Archive | September 2014

Lentils & Rice (with Spinach or Lettuce)

 

Noms_030

This is basically a super simple variant of a Mujaddara or Mjadra.

I’ll put up my classic Mujaddara at a later stage but when it is just the two of us I go with one of these simplified variants. If you have leftover cooked rice and lentils ready to go then it can take as little as 10 minutes. If you need to cook the rice then if can take up to 45 minutes. It really depends how long you want to caramelise the onions for – longer in the pan before adding other stuff = more flavour but also more time in the kitchen. Up to you.

I flavour it with left over marinade or sauces if I have them. It is a simple enough flavour that you can really play with it. In general keep it simple to start with and vary it to taste. This is a dish that you can really make your own with time and practice.

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups cooked brown rice (cooked in veggie stock)
  • 2 Cups (or 1 tin) cooked brown or green lentils
  • 1 large onion – roughly diced
  • 3 cloves of garlic crushed or minced (or 3 tsps prepared crushed garlic)
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 Cup frozen peas (or diced frozen vegetables)
  • Lots (between 2 to 5 packed cups) of baby spinach or a whole head of romaine lettuce chopped roughly
  • Oil for frying (any bland frying oil or coconut or olive to taste)
  • Salt and cracked black pepper – to taste
  • Liquid to deglaze – white wine, stock or marinade.
  • Left over Smokey Marinade from Smokey Tempeh (Veganomicon) or similar.
  • Traditional: ½ tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbl lemon or lime juice.
  • 1 Tbls Soy sauce and/or miso paste, 1 tsp maple syrup or agave, lemon juice.
  • Curry powder and/or garam masala, dried mint, tiny pinch of cinnamon, paprika, additional salt. Optional: lemon juice.

Spice Variants:

  • Left over Smokey Marinade from Smokey Tempeh (from the Veganomicon) or similar.
  • Traditional: ½ tsp ground cumin, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 Tbl lemon or lime juice.
  • 1 Tbls Soy sauce and/or miso paste, 1 tsp maple syrup or agave, lemon juice.
  • Curry powder and/or garam masala, dried mint, tiny pinch of cinnamon, paprika, additional salt. Optional: lemon juice.
  • Add Thai green curry paste when cooking the onions (step 3) then add a small tin of coconut milk or coconut cream when you cover and cook (step 8). Deglaze with water not wine or stock if using this method.

Method

Cook rice if required – I use a rice cooker and cook about 20 minutes before starting dinner. Lentils will need to be prepared further in advance or use tinned.

Lentils & Rice, rice added

  1. Once rice is almost cooked heat oil in a large heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and starting to brown. (Optional: heat onion in microwave for 1 to 2 minutes beforehand to reduce cooking time).
  3. Add brown sugar and stir through. Add any whole spices at this point (mustard seeds, whole cumin seeds etc).
  4. Add frozen peas. Deglaze – use marinade (if using) or white wine or stock or water. Add any powdered spices or liquid seasoning now. Stir through
  5. Add lentils. Stir through.
  6. Add rice.  Stir through and heat and stir for 1 or 2 minutes.
  7. Deglaze if needed (e.g. if the food is starting to stick to the pan).
  8. Cover and cook on medium heat for 5 to 10 minutes until peas are fully cooked.
  9. Uncover and deglaze (switch to water or wine if using stock or marinade prior).
  10. Add spinach or lettuce. Add lemon juice (if using).
  11. Stir through until leaves start to wilt (about 1 minute). Add salt and cracked black pepper to taste.
  12. Serve.

Lentils & Rice with Spinach added

 

 

Slow Cooked Bean Soup

Ultimate Bean Soup

This is a much more ‘homey’ soup than my green soup but it is still quite healthy. At least until I start turning it into other things that is!

I use McKenzies Italian Style Soup Mix however it can be sub’d with any mixture of 1 3rd beans, 1 3rd lentils and 1 3rd mixed split peas and barley.

Bean Soup

Ingredients

  • 1 375g pack McKenzies Italian Style Soup Mix (or 2 cups dried beans, lentils and split peas).
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes (or 2 cups fresh diced tomatoes).
  • 4 tsps vegan chicken style stock powder or other stock concentrate equivalent to at least 1 litre of stock.
  • About 400g Mirepoix – usually this means equal parts diced celery, carrot and onion (I add leak if I make my own) which you can prep and freeze or it is sold as Ready to Cook Vegetable Mix at Woolworths in Australia and it is normally sold frozen or fresh anywhere that French cooking is common.
  • 3 to 6 cloves garlic OR 2 tsps of garlic paste OR all cloves from a whole roasted garlic (peeled).
  • 1 small cube of ginger minced OR 1 tsp of ginger paste.
  • Herbs and spices to taste – I usually use a tsp of dried mixed herbs, a big pinch of smoked paprika, a bay leaf, a sprig of fresh rosemary, a sprinkling of onion or garlic salt, lots of cracked pepper. If I have it fresh I will add diced sage or coriander (aka cilantro) but neither of these dry, and sometimes a pinch of dried marjoram too.
  • Water.

Method

It is then as easy as adding everything to the slow cooker (aka crock-pot) and topping it up to the max line with water (I use the tin for the tomatoes to add it and it is normally around 3 to 4 tins of water) , stir well, cook for 6 to 8 hours. I often put this on before going to work.

Variant options for turning leftover soup into fritters or bean loaf can be found here.