Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Lentil Arugula Panzanella Salad

Tucson, Arizona

Lentil Arugula Panzanella Salad

Spring is in the air!  The desert is in bloom.  It's a beautiful day in Tucson.  Weather like this makes me crave panzanella.  An Italian-style bread salad with peppery arugula and hearty lentils, combined with a lemony, feta-like tofu cheese.

Lentil Arugula Panzanella Salad
vegan, nut-free
serves 2

4 cups arugula
wedge of lemon
Lentils (recipe below)
Bread (recipe below)
tofu feta (recipe below)

Split arugula onto 2 plates.  Drizzle with lemon.  Add lentils, bread, and tofu feta.

Tofu feta:
½ cup firm tofu, drained and pressed, crumbled
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
dash dill
dash oregano

Add all in a small bowl, stir to combine.  Set aside in the refrigerator to chill and marinate.

For the Bread:
2 slices of thick cut bread
1-2 tbsp olive oil
¼ tsp garlic powder
salt & pepper

Let slices of bread dry out on a paper towel for about a ½ hour (or use day old bread, bread going stale).  Cut bread into 1inch squares.
Drizzle each square with olive oil, and sprinkle garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Toast in oven or toaster oven, turning once until crispy and golden brown.  You can also opt to pan fry them over med-high heat until crispy and golden brown.

For the lentils:
1 cup green lentils, rinsed
4 cups water
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp olive oil

In a pot, boil water.  Ad lentils and cook until tender, about 20 minutes.  Drain well.  Transfer to a small bowl.  Stir in garlic powder, salt, lemon juice, and olive oil.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Dal Makhani with Basmati Rice

Tucson, Arizona
Stormy sunset and rainbow in Tucson

Well we have had quite the mild winter here in Tucson, compared to the rest of the country, (polar vortex) oh my!!  My RV as of now is not made for cold weather, so the southwest is where I will call home for awhile.  We did have 1 stormy day since I've been here where the temps dropped a little.  Immediately, I got excited for this warm comforting dish.  As a vegetarian, Dal Makhani was my go to Indian food choice.  I figured it was surely time to veganize the recipe, as it usually contains cream and ghee.  This is a much healthier version without losing the flavor.  Containing lentils, beans, and nuts, this is a plant powered, protein packed, bowl of deliciousness.  Enjoy!

Creamy Vegan Dal Makhani with Basmati Rice

Dal Makhani with Basmati Rice
serves 4-6
gluten-free, vegan

1 onion, chopped
4 clove garlic, minced
1 chili pepper, sliced
1 tsp fresh ginger, grated
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 ½ cups water, divided
½ tsp chili powder
½ tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp garam masala
½ cup black lentils
½ cup raw cashews
½ cup kidney beans
3 plum tomatoes, diced
½ cup basmati rice
½ cup cashews
1 tsp sea salt
1 Tbsp unrefined sugar
handful fresh cilantro

First, soak cashews by covering them in very hot water.  Let them soak while you prepare everything else.  About an hour.

In a large pot over medium heat, add ½ cup water, olive oil, garlic, chili pepper, onion, and ginger.  Sauté about 10 minutes. 

 Add 2 ½ cups water, chili powder, garam masala, cumin seeds, and lentils.  Cover & cook 10 minutes.  

Add tomatoes and rice.  Cover, cook 30 minutes. 

While that is cooking, Process or blend cashews (soaked and drained) with ½ cup of water. Blend until smooth. 

 After the 30 minutes of cooking, add cashew creme. Stir in sea salt and sugar.  

Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.