Category Archives: Legumes

Lentils!

This week’s ingredient was lentils because I use them ALL THE TIME.  I love them and they are so versatile.  Lentils are part of the legume family and are high in B vitamins (especially folate), fiber, iron and protein (18g in 1 cup). Lentils can help to stabilize blood sugar, lower cholesterol, increase energy and keep you feeling full.

I often use lentils in place of ground meat when “veganizing” a recipe.  They are great in sloppy joes, tacos, burritos, bolognese, burgers, salads, soups, etc.

Here are a few ways we ate our lentils this week:

Red Lentil Cauliflower Burgers

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These held together really well!  I did end up having to add a bit more chickpea flour, but ultimately, it worked out great.

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Delicious and the kids ate them up too!

Lentil Grape Salad

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I have been making this salad since long before I decided to eat plant based.  It is one of my favorites for potlucks, BBQs or just a big crowd.  The original recipe calls for honey and feta cheese.  You can sub agave or raw sugar for the honey and just leave out the feta.  If you are a salt person (I am not), you may want to add some extra salt to make up for the lack of feta.  Maybe use salted roasted walnuts instead of raw…or maybe add some olives (no idea if that would work,  I despise olives, but they would definitely add that salty flavor).

Massor Dal Tadka (Pink Lentil Stew)

Masoor Dal Tadka

I love lentil soups and stews of all kinds.  I actually wasn’t sure about this one going in.  I usually would chop my garlic very fine…not generally a big fan of bigger garlic slices.  And I was worried about the spice level.  I did use a jalapeno instead of  a Serrano because I have an abundance of them in my garden.  I LOVED this!  I wish I would have doubled the recipe because I ate the whole thing (myself) in one day.  The garlic melts right into the soup and you can’t taste any bits of it or the cumin seeds (another worry I had).  It all just blended so nicely and the seasoning was perfect, not spicy.

Cheeze Lentil Rice Bake

Sadly, I did not photograph this one.  I’ve made it at least 5 times now over the past year and I have not one picture.  Wha?  But, just trust me, you will love this.  My kids all love it too!  In fact, recently, I’ve been doubling the recipe cause we end up eating all the whole thing in one sitting.

In other news:  I am super excited that I have been accepted as a recipe tester for Vegan Richa.  She is a vegan food blogger and working on a new Indian cookbook.  Obviously, I can’t share any recipes with you, but I may post up some pics every now and then about what I’ve been testing.  I’ve already made a few very tasty dishes!!  FYI:  two of the recipes I made this week with lentils were from her blog and I didn’t do that on purpose; I had them on the menu before I even knew of the recipe testing opportunity.  I just really like her food!

My New Favorite Black Bean Burger

I am always trying new burger recipes, but I find myelf consistenly going back to the same black bean burger recipe that uses vital wheat gluten because it just works so well.  Well, I finely found one withOUT vital wheat gluten that stays together just as well (if not better) and was so delicious.  They even look more like the hamburgers that your carnivore friends would love.  I “fried” these up in my new non-stick pan (that I am soooo loving by the way…absolutely no oil necessary), but they hold together so well that I am betting they would be wonderful on the grill too.

Black Bean Pecan Burgers by Namely Mary

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I did add a few splashes of liquid smoke to the ingredients…smoked paprika would work too.  I just love that smoky flavor.

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Looks like a real hamburger, right?  I’m glad this recipe made a lot because 3 of the 5 of us went back for seconds.  And, I packed one in M’s lunchbox today and the girls and I had them for lunch today here at home.  Yum!

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I topped mine high with mustard, veganaisse, lettuce, tomato and pickles.  I was going to do avocado instead of veganaisse, but my avocados weren’t quite ripe yet.

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Looks super yummy, don’t you think?  They come together really quick, especially if you have leftover rice.  Go make up a batch today!  Enjoy!

Broccoli Grape Salad

Picnic and BBQ season is finally among us!!  Here in the midwest, I was beginning to think it was never going to happen. (What was with that snow last Friday?!?!). Now that it IS here, you are going to need some delish dishes to take to all those parties you plan on attending, right?  I have the perfect potluck salad for you!  Just swap the mayonaisse for Veganaisse and you’ve got yourself the most amazing vegan side dish.  I have made this three times in the last two weeks. And I haven’t gone to any BBQs, parties or picnics…it’s just for us. I’ve been eating it for lunch most days or a little afternoon snack.  Its THAT good!

Broccoli Grape Salad

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The Broccoli Grape salad is on the right (don’t forget to use Veganaisse instead of mayo).  On the left is a Three Bean Kale salad, which was also terrific.  I actually mixed the two together one day and it worked out great…so yummy!

 

Quinoa Chickpea Patties and Veggie Lentil Loaf

I know I promised lots of yummy recipes last time I posted, but then life got in the way.  We just got done putting new countertops and flooring in our kitchen.  Everything in the kitchen was moved into the dining room and living room and conveniently placed right in front of my computer cabinet.  Even if I could have gotten to my computer I was entirely way too busy the last week and a half.  The kitchen is done (I LOVE it) and we are now getting back to our normal routine.  I’m excited to get back into the kitchen and start cooking again. Entirely too much take-out was devoured while the kitchen was a mess.

To make it up to you, I’m posting TWO recipes today.  Both of these were great and my kids loved them both!  I was hesitant about the veggie loaf because I’ve tried some in the past that the family wasn’t too keen on.  Shockingly, the kids ate this one with gusto, asked for seconds and never questioned what was in it!  WooHoo!  Sadly, I don’t have a picture of it because I forgot to take pics the day we originally ate it and what little leftovers we had kind of fell apart.  But, it was delicious none the less.

Here is the link to the Veggie Lentil Loaf.  I left out the fennel and I totally forgot to make the sauce.  I served it with ketchup for the kids and I ate it as is with no sauce.

Now for the Chickpea Quinoa Patties.  These were super easy.  I have been trying to get away from eating so many grains.  This recipe is gluten-free as well as vegan and plant strong.  I’ve talked about quinoa before and it’s many health benefits, but chickpeas are also a nutritional powerhouse.  The mighty chickpea is high in folate, fiber, protein and iron.  You can easily sneak other veggies into these patties if desired.  I think shredded carrot or spinach would be a great addition.  I put everything into the food processor and mixed it all together, so I didn’t have any big chunks of veggies.  I thought they would stay together better that way, but I have to warn you that these patties were quite delicate.  I found making them about the diameter of a sillver dollar pancake, but thicker, worked pretty well.

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Like I said before, the kids devoured both of these recipes.  Give them a try!

 

Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Vegan)

Growing up with Polish relatives, I am no stranger to Golabki (stuffed cabbage rolls).  Traditionally, cabbage rolls are stuffed with ground beef, white rice, tomato sauce (usually made from condensed tomato soup) and cheese.  They were seriously delicious!  As a kid, while I liked the cabbage okay, it was really the filling I craved.  I remember asking my mom to sometimes make only the filling because it was obviously much quicker without having to stuff and then bake the cabbage rolls.  Yum!

Once I started my own family and started to be more concerned about what we put into our bodies this is how I saw those cabbage rolls:  saturated fat, simple carbs, chemicals and cholesterol.  Ugh.  The good news is that you CAN have your cabbage roll and eat it too.  🙂

Over the years, I’ve tried several different recipes with nutritious filling, but the one I tried yesterday is by far is my favorite.  My 5 year old unwrapped the cabbage roll and ate only the filling (that’s still a win in my book!), my two 2yr olds ate all of it  and my hubby and I enjoyed every last bite as well.

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Lentil and Quinoa Stuffed Cabbage Rolls (Vegan)

This were super easy to make.  The filling came together quickly and filling and rolling the cabbage is much easier than it seems.  I didn’t even use toothpicks to hold them together.  My leaves were big enough that I rolled them several times and placed them seam side down in the casserole dish.

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I don’t even think I need to tell you how nutritious this lentil/quinoa/kale stuffing is, but if you need more convincing, here you go:

Lentils: high in fiber, folate, magnesium, iron and protein

Quinoa:  a complete protein, good source of heart healthy fats, high in folate, zinc and phosphorus

Kale:  very high in Vitamins K, A and C, anti-inflammatory and antioxident benefits

The cabbage itself is high in Vitamins K and C and also has anti-inflammatory and antioxident benefits. And the tomato sauce will give you Vitamins C and E and of course Lycopene.

From start to finish, this recipe is a nutritional powerhouse.

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Polish or not, you will love these!  Enjoy!

Smoky Lentil Quinoa Soup

I promised you a yummy soup recipe last week and here it is!  I LOVE the smoky flavor from the smoked sweet paprika – I think it totally makes this soup what it is.  Other than the smoked paprika, I think you probably have all of the ingredients in your pantry to go make this today!  Really easy!  It’s super high in protein from the lentils and the quinoa and it’s loaded with vitamins and minerals as well.  A hearty soup with not a lot of calories.

Smoky Lentil and Quinoa Soup  (click for link to recipe)

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This is going down as one of my all time favorite soups.  I know it doesn’t look like much, but I just can’t stop eating it.  Sooo delicious!  Thank you to The Simple Veganista for such a delicious dish.  She equates this recipe to the Trader Joe’s soup, Lentils with Ancient Grains, and I agree.  I also love love love that soup from Trader Joe’s, but am so happy to have a homemade version I can make myself.

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I hope you make this soup yourself.  Hopefully, it will keep you warm during the next snowstorm!  Enjoy!

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Pumpkin Enchiladas

When I first saw this recipe on My Whole Food Life, I KNEW I had to try it.  It took me awhile to get around to making it, but I finally did and it was delicious!  I love all things pumpkin, sweet and savory.  This is a wonderful savory option.  I took the easy way out and used canned pumpkin and canned diced tomatoes.  I simply added everything to a pot and let it simmer away for about an hour to let all the flavors blend.  I’ve even made similar “cheese” sauces before without first having soaked my cashews and they turn out just fine (if you have a high speed blender or food processor).  So, if you want something quick and easy, this actually could be a good option if you take some shortcuts.  I think it’s just as good!

Pumpkin Enchiladas

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I used enchilada sauce on the bottom of my baking dish and again over the top of the enchiladas.  I also drizzled some of the “cheese” sauce over the top of that.  

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I did like the addition of the pistachio dust, but I don’t think it was a make-it-or-break deal.  These would be great without if you don’t have pistachios.  Avocado would also be a nice addition.

Enjoy!

Fettuccine with Lentil Bolognese

Here is the recipe I promised from yesterday.  Another “lucky” meal for New Year’s Day.  We ate this for lunch yesterday and enjoyed leftovers today.  Long noodles represent longevity and lentils resemble coins representing wealth.  Health and wealth…who doesn’t want that?!  But, don’t just save this meal for New Year’s Day, it is great eaten all year round.  The lentils make it hearty enough that your carnivore friends won’t miss the meat.

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Lentil Bolognese

  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 1 29oz can crushed tomatoes (or tomato puree)
  • 1 29oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (or veggie stock)
  • 1 tbsp tamari (or liquid aminos or soy sauce)
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2-3 cups cooked lentils (depending on how thick you want your sauce) (I cooked my lentils in veggie stock for added flavor)

Heat the oil, add the onion and cook until onions have softened and are translucent (a few minutes).  Add the garlic and cook for another minute.  Add the carrot and celery and cook for another 3-4 minutes until veggies start to soften.  Add the remaining ingredients except the lentils, bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat and simmer for about 30 minutes to allow flavors to blend.  Add cooked lentils and simmer for another 10 minutes to heat through.  With an immersion blender, puree about half of the sauce or to your desired consistency.  If you like a really chunky sauce, you don’t need to puree at all; if you like a smooth sauce, puree until smooth.  If your sauce seems too thick, add veggie stock or water and simmer a few more minutes to heat through.

I served this over fettuccine noodles, but it would be great over any type of noodle or as a sauce for stuffed shells.  Feel free to sprinkle with nutritional yeast if desired.

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Lentils are super nutritious and cook up quickly with no pre-soaking required.  Click HERE to learn how to cook dried lentils on your stovetop.

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Enjoy!

Happy New Year! A lucky meal of Black Eyed Peas, Greens and Cornbread!

I love ringing in the new year with some of the foods considered to be lucky if eaten on this day.  See THIS article for 10 different lucky foods and the reasoning behind them.  We had two lucky food for lunch as I made fettucine (long noodles for longevity) with lentil bolognese (lentils for wealth because they resemble coins).  I’ll post this recipe tomorrow as I forgot to take a picture this afternoon.  Luckily, I made a HUGE batch and have tons of leftovers, so I’ll try to remember to snap a pic tomorrow because it was really good!

Tonight’s meal was Creole Black Eyed Peas courtesy of Susan Voisin at Fat Free Vegan, Sauteed Garlic Greens courtesy of Clean Food by Terry Walters and Maple Cornbread courtesy of The Kind Life by Alicia Silverstone.

I  couldn’t find a link to the Sauteed Garlic Greens, so here it is.  But definitely go check out Terry Walters website/blog or her cookbooks…she and her recipes are AWESOME!  Greens are considered lucky because their color and texture resemble paper money.  Who couldn’t use a little more wealth, right?

Sauteed Garlic Greens from Clean Food by Terry Walters

2 bunches dark leafy greens (kale, collards, mustard greens, dandelion greens or chard…or a combo of any of these)

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 tbsp mirin

Sea salt or ume plum vinegar

Remove dry stalk ends from greens and chop leaves into bite-sized pieces.  In Dutch oven or skillet over medium-low heat, saute garlic in 1 tbsp olive oil for 2-3 minutes until soft.  Add greens and mirin and saute 1 minute.  Increase heat to medium, add water as needed to prevent sticking, cover and cook until greens break down.  Remove from heat and toss with remaining tbsp olive oil.  Season to taste with salt or a few dashes of vinegar and serve.  Serves 6.

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I had planned to use a mixture of kale and red swiss chard, but ended up using collard greens because I found a huge bag of pre-washed and chopped collards at Walmart and I just couldn’t resist the convenience of that.  I finished my greens with a few dashes of balsamic vinegar instead of salt or ume plum vinegar.

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I have posted about Alicia Silverstone’s cornbread recipe before and I’m telling you it’s the best I’ve ever eaten.  You must try this recipe.  Cornbread’s golden color resembles gold and therefore considered lucky.

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This is the second time I’ve made this Black Eye Pea recipe from Fat Free Vegan.  This could be served over rice, which is how the rest of my family ate it.  I opted for the straight up version.  It was a hit the first time and it did not disappoint this time around either.  We all cleaned our plates.  Black eyed peas are considered good luck because of their penny-like appearance and abundance.

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Thanks to everyone who has stopped by to read my little blog in the last 6 months!  I hope you all had a fun New Year’s Eve and a great start to your New Year.  Here’s to health, wealth and good times in 2014!