A lovely vegetarian dish I adapted from ‘The Dinner Ladies’ that can be served like a dahl alongside other curries or on it’s own like a soup. I often add a portion or two of diced white fish to cook for a minute or so just before serving to make a complete meal. It freezes well but tastes best if you add the kale (and if you’re using it, the fish) when you reheat.
4-6 kale leaves, chopped
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 large onion, peeled and chopped
2 cloves garlic, diced
2 tablespoons concentrated tomato puree
2 inch piece of fresh ginger, chopped or grated
2 teaspoons each ground cumin and coriander, toasted
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
pinch chilli flakes
1.5 cups red lentils
1 cup coconut milk
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
For Serving: Half bunch coriander, chopped; Lemon/lime juice
- Saute the onions, ginger and garlic over a low heat in a little olive oil stirring frequently until soft and sweet – about 10 to 15 minutes.
- Still stirring add tomato paste, cumin, coriander, tumeric, nutmeg, pepper and chilli flakes.
- Add the lentils to the onion mixture and stir through.
- Then cover with stock, tomatoes and coconut milk.
- Bring to the boil and simmer gently for about 20-30 minutes unil the lentils are completely cooked and have collapsed into a puree.
- At this stage taste for flavour. Add salt, pepper and garam masala if you wish. Now it can be frozen.
- Defrost and bring to the boil. Add the kale and the fish if using. Boil for one to two minutes.
- Just before serving add chopped coriander, some lemon or lime juice, .
A lovely light lunch for warm spring days, a starter for dinner or even a side salad with chicken or fish. This is easy and quick to throw together so add to your standard repertoire. You may want to take a page out of my daughter, Bianca’s, book and make your own smoked salmon. Here is the link to her blog outlining how to do this.
Serves 2 for lunch or 4 as a side salad.
1 cup green puy lentils, boiled till tender
1/2 preserved lemon, finely chopped
3 Tablespoons finely chopped parsley
3 Tablespoons finely chopped mint
2 spring onions, finely chopped
2 handfuls baby rocket
125g(4oz) smoked salmon, finely sliced
lemon juice & olive oil to dress
- Mix drained lentils with salt and pepper and remaining ingredients excluding salmon in a large bowl.
- Toss everything together and dress to taste with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Serve as a side salad or add finely sliced salmon for a light lunch.
This is real winter comfort food – warm, filling and full of flavour. I used to make a pot of soup on Sunday and we would enjoy it for lunch and/or dinner throughout the week. It’s also a healthy after school snack. Just add a little water when it thickens up and you can keep going for days. Reheat over medium – not high – heat and stir frequently to ensure it does not catch at the bottom of the pot.
½ ham hock (omit if vegetarian)
1 onion, chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
500g(1 lb) uncooked brown or puy lentils
1x800g(2 lbs) tin tomatoes, pureed
2 beef or vegetable stock cubes
6 cups water
chopped parsley to serve
- Place all ingredients in a large pot.
- Bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 1½ hours stirring from time to time.
- Add another cup of water if it becomes too thick.
- Serve garnished with parsley.
Serve as a vegetarian main course, a side salad, or dollop a spoonful or two in an iceberg lettuce leaf to make a wonderful starter or nibble. Lentil and Walnut Salad is also a healthy addition to school lunch boxes. I also served this in lettuce leaves as a healthy starter at picnics or barbeques. We used to eat the lentils hot for dinner and turn them into a salad for school lunch boxes the next day. The salad will keep in the fridge for up to a week. It is important to use brown or puy lentils – not the orange or yellow ones.
2 cups brown lentils
1 whole onion, peeled
3 carrots, peeled and quartered
1 bay leaf
1t (5ml) dried thyme or a few sprigs fresh
4 cups vegetable stock (using cubes is fine and you can use chicken stock if not vegetarian)
1/4 cup french dressing, Click for recipe
½ cup chopped walnuts
6 thinly sliced spring onions
freshly chopped parsley to garnish
iceberg lettuce leaves to serve, optional
- Place lentils in a large saucepan with carrots, onion studded with cloves, stock, bay leaf and thyme.
- Bring to boil and simmer for about 20 to 30minutes until lentils are tender but not mushy.
- You can eat warm as is.
- Or cool, add French dressing, walnuts, spring onions and parsley and serve as a salad.
- Another alternative is to serve spoonfuls in individual iceberg lettuce leaves.