Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Vegan...and good?

Who knew this was possible? Certainly not me. My general philosophy of cooking is that anything can be improved with the addition of sufficient quantities of pork or dairy products. Butter? Bacon? Cheddar? Yes! Please! This impulse is at odds with the practices of our church about 170 days out of the year- most every Wednesday and Friday, Advent, Lent, and a few other fasting periods dictate vegan (shellfish OK) or pescatarian meals(dairy free). Honestly, I've never made it through a fasting period and usually I'm doing well to just cut out meat. I have maybe two good recipes that I trot out to every potluck during those periods. Nobody is ever going to nominate me for the "Babushka of the Year" award.


Tonight I tried something new because a friend raved about it. Dal. Swore her kids ate it by the bowlful. It was fast, cheap, and I was without a better plan on a Wednesday. It totally rocked. Miss V was running an errand for me while I made it and when she came home and started to chow on her bowl she asked me three times if I was sure I hadn't used chicken in it. This stuff is so incredibly chicken-y that even I was shocked.

I served it over brown rice, mine also got a dollop of my homemade super-low-sugar apricot orange jam, a sprinkling of dried cranberries, and some slivered almonds for crunch. I ate it all. Then I made another bowl to photograph (yay- the camera is fixed!)and ate that too. Chutney just moved to the top of my list of things to can and I may have to try my hand at making Nan for a more authentic Indian experience. The original recipe was for a smaller quantity and included things that I left out. This was very mild and was happily eaten by small children (who said it tasted like chicken nuggets?)

2 cups small red lentils
1 medium onion
1 cup coconut oil
spices: 1 teaspoon cumin, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne, 2 teaspoons ginger, 1 teaspoon salt

Wash your lentils! If you've planned ahead and can do so, soak for phytate nutralization

Cut up onion,place pieces in a pot, cover with oil -be generous with the oil they should swim in it. Let all of it simmer, about 5 mins. Add lentils, stir.

Add spices, stir, add water to cover. Cook at medium to medium high. Check and stir often to prevent scorching. You will probably have to add more water periodically.

This took about 35 minutes total and my recipe served 6 people with a bit of leftover (and I pigged and ate two bowls). Next time I want to add some chard for color and nutrients. There will definitely be a next time!


Laura said...

TOTALLY making this soon! sounds so good

Hillary said...

Love love LOVE dal and naan. Seriously. I have a good Sri Lankan friend that was just here and whenever he visits I force him to make 2 things: dal and chicken curry. Amazing. And knowing you, you'll create this insanely good altered recipe of your own. Feel free to share...yum.

AKmamaOf6 said...

I'm so glad you all liked it!