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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Yellow Veggie Curry

A lot of my recipes come about based on what I’m craving. I love foods with bold flavours and I wanted something that was slightly creamy and curry flavoured so I came up with this mix of veggies in a creamy yellow curry sauce. I didn’t have canned coconut milk so I improvised quite nicely as well. Gotta love when a swap actually works!

Yellow Veggie Curry

2 onions, finely chopped
5 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 peppers, I used one each green, red, yellow and orange cut into 1 inch chunks
4 medium zucchinis cut into cubes
6-8 cups of fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas
1 cup almond milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup dessicated coconut, NOT SWEETENED
1/4 cup raw cashews
1-2 Tbsp curry powder (start slow then add more to taste)
a few dashes of cayenne pepper

Saute the onions in water until they are translucent and golden. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant.

While you’re waiting for the onion to do it’s thing, saute the mushrooms in another pan until they cook down and lose all their water. Do the same for the zucchini but don’t cook it until it’s mushy. Set aside

Once the onions and garlic are ok, add the curry powder, peas and then the peppers. Stir it around and let the peppers cook a bit.

Blend the coconut and cashews in half the milk until creamy. Add this plus the water and the rest of the milk into the pan along with the zucchini and mushrooms. Sprinkle with cayenne and let simmer a bit until the sauce thickens.

I served this over steamed cauliflower, broccoli and carrots but you could also serve it over brown rice or quinoa. It’s very tasty and has a nice kick.

If you have coconut milk at home just omit the almond milk, cashews and coconut from the ingredients and use the coconut milk and the water if necessary.


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Goan Veggie Curry – Caldeen

I love food and I love talking about food. That was the case this past weekend when I met someone who has family from Goa. We started talking about nutritarian eating and she mentioned Caldeen also known as Caldin. It’s interesting because the name stems from the Portuguese word “caldinho” which means broth or soup.

I googled it and it’s a mildly spiced, coconut curry that stems from Goa. It is traditionally made with fish or seafood but can be easily adapted into a vegetarian dish and is a tasty nutritarian dish too!

Here’s what I did to make this tasty curry.

Caldeen – Goan Veggie Curry
2 medium sized onion chopped finely
2 green chilies chopped finely or 1 pickled jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 tbsp garlic
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander seed
1 can coconut milk
1 cup green peas
1 cup green beans, cut up
1 cauliflower cut into florets,
4 potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, chopped

Prepare the potatoes and carrots then boil them in water. When the potatoes are almost done add the cauliflower until it’s al-dente. Drain and set aside.

Sauté the onion in a non-stick pan using water when necessary until golden and soft. Add the garlic, pepper and spices and saute a little more. Add the green peas and green beans and cook a bit. Add the coconut milk, stir well then add the cooked potatoes, carrots and cauliflower.

Simmer until everything is incorporated. For a little more heat add some hot sauce if desired.

If you want to serve this over rice leave it a little saucy. If you want to eat it alone then simmer until a bit drier.



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