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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Fast and Easy Nutritarian Red Lentil Sauce

mmmmmm…what a great and awesome idea for a tasty sauce for steamed or stir fried veggies without any added salt or fats. It’s creamy and satisfying too! I served this over a mix of stir fried veggies because I wanted something tasty over the veggies but didn’t want to use soy sauce.

It was so fast and easy to make too. I loved how easy it was. The original recipe is in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s new book “The End of Diabetes” however I tweaked it a bit because I wanted a spicy, curry flavour this time around but I can see many, many versions of this in the future! I’m even going to try it without carrot juice for an even faster version.

1/2 cup red lentils
1 medium onion, chopped
1 small clove garlic, chopped
1 1/2-2 cups carrot juice or water
1 splash balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp curry powder (or more to taste)
sriracha or your favourite hot sauce to taste

Juice about 4 carrots in order to get that much juice. If you don’t have enough just use water.

Combine the juice/water, lentils, onion and garlic in a pot and boil until the lentils are tender and the onion is soft. If the mix gets too dry before it’s all cooked then add a bit of water. Once it’s cooked, add the rest of the ingredients along with the lentils to a vitamix or blender.

Puree in the vitamix until smooth and creamy.

Serve over steamed veggies.

Get creative and switch up the seasoning to suit whatever flavours you’re craving.

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