Tag Archives: plant based

Curried Grain and Lentil Salad

Well…finally a new recipe! As I took the picture I thought “Wow…doesn’t even look like it has curry in it.” and “I need a professional photographer”.

Until I tackle the wonderful world of food photography you’re stuck with my quick photos right before I scarf something down or right after I’ve put it into a container for storage.

I love grain and bean salads in the summer. They are easy and hearty because a girl can’t live on lettuce alone…and of course cooking stews and soups in the summer aren’t always what I want to do. I’m prepping stuff for a camping trip and even though veggie dogs sound appealing right now I really don’t want processed food and bread…it’ll just be too tempting to over eat.

Bread is a huge trigger for me. If I eat it then it sets me off to crave/want more so it’s better for me to just avoid it.

Ok so back to the grain and bean salad. Lots of times I just dump a bunch of stuff into a bowl until I’m tired of chopping and prepping. The basics are grain, bean, veggies and a dressing of some sort.

This one has freekah and lentils but you could use any whole grain you have on hand–brown rice, quinoa, bulgur, wheat berries, mixed ancient grains, farro…anything grainy and whole. Couscous is not a grain folks but if you want to use it, go ahead.

As for beans…I like little beans such as lentils, black beans, black eyes peas, chick peas, adzuki beans…whatever you have and want.

Then comes the veggies. You want something that offers crunch and isn’t too mushy. Today I used carrot, zucchini, red pepper and green onion.

Now the big deal for me was making a dressing that tasted good but didn’t have salt, oil and junk. Below is the dressing I came up with today. It tastes good so I figured I better write it down before I forget what I did!!

Curry Chia Dressing

1 cup water or low sodium vegetable broth
1.5 tbsp chia seeds
4 tbsp apple cider vinegar
sweetener of your choice – date paste, agave, maple syrup, honey – add to taste
2 tsp curry powder (taste the dressing after you add one tsp just in case that’s enough)
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder

Combine the chia and water and let it sit until the chia seeds have absorbed all the water/broth and turned into a gelatinous goo. This may take a while but start with that first then go prep your grain and veggies.

Once the chia is coated in a gelatinous goo or mucilage (yes I love the way that sounds), then add the rest of the ingredients.

It’s ok if the dressing tastes a bit bold…it’ll spread out into the salad and provide a nice flavour once everything is incorporated.

I didn’t bother pureeing the dressing in my blender but you could if you’re using whole dates in the dressing.

For a special touch you could add some chopped dried apricots or other dried fruit.

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Sometimes I feel like chewing something…

Since I most of my dietary choices come from a plant-based, whole food diet with very low amounts of processed foods, salt and oil I avoid eating bread, bagels and crackers. That’s nice for my health but sometimes I miss having that texture or something I can pack to go.

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it. I bit the bullet and baked two loaves. I’m Portuguese and we like doing everything in bulk when it comes to cooking and baking. It was a risk I was willing to take even if no one else liked it and it meant I would be eating this alone for two months.

Imagine my surprise when my son, who teased me about it not being real bread and looking like a brick in the process, actually ate it and liked it. Then my husband had some and his reaction was so positive that me and my son thought he was being sarcastic. It turns out that he really liked it.

This bread reminds me of those dense breads you get with a nice texture and a slice is all you need. I made it without the salt or coconut oil because I avoid both and it doesn’t taste like anything is missing. It is certainly a keeper and I look forward to trying the recipe again with some cinnamon and dried fruit pieces in it.

Hearty Seed, Nut and Oatmeal Bread

1 cup (250 mL) unsalted sunflower seeds

1/2 cup (125 mL) flax seeds

1/2 cup (125 mL) raw, unsalted, skin-on hazelnuts

1-1/2 cup (375 mL) rolled oats

2 tbsp (30 mL) whole chia seeds

4 tbsp (60 mL) whole psyllium husk

1 tbsp (15 mL) maple syrup

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) water

In 9x5x3-inch (23x13x7.5-cm) silicon loaf pan, combine sunflower and flax seeds, hazelnuts, oats, chia, and psyllium.

In a small bowl using wire whisk, whisk together maple syrup and water. Using wooden spoon, stir into dry ingredients until well combined.

Using spatula, smooth top of dough. Let dough rest uncovered at room temperature for at least 2 hours to overnight (to ensure dough is ready, it should retain its shape and be quite dense even when you pull the sides of the loaf pan away from it).

Bake on middle rack in preheated 350F (180C) oven for 20 minutes. Remove bread from pan and place upside-down directly on middle rack. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until loaf sounds hollow when tapped.

Let cool 30 minutes.

Store bread in airtight container for five days or freeze up to two months.

Makes one loaf.

I’m so glad I discovered this recipe and appreciate Sarah Britton’s creativity in creating this recipe.

Nutrients per serving (1 slice or 1/12 loaf): 159 calories (this is from the original recipe which included coconut oil so it would be a bit lower since I omitted it)

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Jerk Style Black Beans

I love this recipe and I was shocked that I hadn’t posted it here yet. I was planning on making my recipe for Gigantic Beans but then I discovered I didn’t have the beans so I was going to make a different recipe but then I had yet another idea and I decided to make this instead.

I was feeling pretty courageous too so I decided to film it too. I always think everything needs to be perfect…my kitchen, my hair, my face, the lighting but today I didn’t care and just put this out there.

Here’s a link to the video http://youtu.be/2j0SJVfHddU

I hope you enjoy this recipe!

Jerk Style Black Beans

1 onion, chopped
1 green onion, chopped
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
3 cups diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans, rinsed
2 tsp jerk seasoning
1/4 tsp ginger powder

Saute the onion until tender then add the peppers and saute them until they’re tender. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer until tasty.

That’s it!