Vegan Christmas: Squash Dip

I think it’s a good idea to add some vegan meals to the whole long and not really healthy Christmas glutenous menu. As the minds are filled with whatever the traditional food is in your part of the world (if you even celebrate this…), here’s a suggestion for something seasonal, cheery-coloured and keeping our bottoms little ūüėČ

Christmas Squash Dip

What you need is 20 minutes:

1 small teacup of red lentils

250-300 g raw squash, cut in pieces

2-3 cloves of garlic

3 tbsp sesame tahini

2 tbsp olive oil

1 lemon

half teaspoon of the each cumin, turmeric, dried coriander, paprika, ground black pepper, cinnamon

and the handiest thing in the world: a blender!

Boil the lentils in 2 cups of water until tender and the pumpkin in a separate pot, and yes – in some water too. Discard the liquid and put aside to cool.

Mix all the spices, the tahini, the peeled garlic, the olive oil and the lemon juice in a bowl. Then add the squash and the lentils, and use the blender to reduce all to a nice, orange, smooth, heavenly tasting dip.

Serve with some fresh whole grain bread as an appetizer.

Vegan Is Good!

Easy Sambhar with Red Lentils

Indian food provides a diversity of vegan meals, filled with good proteins and yummi veges. And are suitable for improvisation. The truth is all you need is some Indian spices and your imagination.¬†So, here I am, making my favourite walk along the vegetable-abundant nearby farmer’s market, thinking: ” How about trying something with that Sambhar masala my friend brought from India? Oh, let’s get those eggplants, and carrots. And yes,¬†definitely¬†some string beans and¬†radish…” In the end I found myself with more luggage that I could possibly carry home on my own, but the result was worth it and spicy.

Here’s how it goes – just make sure you’ve prepared all the ingredients in advance, as it cooks quite quickly once started:

What you need for 2-3 hungry people (40 minutes):

1 tea cup of red lentils

1 large eggplant cut into long slices

1 average carrot, diced

300 g of pumpkin, peeled and cut into large cubes

1 average white radish, dices

1 onion, minced

some garlic, minced

2 red chilis

2 tbsp of sambhar masala

2 teacups of water

3 tbsp vegetable oil

Heat the oil in a large pan with cover. Add the Sambhar masala and let the oil absorb its divine taste for 30 seconds.

Put in the garlic and the onions and mix. now add the carrot, the radish, the pumpkin, mix well, cover and let it cook for 3-4 minutes.

Next – add the chilis, the aubergine slices, and again – mix and cover for another 2 minutes.

Then add the lentils and the water, lower the heat. Let it simmer for 15-20 minutes until the lentils are soft and the liquid is almost absorbed.

Serve with flat bread or rice.

Sambhar with Read lentilsVegan is Good!

Lentil and Soy Balls

Decided to experiment a little last weekend and after going through loads of traditional (and not so traditional) recipes for vegan balls made of legumes, came up with an idea on my own Рto mix them. Surprisingly Рit worked. I mean, it was tasty and pleasant to eye as well.

One thing is certain – you shouldn’t be afraid to get your hands dirty to try this at home!

What you need is (for 2-3):

200g red lentils

200g green soy beans

2 tbsp tahini

1 teaspoon black sesame

4-5 cloves of garlic

2 pinches cumin

2 pinches of dried mint

grounded black pepper/paprika

some baking paper&a tbsp of oil

In separate pots boil the green soy beans and the lentils. The soy will need about 25-30 minutes, but the lentils get ready very fast in about 5-10 minutes. You’ll know they’re ready when they start to crack and peel on their own. Pour the water out, rinse well and leave them to cool.

The soy is a bit more tough and needs some crushing so that it can stick when shaping the balls later. Don’t make a puree – leave some beans whole, it looks prettier in the end.

 

 

Now put the lentils, the chopped garlic, the sesame, the mint, the tahini, the pepper/papprika and the cumin with the soy and mix very well.

Once you’re happy with the mixture, put the baking paper on the bottom of a tray and smear the oil equally on the entire surface.

It is time to pull up your sleeves and start rolling the balls with your hand. Use your palm and your fingers to squeeze well the mixture and once the balls are roundly shaped put on the baking paper. Leave some space between them.

 

 

Bake in a preheated oven on 200C for 15-20 minutes. They’ll get a nice golden colour.

Serve with a salad.

Vegan is Good!

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