Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Moosewood's Sweet and Sour Lentils (vegan and gluten-free)

Rocket & Roses Kitchen Play List:

Cole Porter ~ You Are So Nice To Come Home To
Keith Urban ~ You'll Think Of Me
Soul Asylum ~ Just Like Anyone
Black Stone Cherry ~ Fade Away
Uh Huh Her ~ Run
Shakira ~ Donde Estas Corazon
Evanescence ~ The Only One
Garbage ~ Queer
Count Basie ~ There Will Never Be Another You
Black Stone Cherry ~ Hell Or High Water
Eric Clapton ~ Wonderful Tonight
The Zutons ~ Remember Me
Don Williams ~ Love Me Over Again
Kevin Kline ~ La Mer

Finally...a recipe post...I hear you say. No I don't because you folks are endlessly patient with me and I cannot thank you all enough. I haven't been in the kitchen at all over the last few weeks...a break away and medical blah blah being the reasons. So this recipe is brought to you by the combined efforts of ML and myself. I sat at the dining table chopping and 'supervising' whilst ML run the kitchen side of things. Thankfully we work extremely well as a team...

Now when blogging the recipes tested from Other Peoples Kitchens I try to not consecutively post recipes from the same book unless I'm actually writing a review. However there are occasions where I make a dish and it is so good that I make an exception to that rule. Today's posting being one of those very recipes. It comes from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites cookbook. My recently bought extremely abused used copy of this book has been a marvel. Packed with really good, healthy recipes. A £1 well spent I'd say...

At the weekend I was craving lentils. I have these days where nothing else but a steaming bowl of lentils or cold/warm lentil salad will do. I feel intense guilt when I'm unable to cook meals for myself and therefore hate having to ask ML to make something labour intensive just for me. (ML suffers from an Auto-immune condition so we eat polar opposite foods. ML's being mainly white rice, potatoes, some fish, chicken and beef) A lot of the foods I crave can make ML very ill. So when I find a recipe that is simple in making and won't maim ML its a very happy find. 

For years my only experience of sweet and sour was of the MSG filled take out varieties. Gloopy, sticky, unbearably sweet and filled with artificial colourings. Not great. Until I made my own I considered this dish repugnant. Now I really like it as I can control what goes into the ingredients. So when I flipped the pages of the cookbook and found Moosewoods Sweet and Sour Lentils I knew it was the recipe for that particular craving. 

It couldn't be more simple to make. The brown lentils are cooked in a mixture of apple juice, water and fresh ginger. The additional veggies have a brief time in a skillet and then are mixed in with the lentils. The only changes we made was to sub soy sauce for Braggs but you could also use Tamari to keep it gluten-free. I cooked it for a little longer at the end after adding the Braggs and rice vinegar. There was a lot of liquid at the end but as we made ours in the morning and I didn't eat mine until the evening it had soaked up the juice and made the lentils plump and juicy whilst the veggies still had a crispness to them which delighted me. The flavour is subtle but very enjoyable. I served mine with sides of brown rice and fresh garden peas. This dish may not be a looker but what it lacks in appearance it sure does make up for in taste and textures. I know this will be a regular dish in my kitchen...

Moosewood's Sweet and Sour Lentils (vegan and gluten-free)

Moosewood's Sweet and Sour Lentils       Serves 4-6
(Recipe from Moosewood's Restaurant Low-Fat Favourites Cookbook)

1 1/2 cups brown lentils
2 cups unsweetened apple juice
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
2 cups water
1 cup chopped onions
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup peeled and diced carrots
2 tsps canola/rapeseed oil
1 medium bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 courgette, diced
1 tomato, chopped
2 tbsp soy sauce (I used Braggs)
2 tbsp rice vinegar 

chopped spring onions to garnish

Rinse the lentils. Combine them in a saucepan with the apple juice, water and fresh ginger. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Add a little more water towards the end of cooking if necessary to prevent sticking.

While the lentils cook, saute the onions, garlic, and carrots in the oil for about 5 minutes, until the onion begins to soften.  Add the pepper, courgette and tomato, cover, and cook on a low heat for about 10 minutes, until just tender. Stir in the soy sauce and rice vinegar.

When the lentils are ready, combine them with the vegetables. (Reds note: This is where I allowed mine to cook for another 5 minutes then removed them from the heat to mulch. ~R~)

Serve with rice and garnished with the chopped spring onion.


Thanks for stopping by and I hope your day is sunny as mine..


NB: This recipe is not my own and therefore take no credit for it whatsoever. It is the hardwork and creation of the folks at Moosewood Collective and theirs alone. I thank them for a great cookbook. ~R~