Creamy Coconut Lentils

Happy holidays and Happy New Year!

I will make this short and sweet…thank you, thank you, thank you to all of you for making my dream/goal of running my very own food blog a successful reality in 2013. I appreciate your support and encouragement so much. It’s a beautiful thing when you have an idea and it comes to life!

I am pretty sure 2013 had been my most eventful year of my life. Lots of ups (a few lows) and I am grateful for all of it. This blog has definitely been like a journal for me. A journal through food and photography 😉

My favourite dish combination has to be rice and beans…or PULSE and beans, if you will. I probably have a dozen variations that I make continuously and yet somehow my brain always think they are different. It is no surprise that dishes like this have been eaten globally for tens of thousands of years. It just works. Every time.

Wait…I may have just decided on a theme for my first cookbook 😉

“101 Ways to make Rice and Beans” or “Pulsating Beans”…a work in progress!

It is a meal in itself with only a few ingredients needed. In fact this particular recipe only requires about 4 ingredients plus a few spices.  And on these cold winter nights nothing satisfies they way this hearty dish can.

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For a slight variation it is fantastic with baked zucchini (I simply cut the zucchini lengthwise and bake at 350 for about 20 min with a little olive oil and sea salt)…yum!

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I hope and trust that the close of the past year is joyous and reflective for all of you!

Here’s to 2014 and all of the wonderful food possibilities.

Cheers.

Creamy Coconut Lentils

Serves 4-6

Prep Time 20-25 mins

Ingredients

4 cups cooked coconut jasmine rice (cook as per instructions using coconut water instead of regular water and then finish with 2 tbsp coconut oil once fully cooked)

3 cups vegetable broth

2 cups of dry red lentils

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp coriander

1 tsp tumeric

1- 400 ml can of coconut milk

sea salt to taste

handful of chopped cilantro

2 tbsp sriracha (optional)

  • Bring vegetable broth and lentils to a boil in a medium sauce pan. Then reduce heat to low and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Approx. 15 mins
  • Add garlic powder, cumin, coriander, tumeric and salt. Stir to combine and then add coconut milk. Heat for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Scoop creamy lentils over the coconut rice and finish with sriracha and cilantro. Easy peasy!

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Muhamarra

A few years ago when I was in school taking studying Holistic Nutrition, I met a beautiful chef who shared the same love of food as I do (albeit not vegan food but I adore her nonetheless).  Her name is Christina and among many other things she is a Red Seal chef, Holistic Nutritionist and operates a gorgeous blog  www.honeyandvanilla.com

Throughout my time at CSNN she introduced me to several simple and delicious recipes. I had never experienced Muhamarra before she passed on the recipe and I was over the moon excited once I tried it. This dip works with anything- cucumbers, baked sweet potato medallions, crackers, bread, whatever!

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Pomegranates are a fruit that contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals that help to improve the skin, bone quality, digestion, cardiovascular health and much more!!!

I have used this spread numerous times for different types of get togethers or holiday parties and it is perfect for this time of year. What screams HOLIDAYS more than pomegranate?…aside from a spiced rum and holly nog 😉

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So please do not skip out on the pomegranate molasses. If you don’t know already it has so many uses and tastes delicious. Buy the large bottle (stick with me) and I will help you figure out how to use it!

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Muhamarra

Created by HoneyandVanilla.com

1.5 cups walnuts (lightly roasted)

12oz jar roasted red pepper (or if roasting yourself then use 2 bell peppers)

1/4 cup EVOO

2 Tbsp pomegranate molasses

2 cloves garlic

1 Tbsp honey

1/2 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried chili flakes

salt to taste

Cooking Instructions

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor and pulse until smooth. Season with salt. Allow  to rest in fridge for a couple of hours before serving. Cut up you favorite veggies or pita bread and serve on the side.

Quick Tip: Scoop muhamarra dip into a large Ziploc bag and then cut a small opening in one corner to create a piping bag!

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To create the sweet potato medallions I used a thin sweet potato to start, peeled it and then cut into equal slices. Lay them on a baking sheet coated with a small amount of olive oil and bake at 350 for approx. 20-25 mins (turning half way through)

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Also great served simply as a dip for raw veggies…

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Eggnog Biscotti

Hellllooooo!

I am still here I promise!

This whole moving thing has proven to be more disruptive than I originally anticipated. Just trying to establish myself in my kitchen has been a part-time job. So throughout the last several weeks I have been relying on my “old” and favourite recipes. Not a lot of new creations happening for me right now but luckily old favourites are comforting and easy. There has been a lot of avocados and pasta dishes in my mouth lately 🙂

As I write this it has occurred to me that perhaps there is only so much creativity that can happen in one person’s brain at one time. Moving into a new space has required a certain level of creativity but I am also re-creating my work situation and well… actually my entire life situation! It’s exciting and at times, overwhelming.

My taste buds are looking forward to getting back in the kitchen to create new dishes for myself and my family. Until then I have decide to share with you a few of my favourite recipes from other bloggers, foodies and/or food professionals that are perfect for this time of year.

If you are a vegan then you need no introduction to ohsheglows.com. Angela posts incredible food ideas on her blog and will someday very soon be in every vegan’s cookbook collection. Her Eggnog Biscotti recipe is one that I have been making over the past few years for my loved ones at this time of year. When I say it is amazing, I truly mean it is A-MAZ-ING! I make as many batches as I can and yet still I always seem to not have enough. I always hide a few pieces for myself and only hand them out to a select few at Christmas time.

On a very important side note: If you have previously received these from me and are not receiving any this year, don’t worry, we are (probably) still good! I decided a few weeks ago to do only what is necessary to get me through the holiday season this year…and baking didn’t make the cut. So I apologize if you were hoping for a batch but I should be back to my MarthaStewart-self by next Christmas 😉

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I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do (actually maybe you can control yourself and eat a few less than I do).

I will be back in a few days to share another holiday recipe…

Vegan Eggnog Crunch Biscotti

Crisp, nutty, and chewy, with a lovely eggnog flavour, this biscotti will have you in the mood for the holidays in no time. In addition to using toasted nuts, I added some dried sweetened cranberries to give it a nice chewy texture. I bought some rectangular holiday tins from Loblaws, but you can also find tins at Michaels and some bulk food stores like Bulk Barn. It makes a lovely gift! See below for nutritional info.

Yield: approx. 17 pieces

Dry Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup chopped nuts, toasted (I used a mix of walnuts and pecans)
  • 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 2.5 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (or 1.5 tsp pre-ground)
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground cinnamon (or 1/2 tsp pre-ground)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • Scant 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup dried sweetened cranberries

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup canola oil (or melted coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup + 1.5 tbsp vegan eggnog (I use Vitasoy Holly Nog)
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Eggnog Glaze:

  • 1 cup organic icing/confectioner’s sugar
  • 2 tbsp vegan eggnog
  • 1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg (or 1/2 tsp pre-ground)
  • tiny pinch of kosher salt & cinnamon, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 325 and toast chopped nuts for 10 mins. Remove and cool. Preheat oven to 350F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, mix the dry ingredients. In a smaller bowl mix the wet ingredients. Add the wet to dry and mix with a spoon until it starts to come together. Now use your hands to squeeze together the dough and mix it completely, being careful not to overmix.

3. Divide the dough in half and place on prepared baking sheet. With palm of hand, press down each half to flatten. Place a piece of parchment paper over top of one half and roll it out into a log (approx 10 inches by 5 across and 1/2 inch thick), using your hand to shape as necessary. Repeat with the second log.

4. Score the logs with a knife and bake for 30 mins at 350F. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 325F. Cool for 5 mins on stovetop and then slice the logs. Gently flip pieces onto one side and bake at 325F for 10 mins. Remove from oven, flip, and bake another 5 mins at 325F. If you like the biscotti SUPER crisp, bake another 5 mins.

5. Cool for 1 hour on a baking rack and then store in a glass container. To prepare glaze, whisk all glaze ingredients together in a medium sized bowl. Place glaze into a baggie, snip off the very end, and “pipe” over top.

Nutritional Info (makes 17 servings, per biscotti, without glaze): 161 kcals, 7 grams fat, 22 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, 10 grams sugar, 2 grams protein.

(with eggnog glaze, makes 17 servings): 190 kcals, 7 grams fat, 31 grams carbs, 1 gram fibre, 17 grams sugar, 2 grams protein.

Read more: http://ohsheglows.com/2011/12/06/vegan-eggnog-crunch-biscotti-giveaway/#ixzz2nYyoo0e6

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