Red Lentil Curry, Vegan-Style

After a summer jaunt to Great Britain with their Nanny, my sweet girls returned home with rich stories of family, royal jewels, riding the Tube, West End shows and local food.  Small town pub fare, fish and chips,  gammon rashers and Indian curry dishes.

The idea of curry inspired me since I was at a loss for North Sea Cod,  but alas I was still short on ingredients. I do love to use what is on hand in the pantry and spice cabinet, and the lack of ingredients led me to discover a lentil dish that was dairy free and gluten free and was given the thumbs up by all.

Now, I have to come clean on this one – I did not measure my ingredients.  This was an eyeball and taste as you go recipe.

Red Lentil Curry

Ingredients:

3 cups Red Lentils

1 Medium Sweet Onion

2 Fresh Tomatoes

Coconut Oil (substitute with Butter/Olive Oil)

Water

Garlic

Ginger

Curry Powder

1 Cup of Cashew Milk/or substitute with Cream

Directions:

In a large skillet, saute chopped onion and lentils and for a few minutes in coconut and olive oil.  Add your tomatoes, curry, ginger and garlic and cook a little longer.  Add water to just cover the ingredients and cook for 5-10 minutes.  Don’t overcook the lentils, you don’t want them too mushy.

Let your dish cool a little and add your cream.  I used cashew milk that was not strained, thus it was really rich and creamy.

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I served this over a bed of rice and fresh arugula. John and I enjoyed the accompaniment of a Rodney Strong Pinot Noir.  It  was a lovely night.  My girls are home.  All is well.

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Black Bean Hummus

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When we were in Colorado, I enjoyed a veggie wrap with black bean hummus spread inside. The moment I took my first bite, I knew it was something that I needed to recreate.

As my kitchen adventures normally begin, I was a bit bored one afternoon and opened up the refrigerator. My mom had recently picked up a bountiful gathering of fresh vegetables at the Farmer’s Market.

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When I looked for hummus to accompany the veggies for a snack, I was disappointed to find none in the bin. Suddenly, that hot afternoon in Breckenridge came back to me, accompanied by a glass of raspberry iced tea and a fresh veggie wrap. I knew that this similarly steamy afternoon called for not just ordinary hummus, but black bean hummus!

After doing a bit of research online, I took out a recipe book that came with our Vitamix blender and found a recipe for hummus. I basically followed those instructions but switched out the chickpeas with black beans. The result was fantastic, and we enjoyed it for about a week with various different side dishes.

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Black Bean Hummus

Ingredients:

2 (15 oz) cans of black beans; one drained, one with liquid

1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup raw sesame seeds

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp garlic salt (you can also use 1/2 tsp regular salt, 1 clove of garlic)

1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (optional, use more for a spicier dip)

What to do:

1. Place all ingredients, except salt, into a high quality blender (I used our Vitamix) or a food processor.

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2. Blend on high for 1 minute.

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3. Season to taste with salt.

4. Enjoy with raw veggies, crackers, chips, or whatever suits your fancy.