Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

standard September 25, 2014 1 response

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Curries scared me for a long time. Then I actually tried a recipe I found on Pinterest that seemed super easy, and it was amazing. I was hooked. I’ve made quite a few different versions since that first easy and delicious one. Some have been better than others. All have different methods of preparation. But they all seemed to have the same simple base: veggies, coconut milk, spices, and usually a protein.

For this simple dish, I used a homemade curry spice mix (from Thrive: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life). Any curry spice or even red curry paste would work okay here. I’ve built up a bit of a tolerance to the heat of the spices so I use quite a bit, but start small and taste and add more as you go if you haven’t ventured into curries before.

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Sweet Potato Lentil Curry

Yield: Serves 4

Calories per serving: 495

Ingredients

  • 1 c sweet potato, diced
  • 2 T coconut oil
  • 1 c eggplant, diced
  • 1 c squash, diced
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated
  • 1-2 T curry powder
  • 1 T tomato paste
  • 1 c coconut milk
  • 1/2 c vegetable stock
  • 1 c cooked lentils
  • 2 c cooked rice
  • 1 T green onion

Instructions

  1. Fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Cook sweet potatoes until almost tender, about 6-8 minutes.
  2. Heat coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add eggplant and squash. Season with salt and pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, garlic, and ginger. Stir and continue to cook until veggies are translucent and starting to brown.
  3. Deglaze pan with vegetable stock. Add curry powder, tomato paste, and coconut milk and stir to combine. Let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add lentils and adjust seasonings as necessary. The curry will thicken up quite a bit as the lentils absorb some of the milk.
  5. Serve over rice and garnish with green onion.
http://www.neatandnutritious.com/sweet-potato-lentil-curry/

Nutrition:

Per serving: 495 kcal, 49 g carbs, 30 g fat, 11 g protein, 507 mg sodium, 7 g sugar

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

standard September 17, 2014 Leave a response

This salad may not look like much, but oh my goodness, it is the perfect lunch for this week. I had a lot of expectations in my head for all the flavors I was trying to throw together, and it really just worked. The lemon and herbs in the dressing are intense and flavorful; the potatoes and eggplant are crispy, soft, roasted perfection; the crunchy chickpeas and pumpkin seeds round out all the flavors and textures. This is the perfect cozy fall salad.

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Roasted Vegetable Salad with Herb Vinaigrette

Serves 2.

Print-Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

Salad:

  • 1 c sweet potato, diced
  • 1 c eggplant, diced
  • 1/2 c cooked chickpeas
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 T coconut oil
  • 2 c arugula
  • 2 c butter lettuce
  • 2 T raw pumpkin seeds

Dressing:

  • 1 T hemp oil
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 T mint leaves, finely diced
  • 1 T parsley, finely diced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 T basil, finely diced (or 1/2 tsp dried)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potato, eggplant, and chickpeas together in a mixing bowl along with the salt, pepper, parsley, paprika, garlic, and coconut oil.
  3. Spread mixture evenly onto prepared baking sheet. Roast for 35-40 minutes until dark, crispy, and tender.
  4. To make the dressing, mix all ingredients in a mason jar and shake well to combine.
  5. Toss lettuce with the dressing. Top with the roasted veggies, and garnish with pumpkin seeds.

I like to chop my lettuce into a rough chiffonade before I toss my salads so I have smaller bite sized pieces instead of huge lettuce leaves to figure out how to eat. This also gives the salad a little less volume, so I can pack more onto my plate. Tossing the greens with the dressing before adding the veggies keeps them from getting soggy and spreads the herbs through each bite.

If you’re up for more fat in this dish, diced avocado adds a rich creaminess that pairs with very well with all the other flavors and textures here.

Nutrition:

Per serving: 351 kcal, 34 g carbs, 20 g fat, 10 g protein, 532 mg sodium, 7 g sugar

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Eggplant Ragout with Risotto

standard September 11, 2014 3 responses

As a lifelong mac and cheese lover, I’ve discovered that risotto is the perfect grown-up alternative of that classic comfort food. I don’t think there is anything better than a creamy bowl of risotto. I still remember the very first time I tried it, at a small, family owned Italian restaurant in Chicago. Cheesy, creamy, sprinkled with vegetables, and oh so rich. I very quickly figured out how to make it at home, and I have always found the 30 minutes of constant stirring and standing over the stove to be soothing, part of the whole process of homey comfort that the end result provides.

My absolute favorite way to make risotto will always be my mushroom and leek recipe, but this simple, almost rustic dish is just as comforting. Laden with veggies in the ragout, it makes even this eggplant-averse eater happy.  Both dishes come together at the same time, with minimal clean up, and plenty to serve a crowd. (Or plenty to hoard to yourself for a week of leftovers).

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Eggplant Ragout with Risotto

Serves 4.

Print-Friendly Recipe

Ingredients:

Ragout:

  • 2 T Earth Balance, divided
  • 1 eggplant, diced
  • 1 c mushrooms, diced
  • 1 c summer squash, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1.2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 c white wine (chenin blanc or pinot grigio work well)

Risotto:

  • 2 T Earth Balance, divided
  • 1/2 onion diced
  • 3/4 c arborio rice
  • 1/2 c white wine
  • 3-4 c vegetable stock
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 c nutritional yeast

Steps:

  1. Heat a skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 T Earth Balance, and add diced veggies. Saute until softened, about 5-8 minutes.
  2. Season with salt, pepper, parsley, and oregano, and stir.
  3. Add wine, bringing it to a low boil. Reduce heat and let simmer until wine reduces by half.
  4. While veggies cook, melt 1 T Earth Balance in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Add onion, and let cook for a few minutes until translucent.
  5. Add rice and toast for 3-5 minutes.
  6. Add wine and let cook down. When most of the wine is absorbed, add the vegetable stock 1/2 – 1 c at a time, stirring frequently. Let the rice absorb the liquid before adding the next cup of stock. This should take about 30 minutes, stirring frequently.
  7. Once all stock is used, and rice is creamy and soft, add salt, pepper, and nutritional yeast. Let cook for a few more minutes, until all flavors are melded together. Stir in final tablespoon of Earth Balance for extra creaminess.
  8. Once wine is reduced, stir in remaining tablespoon of Earth Balance to the eggplant mixture.
  9. Serve the risotto in bowls, topped with the eggplant ragout.

Nutrition:

Per serving: 281 kcal, 47 g carbs, 12 g fat, 8 g protein, 1190 mg sodium, 7 g sugar

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