Spiced Puy Lentils with Porcini and Herbs

I got a copy of New Feast from the library a couple of weeks ago, and I just tried my first recipe from the book. Superb. You can also see it at cooked.com.

This is a salad recipe, but we enjoyed it warm. I’ve adapted the recipe a little bit, and we added rice to our version. I’m going to try it again tomorrow with Kamut. Our little one kept clapping his hands and asking for more. That’s how I knew the recipe was a keeper.The mint was surprising, in a lovely way. I didn’t have the mushrooms, actually, but I’ll try them next time around. And I left off the goat cheese for a vegan version of the dish.

For the lentils:

  • 1 oz. porcini mushrooms (optional)
  • 1 cup Puy lentils (also known as French green lentils)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 1/4 fl oz olive oil
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 spring onions, sliced thin
  • 1 loosely packed cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 loosely packed cup fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • 1/3 loosely packed cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • Soft goat’s cheese to serve (optional)

For the dressing:

  • 2 small cloves garlic, crushed with 1/2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 oz olive oil
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • freshly ground pepper

 

  1. If using, cover the porcini mushrooms with warm water and leave to soak for 15 minutes.
  2. Place the lentils in a pan of cold water with the bay leaf and thyme and bring to the boil. Do not salt the water as it toughens their skins. Lower the heat and simmer for 20–25 minutes, or until the lentils are tender. Drain well then tip into a mixing bowl. While the lentils are still warm, stir in the oil and lemon juice and season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in the spring onion and herbs.
  3. Fish the porcini mushrooms out of their soaking liquid and pat them dry. Chop them roughly and stir them into the lentils.
  4. Combine the dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid and shake vigorously. Pour onto the lentils and mix in thoroughly. Dot with blobs of goat’s cheese and serve straight away.

Some variations I’m interested in trying:

  • Turn the salad into a heartier meal with soft-boiled eggs.
  • Add small cubes of roasted pumpkin or sweet potato.

August 31, 2016 at 8:03 pm Leave a comment

Honey-Kissed Baklava Muffins

I am happy. That is all. Many thanks to the Edible Perspective. The only changes I made from the original recipe were swapping margarine for butter and using store-bought buckwheat flour instead of making it fresh.

Muffins:

  • 1/2 cup gluten-free oat flour
  • 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons ground flax meal
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons unsweetened almond milk, or soy, 2%, etc.
  • 1/2 cup clover honey
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • 4 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, melted and slightly cooled

Filling:

  • 1 1/4 cups chopped unsalted pistachios and walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons clover honey
  • 2 tablespoons diary-free margarine, melted
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Topping:

  • Honey to drizzle, about 1 teaspoon per muffin
  • 1/3 cup chopped unsalted pistachios and walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons dairy-free margarine, melted and slightly cooled
  1. Preheat your oven to 350* F and line 1-2 standard muffin tins with 12-16 liners. (I ended up putting my extra dough into a small 4×4 inch baking dish.)
  2. In a large bowl stir together the oat flour, buckwheat flour, almond meal, flax, cinnamon, powder, soda, and salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs. Then whisk in the applesauce, milk, honey, and vanilla until fully combined. Wait to add the margarine.
  3. In another bowl stir all of the “filling” ingredients together until fully incorporated. Set aside.
  4. Whisk in the 1/4 cup melted butter to the wet ingredients then pour the wet into the dry and stir or whisk until just combined [when you no longer see dry flour]. Fold in the nut mixture and portion into muffin liners about 3/4 the way full.
  5. Bake muffins for 17-22 minutes and test with a toothpick for doneness [slightly moist, not sticky]. Let muffins cool for about 7-10 minutes.  Keeping muffins in their liners drizzle a small amount of honey over each muffin, then a sprinkle of nuts, then another small drizzle of honey, and then about 1/2 teaspoon melted margarine over each.  Let fully cool.  Muffins will firm and hold together once cooled.

August 25, 2016 at 6:39 pm Leave a comment

Vegan Zucchini Brownies

Out of the abundance of Zucchini that August brings, I have found refuge in this recipe. Here’s my adaptation of the original recipe from The Live-in Kitchen.

  • 1½ cups coconut sugar
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • ¼ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini, lightly drained of excess moisture (key here is lightly)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¾ cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Coat a 8×8 baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, oil, and flour until the mixture resembles wet sand. Turn the mixer to low and add cocoa, zucchini, vanilla, salt, and baking soda. Mix until well combined. Using a rubber spatula, stir in the chocolate chips.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with moist crumbs clinging.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Cut into squares and serve.

August 25, 2016 at 6:33 pm Leave a comment

“Iowa Dip”

When our family moved away from the state of Iowa in 1985, we left behind one of the greatest foodstuffs of all time – Anderson Erickson Party Dip. Even the AE website proclaims: “AE Dips have been voted one of ‘the most missed products’ by Iowans who’ve moved away.” Absolute truth. Every family trip to Iowa means we’ll be leaving the state with a cooler full of the stuff, cases of it, packed on ice.

But crisis! Over the years since I had left my early childhood home, I developed a dairy allergy. The rare treat of sour-cream-based “Iowa Dip” (as it had come to be called in our household and surrounding community) came to an end for me.

One day a few years ago, I tasted a homemade vegan sour cream that gave me a very familiar feeling. I immediately asked for the recipe, and since then, I’ve been experimenting and mixing in a variety of herbs and spices in the hopes of finding my way back home.

Here’s the closest I’ve come to creating a vegan version of AE Party Dip. I’m 95% of the way there – even my nonvegan dad agrees. It tastes best after it has been allowed to rest overnight so the flavors can really blend well and the lemon becomes less overpowering.

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup oil (I often use sunflower oil or something similar)
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 3/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  1. If you’d like, soak the cashews in the water for a couple of hours. Then blend cashews and water in a blender until smooth.
  2. Add the oil and lemon juice to the blender with the cashew mixture and blend again until smooth. Pour blender ingredients into a medium-sized mixing bowl.
  3. Stir in the salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and parsley – do NOT put the herbs and spices in the blender.
  4. Refrigerate until the mixture becomes nice and thick.
  5. Find yourself some Sterzing’s potato chips and enjoy!

August 14, 2016 at 10:45 pm Leave a comment

Mom’s Cornbread

I call it my mom’s cornbread, but it likely came from a cookbook printed in my hometown in Michigan. It’s a Northern version of cornbread (sweeter than what’s made in the American South).

  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup spelt flour
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk (I used almond milk this time)
  • 1/4 cup oil
  1. Mix dry ingredients thoroughly. Combine milk, eggs, and oil. Add liquid to dry ingredients; stir only enough to mix.
  2. Pour batter into a 9x9x2-inch greased baking dish. Bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes until the top springs back when touched.

August 12, 2016 at 10:15 pm Leave a comment

Guacamole

This is actually a recipe I’ve carried around in a notebook for a few years and have never transferred it here to the blog. We made it first in September 2013 when J and I were in the middle of an experiment. We spent the month eating the staple foods available to the poor of Honduras, El Salvador, Mexico, and Guatemala. When we got to the last two weeks and got to add avocados to our diet, we just died of happiness. It was an important month for me to walk in the footsteps of my students. Here’s a bit of Mexican joy.

  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 2 tsp fresh lime juice
  • 2 TBSP chopped onion (or 1/2 tsp onion powder)
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2/3 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2/3 tsp fresh minced garlic
  1. Mix avocado and lime juice immediately.
  2. Stir in the onion and tomato.
  3. Add the cumin, salt, and garlic to finish things off.

August 12, 2016 at 10:05 pm Leave a comment

Broccoli and Cashew Fried Rice

I recognized this year that I don’t tolerate eggs well if I eat them frequently, and I was missing my fried rice with all of my heart. When I saw this recipe using cashews, I thought I’d give it a go, and I love, love, loved it. Highgate Hill Kitchen is a great cooking blog to get lost in.

  • 2 small brown onions
  • 1 small head broccoli
  • 1/2 cup jasmine rice, cooked and cooled
  • 1/3 cup toasted cashews
  • Sunflower oil, to cook

Sauce

  • 2 tbsps tamari
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp brown rice syrup
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp red miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  1. Start off by preparing the sauce. In a jar or bowl whisk together all of the ingredients until fully combined. Set aside.
  2. Peel and halve the onions, then thinly slice. Chop the broccoli into tall thin florets, cutting any remaining stem into thin strips.
  3. Heat a generous splash of sunflower oil in a wok over a medium-high heat. When the oil is good and hot, throw the onion in. Cook the onion for some 6 – 8 minutes, or until they are softened (toss regularly or stir with a wooden spoon/spatula). Add the broccoli and continue to cook, tossing regularly, for another 4 – 5 minutes. At this point throw in the cooled rice and half of the sauce (if the rice is clumping simply break it apart with your spoon). Toss continually to ensure the rice doesn’t stick and the sauce is evenly distributed. As soon as the rice is heated through and there is no sauce pooling at the bottom of the wok, which shouldn’t take more than 4 or 5 minutes, remove from the heat. Have a taste and if you feel it needs it, stir through more of the sauce.
  4. Divide between two bowls, top with the cashews, and eat immediately.

August 12, 2016 at 9:40 pm Leave a comment

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