BROWN LENTIL SOUP

This recipe for brown lentil soup is my go-to meal when I’m feeling too tired to cook or just feel like eating something warming but not too heavy. The recipe is pretty simple, so sometimes I will change it up and add extra vegetables such as potato, roasted capsicum, or green peas, you can really add whatever your tastebuds desire!

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Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 large brown onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1.25L water
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • ½ bunch fresh kale, de-stemmed and chopped (alternatively use baby spinach or another green)
  • 2 400g tinned brown lentils, rinsed
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • balsamic vinegar and lemon juice, to taste

Directions

  • Chop onion and mince garlic, add to a large non-stick pot on a medium heat and cook until soft
  • Add carrot, lentils, and tomato paste, cook for a few more minutes
  • Add water, oregano, rosemary, and bay leaves, and bring to the boil
  • Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and add in the chopped kale leaves, cook for approximately 20 minutes or until carrots are softened
  • When serving drizzle with lemon juice and balsamic vinegar

SPICY BLACK BEAN PASTA

This spicy black bean pasta was inspired by the ‘sopa seca’ (Peruvian pasta bake) featured in the Smith & Daughters cookbook. This pasta is a bit simpler than the sopa seca but it is super quick to make and in my opinion equally as delicious!
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Ingredients (serves 6)

Sauce 

  • 1 large brown onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 4 chipotle adobo chillies
  • 2 400g tinned mini roma tomatoes
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 2 tsp dried coriander
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 400g tins black beans
  • 500mL low-sodium vegan chicken stock

Pasta

  • 1 500g packet high-fibre spaghetti

Topping

  • 1 cup fresh coriander, chopped for topping
  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced for topping

Directions

  • Roughly chop onion and garlic, place into a blender or food processor with the canned tomatoes, adobo chillies, lime juice, dried oregano, and dried coriander, blend until combined
  • Heat a non-stick fry pan over a medium heat, add the sauce mixture, bay leaves, black beans, and stock, bring to the boil and simmer for approximately 30 minutes
  • While the sauce is simmering, boil a pot of water and cook high-fibre spaghetti
  • Once both the spaghetti and sauce are cooked, combine them in the pan and serve into individual bowls
  • Top each bowl with sliced avocado and a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves

COCONUT AND MANGO OVERNIGHT OATS

Some rare mornings I wake up and don’t particularly feel like eating a bowl of warm oats, my usual solution to this is frozen banana nice-cream, or if I am extra prepared for it, overnight oats. These overnight oats remind me of the rice pudding I used to eat as a child; they’re thick and creamy, and with the addition of coconut and mango are a little ray of sunshine on a gloomy Melbourne winter’s morning.

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Ingredients (serves 1)

  • ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¾ cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 tbs chia seeds
  • ½ tbs pure maple syrup
  • ½ cup frozen mango pieces
  • 1 tbs coconut flakes

Directions

  • The night prior to consuming – combine rolled oats, soy milk, chia seeds, and maple syrup, and coconut flakes in a bowl and whisk together thoroughly with a fork
  • Pour the mixture into a sealed container and refrigerate overnight (or at least 5 hours)
  • Scoop your serving into a bowl top with mango, extra coconut flakes, and whatever other fruit, nuts, or seeds you like!

EGGPLANT AND LENTIL MOUSSAKA

I love Moussaka! There’s something so satisfying about biting into each layer: the fine slices of potato and eggplant, sandwiched together with a rich tomato sauce, smothered with a creamy layer of béchamel, and coated with crispy bread crumbs. This dish is hearty, warming, indulgent, and absolutely perfect for the cool winter months coming ahead.

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Ingredients (serves 4)

Lentil Sauce

  • 1 medium brown onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbs tomato paste
  • 1 400g tinned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 400g tinned mini roma tomatoes
  • 1 400g tinned brown lentils, rinsed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley, extra to garnish
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg

Layers

  • 2 large eggplants, thinly sliced
  • 4 large white potatoes, thinly sliced

Béchamel Sauce / Topping

  • 2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tbs plain flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • dash of ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C
  • Slice potatoes and eggplant with a knife, place them evenly onto a lined baking tray and bake them in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, until they are soft
  • While the potatoes and eggplant are cooking prepare the sauce by dicing the brown onion and garlic, place them into a pan and allowing them to cook until golden in colour
  • Add in the rinsed lentils, canned tomatoes, tomato paste, all of the herbs and spices, bring to boil and allow to them simmer for 30 minutes on a medium heat
  • Remove the potatoes and eggplant from the oven, layer them in a dish like so: potato layer, eggplant layer, lentil sauce layer, and repeat until all are used up
  • Create a béchamel sauce by placing extra virgin olive oil into a small pan, stir in flour, and add milk, stirring until the mixture thickens, and add a dash of nutmeg
  • Top the Moussaka with the béchamel sauce, bread crumbs, and any extra chopped parsley
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, or until potatoes and eggplant are tender
  • Serve immediately and enjoy!