Why Meatless Mondays?…
Lots of reasons but healthwise I know we should eat more plant-based meals not only for our health but for the environment…But there is so much information out there that to read, test and digest it takes a while …I have decided to do it in stages as to me it should be a permanent commitment and I wish to find some tasty dishes which are equal in taste to what I normally cook for my family.
I have stated many times that I will never be fully vegetarian or vegan as I believe in a healthy balanced diet coupled with exercise…but eating more plant-based meals seems to be the way to go…
I will, of course, be adding more plant-based recipes each weekt as I try more different products…it does, of course, depend on what I can purchase here as not all foods as you know are available around the world.
Today my store cupboard revealed Mung Beans, Bengal Gram and kidney beans… I am going to have a closer look at the Bengal Gram and the Mung Beans…
I have always used beans in casseroles, chilli and for dips…lentils not so much…I am also finding there are also so many different names which I am just beginning to get my head around as depending on where in the world or which region you live the names vary…
Bengal Gram…is closely related to the Chickpea family…they are a yellow lentil rounded on one side and flat on the other…In Indian cuisine, they are known as Chana Dal.
They have many health benefits they are packed with nutrients and are rich in Plant-Based protein…it is also said that eating them may keep your appetite under control ( I need) some of that at the moment…sigh…
They are said to control blood sugars they are also inexpensive to buy and easy to add to your diet…
Gram Flour is also made from Chana Dal…
This plant-based eating is quite a big learning curve for me and as always I would be pleased for any input or recipes…
This recipe has been tried and tested on my family and was given to me a while ago by Darlene author of the Amanda books… A lentil stew from Syria. who also gave me another one last week which I have yet to try…
Yakhmat ‘Adas (from Syria and Lebanon)
- 1 cup lentils, rinsed
- 5 cups of water
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 medium onions, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup rice, rinsed
- 1/4 cup fine noodles
- 2 cups stewed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil or 2 teaspoons dried crushed basil
Place lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over medium heat for 20 minutes.
In the meantime, heat oil in a frying pan and sauté onions over medium heat until they begin to brown. Stir in garlic and rice and stir-fry for another 3 minutes.
Add frying pan contents along with remaining ingredients, except basil, to lentils and bring to a boil. Cook another 20 minutes, adding more water if necessary. Remove from heat and stir in basil.
Enjoy! Nice with pitta bread.
Note from Darlene: I usually cut the recipe in half as it makes a lot.
*Did you know that lentils are good for anaemia, low blood pressure and ulcers.
From my favourite cookbook, Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa by Habeeb Salloum.
I used really fine vermicelli noodles, fresh ginger as I grow my own and don’t use dried and Thai basil…It definitely makes a lot though I am pleased I halved the recipe on Darlene’s advice.
I have since made this recipe a couple of times and made it slightly looser in texture …I like it how I first made it as I can scoop it up with my bread my family preferred it just a little looser. Like all recipes, the end result is down to personal taste…
Mung Beans: These have been languishing in my store cupboard for a little while imploring me to use them…they are also known as green gram…and are part of the legume family.
Mung beans sprout very quickly thick, white crisp shoots and are a popular source of beansprouts…unlike other pulses, they can be cooked without prior soaking although as always soaking reduces cooking time.
If soaking for the lunch the next day soak overnight…if it is for the evening meal the next soak in the morning not overnight as longer than 12 hours soaking is not advised.
How to sprout your own …
I absolutely love bean sprouts they make for a lovely side dish…just stir-fried with some chopped green onions, some garlic and chilli with some oyster sauce…delicious or a beansprout salad pop some into a bowl of soup at the end of cooking delicious.
Do you have a favourite mung bean recipe you like to share?
I am really getting into baking homemade bread ...Last week I experimented with Foccacia a recipe given to me by my son who is an excellent cook…
- 500 gm All-Purpose Flour
- 7gm instant yeast
- 300ml warm water
- 1.5 tsp salt
- 1.5tsp sugar
- Olive Oil
- Fresh Rosemary …picked
Mix all the ingredients together and knead for 5 minutes until smooth. Cover and leave to prove for about an hour or until it has doubled in size.
Knock- back the dough and knead for another 5 minutes then press the dough into a baking dish…12 x 10…I used a 9 x8 the first time and it was too thick as it rose quite a bit.
Cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Then with oiled fingers press pieces of rosemary into the dough.
Mix 1.5 tbsp of good olive oil with 1 tbsp of water and a good pinch of salt then pour over the top of the bread. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake at 200C/392F for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
Drizzle with more olive oil while the bread is warm…cover with a clean t/towel to stop the top going crusty.
N.B I also grated some parmesan over the top…Just because and because the family requested it…Although it was a bit too high the texture and taste were good it was also good the next day split and toasted…
That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday…Next week it will be Tofu…
If you have enjoyed this post please leave a comment as any tips or comments I love as you all know I just love to chat…Love Carol xx