Peace, Love & Lentils

Go through your pantry, cupboards, freezer, or fridge; what ‘treasures’ have you found? Pick an ingredient/spice/condiment that’s been hanging out for a while and give it the attention it needs. Share a healthy recipe made using your new-found pantry prize.

Spring cleaning the pantry my shelf in the cupboard. It doesn’t take long.

My share-house-pantry-space-restriction coupled with my disdain for waste means that I don’t often have a whole lot of things lying around for too long. A good thing I suppose. But this month’s Redux theme is the perfect excuse to share a great lentil soup recipe that only requires a few ingredients. I did in fact have lentils in the cupboard, too.

Lentils are simply wonderful. Not only are there a bunch of ways to use them, as mentioned in my previous ramblings, they are nutritionally impressive too. This recipe uses green lentils, which are a variety that retain their shape when cooked, rather than breaking down and going mushy. A cup of lentils gives you 16 grams of dietary fibre, and also provides you with a serving of protein. In addition, because lentils (and other legumes for that matter) are so nutritious, half a cup also count as a serve of vegetables as well. Nice.

Due to the high fibre content of lentils, and other legumes, a lot of people experience digestive discomfort (read: gas, bloating and other fun stuff), so if you’re not consuming them regularly, best to start off slow so that your gastrointestinal tract can get used to it. Whenever we make a major change to our diet, our bodies need time to adjust, so take it easy. It also helps to soak your legumes in cold water over night and give them a good rinse before cooking.

Thanks to Melbourne’s ice-cold chill as of late, I thought soup would be most appropriate. The recipe I’m sharing below is how I usually make it, although on this particular occasion I had to substitute for what ever I had available in the fridge, so it’s pretty versatile. Dinner was literally the other thing that could warm me up today!

kitchen

Lentil Soup

1 x TBS olive oil

1 x brown onion

2 x cloves garlic

2 x stalks celery

2 x carrots

1/2 x cup white wine (optional, but do it)

1 x cup green lentils

1 x lemon, juice and zest

1 x litre of vegetable stock

1/2 x bunch parsley (can sub in dill)

s & p

lentil soup

  • Chop the onion, garlic, celery and carrot finely
  • Heat oil in a large pot over a medium heat
  • Add onion and cook gently for 5 minutes or until softened
  • Add garlic, carrot and celery and cook for another couple of minutes, giving it a good stir
  • Then add in the white wine, vegetable stock and lentils
  • Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for half an hour or until lentils are softened
  • Add in lemon juice, zest and parsley at the end of cooking
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Soup & Dumplings

March Recipe Redux Theme:

Two for One

We’re all about cooking once and eating twice. In short, double dinners are better. Show us how you take a favourite recipe already on your blog – and ReDux the leftovers into a new dish. Or, whip up a new healthy recipe and give suggestions on how to make it a second meal.

Short and sweet today because the weekend has completely gotten away from me and it’s bed time.

 

Miso Ramen Soup … turned into … Steamed Vegetable Dumplings

 

For the broth:

1 TBS oil

1 piece kombu seaweed

1 inch ginger

2 stalks spring onions, roughly chopped

2 cups water

1 TBS soy sauce

1 TBS miso paste

  • Fry the ginger and spring onions in the oil for five minutes.
  • Add the water, kombu and soy sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer for one hour.
  • Take off the heat and strain the liquid.
  • Add the miso paste and mix well.

tppings

The remaining toppings:

1/4 head of green cabbage

2 corn cobs, roasted

1 bulb garlic, roasted

2 eggs, soft boiled and sliced in half

2 stalks spring onions, finely sliced

100g smoked tofu, finely sliced

100g dried ramen noodles

 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Cut the end off the garlic bulb and wrap in foil.
  • Wrap the corn in foil.
  • Roast in oven for 40 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, slice kernels off corn and place in bowl.
  • Squeeze garlic from pods and place in bowl.
  • Slice cabbage thinly and place in bowl.
  • Prepare the noodles according to the packet instructions.

 

When all the elements are done…

  • Pour the hot broth over the vegetables and noodles.
  • Top with boiled egg, tofu and spring onions.

ramen

What did I do with my leftovers? Make dumplings of course.

  • Take out the ingredients from the soup, that is: the cabbage, corn, tofu, spring onions and garlic.
  • Place them all in a food processor.
  • Add in a 1 inch piece of ginger.
  • Blitz it all up until finely chopped.

wrappers

  • Fill dumpling wrappers.
  • Place in steamer basket and steam for 10 minutes.
  • Serve them alone or with the broth you had for dinner last night!

dumplings

The end.