Lentils for breakfast- welcome

Here is your invitation to sample beautiful recipes that are good for you, good for the planet and good to eat. They mainly feature plants, because that's what I try to eat the most. I am not a fancy cook, but I believe that food is one of our greatest pleasures and deserves to be celebrated. Real food, whole food, kind food. Welcome to the feast!

Saturday, 21 January 2012

2 beautiful summer recipes for happy slow-carbing

Sweet potato salad

Wish my photo could do justice to this gorgeous dish!

I spotted this promising recipe on Neil Perry's page in the Good Weekend magazine recently. I think his food has a reputation for being a bit chef-y and difficult, but this looked really inviting. So, later that day I gave it a whirl.

1 large sweet potato
sea salt
1 brown onion, chopped
1/2 tsp each ground cumin/paprika/chili powder
juice of half a lemon
flat-leaf parsley

Heat the oven to 180 degrees. Peel the sweet potato, chop into chunks and toss with 1 tbs olive oil and salt. Roast until soft.

Heat 1 tbs olive oil in a frying pan. Saute the onion until soft, then add the spices and a little salt. Toss to incorporate. Add another 1 tbs (or less) of oil, lemon juice, olives and parsley and toss again until evenly mixed. Done.

True to form, I did not follow Neil's recipe exactly, but improvised slightly according to my own preferences. Here is the maestro's original, complete with mouthwatering pic!

But the result was ooh la, la, divine. We served it with a small piece of baked chicken each, served on spinach sauteed with garlic. We greedily scoffed every mouthful of the large bowl of sweet potato because it was so delectable.

Think it would work equally well with roasted pumpkin and carrots. And Neil's recipe is served with white fish, which I'd also love to try.

Black bean ful

1 can of beans made 2 slow-carb lunches
Feel like I've been in a lentil rut recently. Then suddenly into my head popped this lovely recipe from an earlier cooking era, those benighted days of risotto-and-bread-for-dinner.

It's an Egyptian dish and comes from a book we had long relegated to a box in the storeroom: Sundays at Moosewood by the Moosewood Collective. It has now been dusted off and restored to the kitchen, where it belongs.

Moosewood Inc is a collective of 19 people who opened a restaurant of natural foods in 1973 and have taken it to be a thriving business over 38 years. As they say on their website, the Moosewood restaurant and cookbooks have been a driving force in creative vegetarian cooking. Hear, hear.

Anyway, I always loved this fresh, lemony, garlicky dish, which we served then with couscous and flat bread (!!), yoghurt and boiled egg. This week I had it twice for a healthy lunch with extra steamed green beans stirred through, and the egg. Most enjoyable. The beans, lemon and garlic complement each other beautifully. Beauti-ful.

Once again, I have freely adapted the original recipe.

1 can black beans (can't get enough black beans)
olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
half a cup lemon juice
2-3 tomatoes, peeled and seeded
generous amount of chopped parsley

Heat 1 tbs oil on a low heat and add the garlic for a gentle minute. Add the tomatoes and continue to heat gently as they release their juice. Add the beans and warm through, then add another 1 tbs of oil, salt, parsley and lemon juice. The beans absorb the flavours, but taste and adjust until the dish is as smooth, lemony and garlicky as you like. I kept it on the heat for 30 mins to allow the flavours to develop.

Let me know your favourite summer slow-carb recipes. Always looking for fresh ideas to freely adapt!

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