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3 Meal ideas  – cook with Lentils

3 Meal ideas – cook with Lentils

Every week I will be presenting three meal ideas to make your cooking life a bit easier. This post is all about lentils. why? Because they are verstaile and fantastic source of protein. Easy to cook, easy to spice up and easy to use accross different dishes. These are my favourite. You could freeze probalby Lentil Shepard’s pie. You can make soup for few days as well as koftas. You can serve all of them with fresh bread, salads and sauces.

I recommend to soak dry lentils overnight , as they will cook easier and that way you will get rid off phytic acid which keep them in good shape when they are dry but is not good for our digestion. 

protein

Other benefits: they are good source of protein, fibre and folic acid. They are an excellent source of cholesterol lowering fibre. They not only lower cholesterol but they are of special benefit in managing blood sugar disorders as they keep  sugars at bay after a meal. 

I also like them in stuffed pepers (you can use the same filling as for koftas) or try in salad with baked cubed sweet potatoes and mustard dressing . Try tossing them with buckwheat soba noodles with broccoli florets and leeks. Add some olive oil mixed with garlic and ginger. Delicious!!

Love M. – Plant-Based Chef and Coach

Lentils Shepard's Pie

Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Servings: 4 people
Cost: £1.5 pp

Ingredients

  • 1 cup green lentils (dry - soaked)
  • 200 g mushrooms, chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 medium to large sweet potatoes (or white)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp tomato paste (optional)
  • olive oil
  • 2 tsp corn starch dissolved in 3 tsp of water
  • 300 ml water
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp soya sauce (optional)

Instructions

  • Trun on the oven for 180 degrees
  • Cook lentils until soft and as per instructions
  • Peel and chop potatoes and cook in a pot
  • Cook chopped onion for 5 min in the pan with little bit of olive
  • Add chopped garlic and cook for 5 min
  • Add mushrooms and cook for 5 min
  • Add celery and carrots and fry for 5 min (they do nto have to be soft as they will cook in the oven)
  • Add all the spices and lentils, mix well
  • Add soya sauce, tomatoe paste (if using,) slat and pepper to taste
  • Add water - add a bit and check , you do not wnt that to be watery
  • Dissolve corn stach and slowly pour into the mix, cook for 5 min
  • Transfer to oven proof casserol dish,
  • Mash cooked sweet potatos and transfer them on top of the lentil mix; use fork to even it out and put in to the oven for 30 min
  • Enjoy wiht fresh green leaves salad and/or some fermented /sauerkraut

Notes

You can cook more lentils and use them for lentils koftas and lentil soup.

Tomato and Lentil soup

Delicious protein quick soup
Prep Time25 mins
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 116kcal
Cost: £1.5

Ingredients

  • 30 g olive oil (2 tbsp)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 200 g split red lentils (soak overnight if you can)
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 400 g tinned chopped tomatoes
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in the pan and add oninoc and cook for 5 min
  • Add chopped garlic cloves and cook for 5 min
  • Add lentils, bay leaves, thyme, tomatoes, stock, salt and pepper then cook 30 min. Remove bay leaves before serving.

Notes

1 portion has 116 kcal, 4.2g protein, 11.3g carbohydrates, 6g fat
This soup is lovely served with houmous and crusty bread.

Lentil Vegan koftas

Lovely recipe fo protein alternative . Makes 12 medium size koftas.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time15 mins

Ingredients

  • 1 cup uncooked green lentils or puy lentils
  • 400 g chickpeas, drained
  • 1 oninon or leek (just white part), chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 200 g mushrooms, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce or coconut aminos
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard or mustard powder
  • 1 tbsp nutritonal yeast (optional)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • semolina or breadcrumbs to roll koftas in
  • olive oil to fry

Instructions

  • Trun on the oven 180 degrees
  • Cook lentils as per instructions
  • Heat olive oil in the pan and add onion or leek (or both), fry for 5 min and add garlic fry for another 5 min
  • Add chopped mushroom and fry until no water in the pan is visible
  • Put everything form the pan into the bowl
  • Add cooked lentils, chickpeas and all spices, nutrional yeast, mustard, salt and pepper - taste to see if it is well seasoned
  • Mix with the spoon then mix a bit with the hand blender but leave some chunks.
  • Form koftas and roll in the semolina or breadcrumbs and place on the baking tray
  • Bake in the oven for 15 min
  • Serve with seasonal salad, mushroom sauce or tomato sauce

Notes

Koftas are great as a protein part on your plate. I eat them hot or cold serve with salad or without You can use the same mix and bake as a pate . Just mix well with hand held blender and put into the small loaf tin, sprinkle with some semolina or breadcrumbs and bake for 25 min - you can add some cooked beetroot as well. 
Why should you love green smoothies and juices?

Why should you love green smoothies and juices?

Are you a fan or  not of green smoothies or juices? I must say that I am but sometimes it is not easy to enjoy them all the time. I sometimes treat them as medicine, something my body needs and I can tell when it calls for the more green stuff. I usually have no energy, loads of craving for sugary food and I can’t focus. It is amazing how our bodies can tell us what we need as soon as we learn to read its signals.

I drink this particular smoothie especially during cold and flu season and I am also amazed how quickly it works. It contains some of the most nutrient-dense food on the planet, however, I have few instructions for you to look at before you start preparing it:

  1. Buy organic vegetables especially green leafy ones and cruciferous. Non-organic are heavily sprayed and the soil is quite toxic.
  2. Wash all fruits and vegetables properly. There are few tips how to do it: use baking soda – add 2 tbsp to the bowl of cold water soak, and if needed scrub with vegetable brush occasionally; you can also use food grade 2% hydrogen peroxide in a bowl of water, scrub and wash off with cold water; you can also use apple cider vinegar however a risk is that the produce will taste as vinegar.
  3. This recipe is a smoothie so it contains quite a lot of fibre. This may not be good for some people with IBS and bowel inflammation so it is better to try juice instead.
  4. Smoothies and juices are liquid so they quickly affect blood sugar levels. Keeping them more veggies than fruit will help to ensure they do not contain more sugar than necessary. Smoothies will affect blood sugar slower due to fiber. Commercial produced juices or smoothies quite often have an apple or other fruit juice as a base so they are very sweet. 
  5. You can make more. Pour smoothie/juice into a shallow muffin tray and freeze. Then take out one by one and store in bags in the freezer for up to 4 weeks.
  6. Foods and nutrients specifically good for lowering inflammation: Spices/Herbs: garlic, ginger, turmeric/curcumin, green tea (I use green tea as the base for my smoothies); fruits and vegetables; greens, pineapple,carrot, beetroot, papaya, cucumber, onion, cruciferous vegetables, aloe vera;  Vitamins: C,E,D; Other: Betacarotene, probiotics

Living state of juices, provides immune system, with vital nutrients for optimal health. Juices are rich in natural enzymes assisting in breaking down foods. This allows for less pressure on the body to produce its own enzymes, instead, body can heal and repair.

I am running my NEW YEAR 3 weeks Cleanse and Renew program starting on 13th January – Sign up here to receive more information and be on the waiting list. You will also receive my 3 days Juice fasting meal plan which you will be able to incorporate in the Cleanse program or do on your own, however, I always recommend checking with your GP and doing such programs under specialist supervision.

Enjoy!

Anti-Inflammatory Green Smoothie Boost

This is a savoury smoothie with high chlorophyll content using a variety of greens. Greens contain the bitter and astringent taste which is cooling, hydrating, detoxing, anti-aging and anti-inflammatory. However, a small piece of fruit (up to 20%) such as apple, banana or pear could be incorporated into the ingredients.




Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time5 mins

Ingredients

  • 150-200 mls spring water
  • 40 g cucumber, chopped
  • 20 g rocket
  • 40 g spinach
  • 20 g fennel bulb, chopped
  • 1/2 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp lemon or lime juice
  • 10 g ginger (unpeeled)
  • 1/2 turmeric root
  • 1.5 g chlorella (a tip on the tsp)
  • 20 g avocado
  • 2 ice cubes
  • 1 leaf gel from live aloe vera plant (optional)
  • 1 tsp maple syrup (optional)

Instructions


  • 1. If using a bullet, squash all the ingredients into the container and fill water to the max water line with spring water and thoroughly blend until creamy smooth.
    2. If using a blender, place water inside the blending jug first, then the cucumber and fennel bulb and blitz.
    3. Add the remaining ingredients and blend thoroughly until completely smooth.
    4. Adjust the thickness of the smoothie by adding more water as required.
    5. Drink the smoothie immediately or place in an airtight container (preferably glass) and refrigerate until required up to a maximum of 6 hours.

Notes

The fresh aloe vera juice needs proper preparation. Yellow substance as well as outer skin is quite toxic. I cut one leaf from the plant and I leave it for 1 hr to ensure the yellow substance comes out. I then wash it and cut with scissors the outer edges of the leaf. Then I fillet in half and scrub the gel into the containers making sure there is no yellow substance or skin remaining on the gel.

 

 
Chickpeas no-tuna, cashew mayo sandwich

Chickpeas no-tuna, cashew mayo sandwich

Cashew Mayo no-tuna Chickpea sandwich

This great recipe is the alternative to 'tuna-mayo' sandwich. Great chickpeas with cream cashew non-mayo and seaweed pieces. Nori is rich in iodine, chickpeas and cashews provide the protein
Course: Snack
Servings: 2 people
Cost: £3

Ingredients

  • 1 cup cashew nuts soaked overnight
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice plus zest
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 sheet nori seaweed, cut to small pieces with scissors
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 1 tin chicpkeas

Instructions

  • Drain the cashew nuts and put into high-speed blender together with all other ingredients apart from the nori sheet.
  • Add milk just a bit to see if it is enough as you od not want it to be runny
  • Blend all ingredients adding more milk if required. Taste and season with salt and pepper and cider vinegar if needed
  • When the consistency is smooth take it out of the blender jug and put into a small bowl, cut the nori sheets and add to the non-mayo
  • Drain chickpeas and add to non-mayo and mix
  • Serve in the sandwich with sprouts and cucumber, tomatoes and salad leaves.