A Lovely Fall Lentil Salad

DSC_8823

My friends, welcome to fall! This may be my favorite season – that crispness in the air, a slight bite to the wind, but the most dreamy color schemes a lady could ask for all around. It’s also time for a welcome return to roasted veggies and heartier meals. Huzzah!

This particular dish was photographed my Mr. Adam Reitano. He’s wonderful and incredibly talented, and you should definitely check out his website to see some of his other work.

Now, onto the food. There are two things that I love about lentils: 1) they’re tasty; and 2) they’re cheap. I’ll add a number 3: 3) they’re easy to make. If you haven’t spent time with my dear friends the de Puys or the browns, then please, please, go to your local market and meet them. You’ll like them.

This particular lentil salad is really a mish-mosh of whatever veggies you have on hand. The combination of some cooked veggies with some raw gives the dish some nice variety and texture. That said, you have sweet potatoes instead of regular potatoes? Awesome! You have parsnips? Cool! You really don’t like radishes? Fine! Well, promise me you’ll at least try them sauteed before you axe them completely – they’re realllllly nice that way. You want to add green beans or broccoli? Do it! A handful of greens would also be sooooo good here. Same goes for spices, folks. Mix it up, be creative. This is a hard thing to totally mess up because there’s really no “right” way to do it.

What you need:

DSC_81812 cups rinsed and drained lentils (I like de Puys, but any type could be good here)

1 small onion, chopped and sauteed

6 cloves garlic, chopped and sauteed

2 russet potatoes, diced and roasted

1-2 cups white mushroomes, sliced and sauteed

1 head of cauliflower, chopped and either roasted or left raw (if I roast cauliflower, I eat it all in about 5 minutes, so it’s left raw in this recipe)

I bunch radishes, cleaned, sliced, and sauteed

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1 yellow pepper, chopped

Handful cilantro, chopped

2 heaping Tbsp whole grain mustard

Olive oil, enough for lots of sauteeing and roasting and about an 2-3 Tbs for dressing

Champagne vinegar, about 1/8 cup

Salt and pepper to taste

Whew, that’s a lot of ingredients. Stay with me, this is easier than it seems.

What to do:

First, preheateth thine oven. To 375.

Second, begin boiling 5 cups of water on the stove. Once the boiling has occurred, put your rinsed and drained lentils into the pot, keep at a rollingboil for about 30 seconds, then reduce to a low boil, cover, and let cook for 30 minutes-ish. Keep checking back on these guys. If there seems to be too much water, take the lid off and let some evaporate off. The real thing to avoid here is mushy lentils.

This is how many people like a mushy lentil salad: 0. Ew. So, watch your lentils like little lentil-loving hawks!

DSC_8319

While your lentils cook, dice your potatoes, coat in about 1-2Tbsp olive oil and some salt and pepper, then spread out on a baking sheet. Place them in the oven when ready and roast for about 15-20 minutes, flip them, and roast another 5-10 minutes.

While these guys are roasting, begin the sautee.DSC_8265

Chop your onion, garlic, and sautee in olive oil (or veggie broth if you’d rather) until tender and golden brown, then add your mushrooms and radishes.DSC_8661

Once everything is tender and luscious looking in your sautee pan, remove from heat. Check your potatoes and your lentils. Once ready, remove both from heat as well. Chop the rest of your raw ingredients.DSC_8783

Mix it all in a bowl!DSC_8790

Add olive oil, vinegar, cilantro, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well, and eat! Serves about 4 as a main meal, or 6 as side dishes. Enjoy and happy fall, bloggernet!DSC_8809

Stuffed Pepper Delight

P1020739

I’ve been staring at one ugly buddy in my fridge for the past 5 days, wondering what to do with it. His name is celeriac, and I keep hearing how awesome he is, but I didn’t really know how to make it work. Thanks to an article from NPR, today I got a spark of inspiration. Peppers, celeriac, some nice, fresh cilantro….yes, oh yes, the peppers will be stuffed.

IMG_8928

What else did I have on hand, you ask? Pinto beans, quoinoa, avocado, some manchego cheese, and beautiful, beautiful braising greens from Full Circle Farms.  These peppers at least got to be eaten knowing they brought ridiculous deliciousness to my belly.

IMG_8931

What you need: Serves 2

2 red peppers

grapeseed oil

1 celeriac (celery root) out knobs removed and chopped

1 avocado

1 cup of pinto beans (soaked and cooked, or use canned if you’re in a hurry)

Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped roughly

1 cup quinoa, dry

2 cups of H2O

1/4 red onion (I cooked it into the quinoa)

A  small amount of cheese, grated (omit if you’re doing this vegan style)

2 cups of greens (mustard greens, kale, chard, collards, spinach etc)

Chicaoji sauce – raw cacao, chipotle, goji berries, magic

Goat yogurt  (omit if you’re going vegan)

IMG_8933

First prepare the quinoa by placing chopped onion in a pot, and saute with grapeseed or coconut oil until softened and slightly brown. Add two cups of water, and  bring to boil. Add quinoa and cilantro, reduce heat, and cook until done (about 20 min). Set aside.

Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Add chopped celeriac to bowl and toss with grapseed oil, sea salt, and pepper. Spread onto baking sheet, and bake until soft and slightly brown (about 35 min).

Saute the greens over medium-high heat with 1 tbsp of grapseed oil a handful of water, a few chili flakes if you like (I do), sea salt and pepper, along with a good squirt of lemon or lime.

P1020729_2

When all that’s done, mix quinoa, beans, celeriac, greens, and chicaoji sauce in a bowl with a few more squirts of lemon or lime. Slice your peppers in half and place in a baking dish. Fill peppers with stuffing and add a 4 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish.

P1020736

Bake at 450 degrees for about 15 minutes, until peppers are slightly soft. Top with avocado, goat yogurt, and serve!

P1020741