaceBook page! It may sound small but it means a lot to me. Thank you for your support!

Right, now i've got that out of the way....i'm off on holiday...

I haven’t had a holiday in ages…!  But today I’m off on a mini break with friends to a little cottage in the countryside for a long weekend.

I’ve been planning all sorts of snacks to take along to keep me going and share with the others- if they fancy! It’s the first time I’ve been away with others whilst I’ve been predominantly vegan, so it will be interesting to see how mealtimes merge as we’re planning on cooking together in the eveneings. It should work out fine and I’ve got various soups and snacks as starters or as a backup if all else fails!

These are the snacks i'm taking for the trip…

choc orange smoosh bars (these simply follow me wherever I go!), some

granola (plus I have created a few new varieties that I’ll be posting soon),

lentil chickpea soup plus another squash and kidney bean flavour creation,

sticky toffee pudding - I know if there is any dessert that will tempt my mates it will be this! Lastly a load of raw veggie sticks plus this dip….

My dip experiments have begun. First up…. Lentils!

I love the texture of cooked lentils, not creamy but still smooth with a light texture. I also love the concept of using root vegetables here. Other recipes of this type seemed to favour sweet potato, however as I didn’t have one to hand I was curious to try it with parsnip and I think it works really well. I would imagine squash would also work. I’m keen to give this recipe another try and so I will probably change things up a bit and go for an orange fleshed veg to create an even brighter dip.

The main thing for me is being able to create a dip I can freeze in small portions for everyday snacking. That way, even recipes that take a little longer to make (as this recipe does when compared with regular hummous) aren’t a problem as they will keep you going for weeks.

In researching ‘freezing dips’ I came across some sensible advice that stated that dips can have a tendency to loose their creaminess once frozen if the water content is quite high to start with. It suggested that this could be easily remedied by whisking it up again before serving. So, I thought a sensible solution would be to reduce the water content in the original recipe and then add this back in (or use a non-dairy milk for a little creamier consistency?) when ready to serve.

I spooned dollops of the thick mixture onto a baking sheet, let them cool then froze them. Once fully frozen, you can easily slide the portions off the tray and into an airtight freezer bag.  I would suggest using the dip portions within one month.

I dressed my dip for these photos with a little extra raw hemp oil and a sprinkling of seeds. Teamed up with a plate of fresh veggies and you have the perfect virtuous finger food!

I also tried the freezing technique today (the day after the dip was made) by defrosting one of the ‘dollops’. I heated it in the microwave as I fancied a hot dip with my veggies and then I added approx. 2 tbs of soy milk and a tiny drop of hemp oil (any oil would be fine).  It worked really well, so I can now report the freezing technique to be a success. I will definitely be trying it with my other dip recipes to come!

Recipe: Lentil and root vegetable dip

Makes 3 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ red chilli, finely minced or 1tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 cup organic red lentils
  • 1 cup parsnip cubed (or other 'sweet' root vegetable)
  • 2 tbsp bulgur wheat or quinoa (not essential)
  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 3 cups water (see notes above)
  • 1 tbsp sea salt
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp each fresh coriander and mint, chopped (or 1tsp dried mixed herbs- I used this as I didn't have fresh)

Method

In a saucepan saute the onion, garlic and chilli in a tablespoon of olive oil for 5 minutes until soft. Add the lentils, parsnip, bulgur/quinoa, sweet paprika and water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 30 minutes.

When the lentils are soft, whisk with a wooden spoon or puree in the food processor. Add the salt, lemon juice and the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Stir in the fresh herbs last.

This recipe can also be made in the Thermomix which is how I made mine.

So I will be back in a few days.  I’m not even going to take my laptop…scary but I think it will good for me to make myself have a rest!  I’m planning on taking a couple of photography books I’ve been meaning to get stuck into for ages.  I have already scheduled the post for my final Valentine’s treat idea which will be up on  Saturday…I hope you like it!

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