Carrot Lentil Salad

Carrots and LentilsI’ve been meaning to share this recipe all summer long.  I have kept a large bowl of the base mixture (the carrots and lentils) in my fridge on and off for the last few months, making it easy for me grab it as a quick and simple meal when I’m not feeling like cooking.  It is good as an entree or a side dish.

Now it seems that it will be my go-to for late summer. It packs well and is great cold from the fridge or at room temperature.  It has a subtle sweetness that contrasts with a generous combination of floral and warm spices.

All of the flavor comes from the lentils, and the salad is dressed simply, with olive oil, salt, and pepper.  Do not dress until you are ready to serve and eat, as the salad will simply absorb the oil and become really dry (I do add the olive oil, salt, and pepper to the bowl I carry to work for lunch–but it is certainly better when it is freshly dressed).

Ingredients:

  • 1 c dry whole red lentils
  • 1/2 c red wine
  • 1 1/2 c water
  • 1 large bay leaf
  • 1 t whole fennel seed
  • 1/2 t whole coriander
  • 1/2 t whole cumin
  • 1/2 t ground black pepper
  • 1 unsalted veggie bullion
  • 3-4 large carrots, grated
  • salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste

Directions:

  1. In a mortar, add the cumin and coriander, and crack with a pestel (not a fine grind, but until coriander is in 1/2 pieces)
  2. Add to a saucepan: the lentils, wine, water, bay, fennel, coriander, cumin, pepper, and bullion.
  3. Cover and bring the saucepan to a soft boil.  Once boiling, uncover the pan and turn the heat down to medium, and cook lentils until tender but not falling apart (20-30 minutes).
  4. Drain the lentils (if needed), and pull the bay leaf.  Cool lentils to at least room temperature.
  5. Combine the carrots and lentils.  Add salt, pepper, and olive oil to taste.  Serve.

Easy Marinaded Portobello Mushrooms

2014-08-22 10.37.49So, recently I saw some amazing portobellos in the grocery store.  To be clear, I love mushrooms, but I often forget about these behemoth examples.  I think of portobellos as a production.  More than that, they were super popular a few years ago, and I think I’ve just forgotten about them.  In actuality, they are not a production, and they are as delicious as they were a few years ago.  This was one of the easiest recipes that I’ve done in a long time.  The resulting mushrooms I’ve used as topping on salad, pasta, and as the entree for a meal with other sides.  

They are satisfying and simple.  And, there is no doubt, at all, that if I had a usable grill, that is exactly where they would have been cooked.  So, for those of you still living the summer life (or considering Memorial Day cookout ideas–as they make amazing sandwiches, as well), this is the recipe for you.  They are a great meat substitute for those not looking for processed analogs.  

You can cook down the marinade with the “pan drippings” from your cooked mushrooms for a thicker and less acidic sauce.  I recommend thinly slicing these ‘shrooms, adding grilled or sautéed onions to them, and placing the mix on a sub roll with a little of the marinade as dressing.  

Ingredients:

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps
  • 1/4 cup Braggs aminos or tamari or soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1T agave nectar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced or 1 clove garlic, pounded (crushed)
  • 2 T finely chopped fresh herbs of your choice (I used tarragon and thyme)
  • 1 t fresh ground pepper

2014-08-22 10.48.23Directions:

  1. Prepare the mushrooms by brushing them clean and then taking off the stems and scraping the “gills” (the latter is a matter of choice–it is not necessary, but it makes for less browning of dishes, such as creamy pastas, etc.)
  2. In a jar, combine the Braggs, vinegar, oil, agave, and garlic.  Shake the marinade until it is fully incorporated.
  3. Place mushrooms in a covered dish or in a large freezer bag, pour in the marinade.
  4. Marinade the mushrooms for 30 minutes and up to 3 hours at room temperature, turning the mushrooms at least once (more is better).  If you are preparing this a day before, I suggest that you put the marinading mushrooms in the fridge, also turning them every now and again.  The longer you marinade, the more acute the flavor.  Be careful not to over-soak, as you still want some mushroomy flavor.  I suggest stopping at about 6 hours, if you can… you can remove the bulk of the marinade and keep the mushrooms in the fridge until you are ready to cook them.

To cook mushrooms in the oven:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Combine ground pepper and fresh herbs.
  3. Parchment line a large and shallow baking dish (I use a sheet pan).
  4. Place mushrooms bottom side up, sprinkle with 1/2 of the pepper/herb mix.
  5. Bake for 10 minutes.
  6. Turn mushrooms over, sprinkle with the remaining pepper/herb mix.
  7. Bake for another 10 minutes.
  8. Serve.

 

Kimberly Elise’s PETA Testimony

Kimberly Elise, an actress known to me through “Grey’s Anatomy” and a sprinkling of Tyler Perry movies (so the previews told me?), has recently discussed her move from veggie to vegan and showed off her very fit self for PETA.

She also alludes to presumptions concerning race and veganism: “Black people are vegan?” This is not only something that I’m sure lots of folks hear about their food choices, but I have also heard so much in the yoga world (my larger body and brown skin clearly shocked some folks). 

Her website is chocked full of fun and delicious information.  I highly recommend a peruse.  Particularly, check out her “Why I’m Vegan” section.

I first ran into this vid through eurweb.

World Carrot Museum

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Hi Folks!  I’ve been off in dissertation land.  It is a dismal and terrifying place, in case you wondered! (Have I mentioned that I’m prone to a tiny bit of hyperbole?)  Anyway, I’m sorry that I’ve been neglecting this space.  In my recent non-productive procrastination via google, I found the  World Carrot Museum in the UK!  The what?  Yes… that is what I said.

Ok, really it’s a virtual museum, but I got completely excited about the possibility.  Truth be told, updating would do the page good, but it is packed with all kinds of great carrot information.  My particularly favorite section is “Carrots in Fine Art Works.”

My search was inspired by my own lentil carrot salad, which I will post sometime in the near future.  The salad has become a summer staple in my house.