Lentils ‘n Mash

26 06 2011

I knew this week was going to be busy, so I cooked a big pot of lentils and a big pot of giant Lima beans – sometimes called Peruvian Lima beans.  It seemed like a good way to ensure that I had a good source of protein and fibre at the ready.  I had some time at lunch yesterday and I got creative.

Sometimes my creative escapades in the kitchen are more about the experience than the outcome, if you know what I mean.  This was not one of those times.  I tried to coax SO to try the mash, but the lure of left over pizza  was too strong.  Fortunately I have neighbours who work incredibly long hours and welcome gifts of ready made dinner.  The feedback I received was quite explicit: the recipe for both the lentils and the mash must be shared.

The idea for the mash comes from a diet book that a friend of mine read recently: The Four-Hour Body by Tim Ferris.  In an effort to avoid simple carbs, the book suggests using mashed white beans to stand in for potatoes.  Giant Lima beans are the perfect substitution, they are rich and juicy, blending into an incredibly smooth texture.

Lentils

1/4 chopped onion

1 1/2 cups cooked lentils

1 golden beet, the size of an apple, julienned

1 roma tomato, diced

1/4 tsp (or more) ground pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped

Add 1/4 cup of water and chopped onion to a non-stick frying pan on medium-high heat.  Stir frequently, cooking until the onions start to become transparent.

Add lentils and beets to the pan, reducing heat to medium.  If the water has evaporated, add 1 – 2 Tbsp of water more.  Allow onions, lentils, and beets to cook until beets are warmed through and slightly tender; approximately 7 – 9 minutes.

Add salt, pepper, and fresh basil, stir and serve on top of mashed beans.

Mashed Beans

2 cups cooked giant Lima beans

2 Tbsp nutritional yeast

water

scant salt

pepper to tast

Warm Lima beans either with a microwave, a pot on the stove, or another method that you prefer.

Add Lima beans and nutritional yeast to a food processor.  Add just enough water to allow beans to become processed and smooth.  Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!

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Curried Red Lentil and Kale Stew with Garbanzo Beans

14 06 2011

I cannot speak highly enough about this dish.

Over the winter, my next door neighbour raved about how our neighbour across the street makes the best lentil stew.  A few weeks ago I had the privilege of trying her famous lentil stew and can qualify that it is everything I was promised it would be and more.

Following the recipe, you can serve this in bowls as is – nothing extra – and easily feed six people.  You could also serve this on top of mashed potatoes, quinoa, or rice and serve 8 – 10 people.  Or you could take a meager portion of leftovers, add some extra water, and enjoy this as a soup.  I’m going to add that the first time I tried this it was stone-cold, I had to force myself to heat it up before I devoured the whole thing cold.

I made this for my parents, serving it with a salad of carrots and asparagus, and they really enjoyed it.  I know they’re my parents and might pretend to like something to save my feelings, but the day after I was disappointed to find that my dad had taken the leftovers – ALL 2+ servings – to work for lunch.  He wouldn’t have done that if he was pretending to like this stew.

Curried Red Lentil and Kale Stew with Garbanzo Beans

1 bunch kale, tough stalks removed, coarsely chopped (about 7 – 8 cups)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1/4 cup onion, diced

5 tsp curry powder

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

5 cups vegetable broth (or a combination of vegetable broth and water)

2 cups red lentils, dry

2 cups garbanzo beans, cooked/canned

Heat oil in a large heavy pan over medium heat.  Add onion and sauté until golden.

Mix in curry and cayenne pepper, then add broth and chopped kale.  Increase heat, bringing to a boil.

Add lentils and garbanzo beans; reduce heat to medium.  Cover and simmer until lentils are tender, stirring occasionally.  The red lentils will take 10 – 15 minutes to cook.