Category Archives: Meatless Monday’s

#Meatless Monday…The Cauliflower…

 

Why Meatless Mondays?…

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...

This week …it’s a Cauliflower pizza base, cauliflower, rice, walnut and red pepper dip and cauliflower cheese…

Cauliflower and broccoli are both delicious vegetables…They come from the same family Brassicaceae…however broccoli is a member of the Italica cultivar group, while cauliflower is part of the Botrytis cultivar group…

I think I need to take a course in Olericulture…so much is the same but different…like cauliflower and broccoli…

As a family, we love most vegetables both my grandfather and my father had vegetable gardens and I myself have dabbled in England I had an allotment for a while I also used to grow fruits and vegetables in raised beds, pots, grow bags, on window sills and hanging baskets…I still have pots of herbs growing and fruit trees here and my aim is to cultivate some of the rarer Thai fruits…

Cauliflower Pizza Base…

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium head cauliflower.
  • 1 egg, large.
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning (dried oregano or basil)
  • 1/8 tsp salt.
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper.
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan or Mozzarella cheese, grated/shredded.
  • Cooking spray, I make my own spray I don’t do bought oil in spray cans…I have a little stainless steel one for oil.

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F/190 C and line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

Rinse cauliflower, remove the outer leaves, separate into florets and chop into smaller pieces. Process in a food processor in 2 batches, until “rice” texture forms.

Transfer cauliflower rice on a prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 mins this just removes some of the moisture.

Remove cooked cauliflower rice from the oven, transfer to a bowl lined with a double/triple layered cheesecloth or linen towel, and let cool for 5 minutes.

Then squeeze the liquid out of the ball as hard as you can. Be patient and do this a few times until barely any liquid comes out.

Increase oven temperature to 4 degrees F/200 C. Then in a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg with dried herbs, salt and pepper for 10 seconds. Add cheese and squeezed cauliflower mix very well with a spatula until combined.

Line the same baking sheet with new parchment paper and spray with cooking spray. Transfer cauliflower dough to the middle and flatten with your hands until thin pizza crust forms.

Bake for 20 minutes, carefully flip with a spatula and bake for a few more minutes. Top with your favourite toppings and bake again until cheese on top turns golden brown.

Slice and enjoy!

Let the kids help you can never second guess a child and what they will like.  Encourage them to help prepare their food…They are more likely to eat what they help prepare.

THE VERSATILE CAULIFLOWER… I love it! x…I really like this pizza base and it may be because I am not a fan of the traditional pizza base…I loved the crispy edges where the cheese browned my family didn’t like it as much as a traditional Pizza base…

Cauliflower Rice…

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

Cauliflower Rice

And all you need is a Cauliflower and an Onion.

A little Coconut oil to cook or other oil of your choice.

Sea Salt and a squeeze of Lemon Juice.

Either grate or blitz in a food processor ( but not too fine) you want some texture.

Heat pan and keep pan HOT as you don’t want Cauliflower to steam and go soggy.

Use Tablespoon Coconut Oil and put in the desired amount of Cauliflower and onion mix.

Cook quickly and then season and add lemon juice.

All in all, it only takes a few minutes to cook….. a bit longer if more than one portion but keep pan hot.

cauliflower-rice-pork-thai basil-recipe

If you wish to vary the taste you can add 1 tsp of Cumin seeds to the oil before adding Cauliflower if you are eating Indian food.

Eating Mexican AND WANT TO ADD SOME AUTHENTICITY……. then add 1/2 tsp turmeric to oil and tsp tomato puree.

This is very versatile and just use your imagination and add any herbs and spices that you like.

To store...I make a batch and keep it in the fridge during the week but keep it in a glass jar or zip lock bag…I think plastic containers may make it sweat too much…..Enjoy…. and if you are cutting the carbs it is an ideal and yummy substitute for rice and I love rice…… eat it all the time but happily substitute this as I am also a cauliflower lover.

Cauliflower Cheese…

Make any white sauce and add grated cheese and some mustard…A white sauce is essentially Béchamel sauce traditionally made from a white roux and milk.

Ingredients:

  • 500ml whole milk
  • 1tsp English mustard powder
  • 50g butter
  • 50g plain flour
  • 100gm mature cheddar, grated
  • 50gm parmesan grated

Let’s Cook!

Melt the butter in a pan and stir in the flour and mustard powder to make a paste. Gradually whisk in the milk and simmer to thicken to a smooth sauce, stirring constantly.

Take the sauce off the heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheddar and half the Parmesan. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Pour over your steamed cauliflower and broccoli and sprinkle over the remaining cheeses. I also add little cherry tomatoes around the edge or tomato slices…

Cauliflower and broccoli bake

Cook under the grill until the sauce is bubblier and the top is golden brown about 15-20 minutes on 180/200 oven.

I didn’t run out of tomatoes...lol…hubby doesn’t like tomatoes so I always leave a gap…

We love roasted or cauliflower florets in batter…nice and crispy with a dip it makes a nice snack or light lunch with a glass of wine…just saying…I have a new addition to my pantry a lovely pomegranate molasses… this molasses came from Iran with some Sumac…I wanted to try an original to get the taste as I haven’t cooked with sumac and the last time I had pomegranate molasses was when I was in the UK…

Pomegranate Molasses

This lovely Red Bell Pepper and Walnut Dip will be a great accompaniment to the Roasted Cauliflower…

To Roast a small head of cauliflower break in florets…

Toss cauliflower florets with a light drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange on a small baking sheet and roast in a pre-heated oven at 220C (convection)/200C (fan-forced) for approximately 18-20 minutes until cauliflower is cooked and golden. Remove from the oven.

For the dip:

  • 2 red Bell peppers
  • 4 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp red chilli flakes
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp sea salt flakes and crushed black pepper
  • To serve: Mint leaves, crushed walnuts, chilli flakes, olive oil…

Let’s Cook!

Place bell peppers on a small, rimmed baking sheet. Rub with olive oil. Roast peppers in a pre-heated oven at 220C /200C (fan) for approximately 20-25 minutes until the peppers are blackened and cooked. Remove from the oven and transfer capsicum to a bowl. Cover with cling film or foil to steam the capsicum as it cools. Cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove and discard the core, skin and seeds.

Place the red pepper flesh, breadcrumbs, pomegranate molasses, cumin, paprika, chilli flakes, garlic, walnuts, lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in the bowl of a small food processor and pulse a few times to get a chunky ish dip.

Taste and adjust seasoning as necessary.

Spoon the mixture into a serving bowl/dish. Create swirling dips with the back of a spoon and drizzle with extra olive oil (if using). Top with crushed walnuts, chilli flakes, mint leaves. Serve warm with pitta bread or your favourite bread.

Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days. Can be warmed for a few seconds in the microwave before eating…if preferred ours never lasts that long…

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

Thank you for reading this post 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

 

#Meatless Monday’s …week 7…Vegan French Toast and pancakes with mushrooms and leeks …

 

Why Meatless Mondays?…

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

How is introducing more plant-based meals going in your kitchen… Going well or meeting with some opposition?...

This week …it’s French Toast and Pancakes why French Toast because I am aware that some of my readers don’t eat eggs either because of allergies or because they are Vegan…I have two recipes for eggless French Toast one I have tried and the other I am hoping one of my vegan readers will try and let us know as it contains nutritional yeast which I don’t have or use …

French Toast (1)

  • ½ cup milk, regular or dairy-free
  • 1 tbsp corn starch…I used rice flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon, optional
  • 2 slices thick white bread
  • 2 tbsp butter or vegan alternative, for grilling
  • ½ cup sliced strawberries
  • Maple syrup, for serving
  • Powdered sugar, optional

Let’s Cook!

 

The other recipe is one I came across on a lovely blog written by a lady called Mimi…Her recipe for pancakes with leeks and mushroom filling with cheese sounded delicious and it was…I made half the recipe as is the norm when I am trying a new recipe and all my testers loved it…

 

 

 

Meatless Monday…Week 4…Thai Red Curry with Mushrooms and Purple Eggplants…

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…

Introducing more plant-based meals into your diet can help you maintain a healthy weight if you have some weight to lose then adding more plant-based meals has the benefit of removing foods from your diet which cause weight gain.

Plants are high in fibre…this means by introducing more plant-based recipes to your diet that the health of your gut improves so you are better able to absorb the nutrients from your food… you will be eating foods that support your immune system and reduce inflammation.

Fibre can lower cholesterol and stabilize blood sugar and it’s great for good bowel management…

This week my Meatless Monday’s recipe is a Thai red curry with Mushrooms and purple eggplants ...I was going to use lentils this week but I had a glut of mushrooms which I love and I hate waste… lentils keep mushrooms don’t…

Ingredients:

Ingredients for Thai red curry with Mushrooms and purple eggplants.

  • 2tbsp Thai Red Curry Paste
  • 200ml Coconut Milk
  • Half cup of water
  • 4-6 kaffir lime leaves torn
  • 8-10 small purple eggplants
  • 2lb mixed mushrooms
  • 3-4 stalks Thai Basil
  • 1 scant tbsp Thai Fish Sauce (optional)

Let’s Cook!

Wash and slice mushrooms…I used portabello and white mushrooms.

Prepare eggplants and wash Thai basil.

Add a tiny drop of coconut oil to a pan and add curry paste heat through stirring to loosen the paste if required and add the coconut milk, water and torn lime leaves cook for a few minutes to release the fragrance and add the eggplants if using.

Thai red curry sauce with lime leaves and eggplants.

Cook for 2-3 mins and then add the mushroom, stir to combine.

Mushrooms and eggplants in Thai red curry sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 4-5 mins…Then remove the lid ..taste to check the seasoning this is when I added the fish sauce…Taste and add the Thai basil…Just allow the basil to wilt and it is ready to serve.

Thai red curry sauce with mushrooms and purple eggplants.

Serve with rice or noodles and enjoy!

You could add any vegetables to this curry I love purple eggplants and although the original recipe didn’t have fish sauce I felt it needed just a little…This dish would be suitable for vegans if you omitted the fish sauce or used a vegan alternative.

I love dishes like this as they are so quick to make particularly if you are short of time or hungry.

As with all new recipes, I half a recipe make it as it is and then tweak if required…My taste testers actually liked it very much which surprised me as they are hardened meat eaters but also love mushroom so I know I would get away with any mushroom-based dish I cooked for them.

Healthy eating and meat-free plant-based meals is a commitment…a commitment we make to ourselves to enjoy our food and eat as healthy as we can ….MOST of the time…

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday……Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

Thank you for reading this post 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

CarolCooks2 weekly roundup…24th January-30th January 2021…Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Recipes, Whimsy, Music and Lifestyle Changes…

Welcome to this week’s edition of my weekly roundup of posts…Especially for you just in case you missed a few posts during this last week…It is a lovely sunny and still morning here…and the last day of the month…To say I am pleased is an understatement it’s just suffice to say January is proving to be my nemesis…the month where I am often lost for something to say when I just really want to curse but can’t…I also don’t like to swear and most swear words do offend me…I think it must be my age…Joe knows what to say…

Right…Unlike yesterday when the brain would not engage…my weekly catchup is a doddle ..no brain required so here goes I hope you enjoy the roundup…x

Meatless Mondays …are going well and proving quite popular… I am enjoying my meatless meals and I wish to thank everyone who has sent me tips and recipes to try you are all awesome… I will also credit back to you once I have made them and my taste testers have given their verdict…

Last week it was Tofu…

Thank you to everyone who has sent in comments and recipe ideas…it seems meatless Mondays are a hit…x

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/25/meatless-monday-week-3/

Tuesday...as I had run out of ideas…brain fog again…I reposted an older post on… How to make your own Coconut Oil…

Something not many people would do now it’s just lovely to watch and maybe try it out for that special gift and which also means that a tradition is handed down through the generations as they should be …Enjoy!

Wednesday is the day for my Culinary Alphabet but with a twist where it is words ending and not beginning with a T…

 

 

It was also the day when I gave thanks to the scheduling gods….Yeah for scheduling…T was also another easy one as many, many terms end in T…I left plenty for Pete to choose from…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/27/the-culinary-alphabet-with-a-little-twistfood-terms-

Ending-in-the-letter-tchestnut/

Thursday: 

Over to Sally’s to learn how we can turn back time just a little and how to delay the wrinkles…Sounds like a plan to me…xxx If you haven’t already please pop over and say hello to Sally…her advice is easy to understand and action…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2021/01/28/smorgasbord-health-column-turning-back-the-clock-2021-anti-aging-and-ph-balance-eating-plan-by-sally-cronin/

I also felt it was time to repost an earlier blog post just in case you missed it the first time round…What is really in your yoghurt?

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/28/what-is-really-in-your-yoghurt-and-how-healthy-is-it/

Friday: my new series on drinks which naturally clean and detox our bodies…This week it was the Bael Fruit which is fast becoming popular around the world and has some amazing health benefits it is also known as the Stone Apple, Wood Apple, Matum Fruit, Bengal Quince and Japanese bitter Orange …

The boy in the video is also so cute and a great presenter for his age…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/29/natural-cleansers-part-2-bael-sherbat/

Saturday: was a nonentity…one of those days…brain fog…so I gave up and cooked and walked…Tomato Soup is my go-to soup and my well-tried sandwich loaf is now a fixture..a family favourite …the loaf I make every other day although this week I must admit yesterday was the first…such was the doldrums that I made them eat…shock horror ..cut bread from the local shop…I did it was that or nothing…

The upside this week was that I have managed to do 10,000 steps daily well not today as I am giving the body a day off… I will walk to the market later and do a couple of turns around the block but I am not pushing for 10,000 steps today…I will also add that my lazy dog…

Yes, you…Saangchai just follows me to the corner then sits and waits until I come back around and then greets me as if I have been away for a month…Lazy Boy…

https://carolcooks2.com/2021/01/30/saturday-snippets-30th-january-2020-is-on-a-break/

I hope to be back with Saturday Snippets next week as long as my brain wakes up and gives inspiration this week …

But I feel better now the walking has done me good and I have walked my doldrums off this week …I hope …I would also like to thank all of you for your lovely messages…and chats…I love you all…x

Well, that’s it for today…Thank you so much for dropping by…I hope you have enjoyed the read…if you have please head over and leave a comment it makes my day to hear from you …Love Carol xx

Meatless Monday…Week 3…

 

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…

One thing that has amazed me is the number of new names for eating plans…so many tarians…Please!

  • Pescatarians – people who do not eat meat, but eat fish.
  • Lacto-ovo-vegetarians – eat no meat, including seafood, but do eat dairy products and eggs.
  • Lacto-vegetarians – eat dairy products but avoid eggs.
  • Ovo-vegetarians – eat eggs but not dairy products

Why can’t we just say we eat a healthy varied diet? No fads and no avoiding of various food groups(unless) of course we have a diagnosed medical condition as to why we can’t eat a specific food item…Just sensible eating with some moderation applied to certain foods …I mean who wants to live on chocolate alone???…

Tofu: 

 

 

Not a product that I particularly like although it is very popular here in Asia and there are many types available…The only one I have tried thus far is the firm tofu and it was ok…

I have learnt that you need to get as much liquid as you can out of the tofu and indeed you can purchase tofu presses…

This is a passage from a post-Tori wrote on my blog about tofu a while ago...

As I mentioned to Carol when she asked if I’d like to do a post for her blog, I’m far from being an expert on tofu.  However, since I have picked up a few things over the years, and there are those who don’t know the first thing about what they’re meant to do with tofu, I thought I’d share a couple of tips to help anyone thinking of trying tofu get started.

So, here are my tips.  Others may have different opinions, but here’s what I have to say about tofu:

  1. Tofu works for sweet and savoury dishes.

Most people use tofu to make savoury dishes.  To be honest, that’s how I usually use it.  However, it can also be used to make sweet dishes.

Some ideas for using it include:

  • As a meat substitute in salads, curries, etc. It especially works well as a chicken substitute.  Just grill or fry it, and add it to your favourite dish.  I especially love it with sweet and sour sauce and boiled rice.
  • In the place of scrambled eggs. Scramble up some tofu, add some tomatoes and hash browns (or slices of fried potato) and you have a tasty breakfast that even a vegan will eat.
  • As a dairy-free or vegan-friendly ‘cream cheese’ substitute. Silken tofu especially can be used in the place of dairy alternatives to make desserts like cheesecake vegan-friendly, or even just to reduce the dairy intake of someone who isn’t vegan.
  1. The type of recipe determines the kind of tofu you need.

Whether you need firm or silken tofu depends on the type of recipe you’re making.  As a rule of thumb, use firm for savoury recipes, and silken for sweet ones.  You can do it the other way around, but using firm for savoury recipes and silken for sweet ones yields the best results.  At least, I think so.

  1. Don’t forget to marinate your tofu.

No matter what recipe you’re using it in, you absolutely must marinate your tofu.  Tofu has no real flavour of its own, so takes on the flavours of whatever it’s marinated in.  This is why it can be used to do both sweet and savoury dishes.  So marinade your tofu for at least a little while before cooking.  If you don’t, you’ll have something tasteless that will be like eating a sponge.  At least, I imagine it would be like eating a sponge; having not eaten any sponges, I’m only guessing as to the taste comparison.

Beyond that, experiment, and remember: just because you don’t like it prepared one way, doesn’t mean you don’t like tofu at all.  If you try it and don’t enjoy it the first time, try it a couple of different ways before you decide you don’t like it.

One final comment: tofu – in case you don’t know – is what’s left after the liquid is drained from soya beans to make soya milk.  If you have an allergy to soy products, you should avoid trying tofu.

Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future.  She has now back to her home town in Wales and is enjoying the snow with her fur babies…

Thank you so much, Tori, I now know a little more about Tofu…My experiments in the kitchen with tofu are sporadic…but my aim is to keep trying I now have a few recipes gifted to me which I will be trying over the course of the next few months as I get to grips with plant-based foods…

I made a recipe from Dolly @ Koolkosherkitchen Did we like it?… I wasn’t sure on the texture but will take Tori’s advice and try another recipe…The sauce was lovely and the sesame seeds added a bit of toastiness and texture it was the tofu, not a feeling I am used to with food a bit spongy but will try again as I have some tofu left.

Tofu and honey bites.

Ingredients:

• 1 block Extra Firm tofu (14 oz)
• 4 tbsp honey
• 2 tbsp soy sauce
• 2 tbsp lemon juice…I used lime Juice
• 1 inch (2.5 cm) ginger, grated
• Sesame seeds to sprinkle

Let’s Cook!

Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly mist the pan with oil cube your tofu, press and drain off the liquid…I didn’t realise the first time I did this just how much liquid there was.

Bake the tofu, uncovered for 10 minutes then remove from the oven press and drain the liquid again…yes…so much liquid…

Bake again Uncovered for a further 10 minutes…If there is no more liquid then pour the sauce over the tofu and bake uncovered for a further 10 minutes…

To make the sauce combine the soy, honey, lemon/lime juice and ginger…Then sprinkle over the sesame seeds.

Serve hot and enjoy either as a snack or a main course…

My taste testers said it was ok...They didn’t love it but I do think it is getting used to the texture of tofu…we all put up barriers to certain foods, don’t we?

Thank you once again to Tori for chatting to us about Tofu and to Dolly for the recipe… please pay them a visit and say hello they would love to hear from you…xx

That’s all for today on my journey into eating more plant-based meals on a Meatless Monday…Next week it will be Moong Sprouts Curry…Thank you again to everyone who is suggesting recipes I will try them all…xx

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

Meatless Monday …week 2

 

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 would like to thank Darlene, Lucy and Tori (my tofu) guru for the recipes and tips they have sent me…Thank you ladies xx

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…

lentilmstewwithbread

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.

lentilstewwithbasil
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…

home made Foccacia

Home Baked

Ingredients:

  • 500 gm All-Purpose Flour
  • 7gm instant yeast
  • 300ml warm water
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1.5tsp sugar
  • Olive Oil
  • Fresh Rosemary …picked

Lets Bake!

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.

home made Foccacia

Home Baked Foccacia with parmesan.

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…

Enjoy!

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