Herbed Lentil Loaf

This slightly nutty, pleasantly filling loaf has a surprisingly cheesy flavor to it, given the fact that it is dairy free. I had some leftover lentils that I wanted to use up and I always love the idea of having some kind of easy food to grab when I am on the go or I am gone and husband wants to eat something without having to cook. So I decided to make a lentil loaf.

This loaf is a meal in itself, but it was happily enjoyed with a side of carrot soup.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 small red onion, thinly chopped
  • 1 cup mushrooms, thinly chopped
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cups flour (I used garbanzo, quinoa and buckwheat)
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 organic eggs
  • 1.2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 3 TBS fresh herbs (I mixed oregano, thyme and rosemary from my garden, using the least amount of rosemary)

Steps:

  • preheat oven to 375*F
  • in a skillet comine first 5 ingredients and cook for about 5-10 minutes until veggies are tender and water was released, put in fridge for 5-10 minutes to cool so that it doesn’t start cooking the eggs once you mix everything
  • in a large bowl combine flours, salt and baking soda
  • mix in eggs, lentils, walnuts, herbs and veggie mixture
  • pour in a greased 9×5 inch loaf pan (its not a big deal of your pan is slightly bigger or smaller than this)
  • bake for about 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick come out clean
  • let sit in pan for about 5-10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool
  • serve and enjoy warm or cold!

Lentil and Butternut Squash Chili

This chili is so much lighter than most chili’s I’ve tasted and definitely lighter than my usual go to the Sweet Potato Chili. Cutting down on the beans by adding lentils instead makes it that it is still rich in protein without the heaviness of too many beans. And switching out the sweet potato for some butternut squash really sealed the deal for me. In my husbands words “this one’s a winner”.

One pot meals like these make me so happy. I make a huge batch, either freeze some for later use, or just have leftovers for a few days. And this method guarantees my kids will get a good dose nutritious delicious vegetables in one meal. As with most one pot meals, I find that it tastes better the next day, although my family had no problem eating more than half of it as soon as it came off the stove.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 TBS olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 TBS cacao powder
  • 1 TBS cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 TBS chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 cups butternut squash, chopped
  • 1 cup dry french lentils
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 large red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 large zucchini, chopped
  • 1/2 jalape√Īo, seeds removed
  • zest of 1 lime
  • 28 oz can of diced organic tomatoes
  • 2 cups cooked beans (I mixed white and black)
  • 1 tsp salt

Steps:

  • In a large pot, heat oil over medium heat, add onions and sautee until they become slightly transluscent
  • add all the spices and keep cooking until the aroma has come out, 2 minutes about
  • add butternut squash, lentils, and water and bring to a boil (this is usually when I chop the rest of my veggies)
  • reduce heat, add all other ingredients except for beans
  • simmer on low for about 30-40 minutes or until lentils are fully cooked
  • add the beans 10 minutes before done
  • taste and adjust spices and salt according to preference.

I ate mine with cilantro and avocado, because avocado makes everything taste better ūüôā

Sprouted Lentil Sundried Tomato Flatbread (raw)

This kind of bread is one that makes my insides dance. It is so flavorful, delicious, nutritious and filling, while remaining light and wholesome for the body. I make so much¬†almond milk, I am often finding new ways to use the left over pulp. Making¬†flatbreads¬†has been my favorite way to use it lately. These breads are such a great alternative to conventional bread in my opinion, because they retain all the nutritional value of the ingredients without compromising my digestion, while still feeling like I am eating a slice of soft bread. I get to choose exactly what flavor it’s going to be while using left over ingredients from previous recipes in order to minimize waste. All around win if you ask me! IMG_2296

I have been eating this bread mostly as is because it is that flavorful and there is no need to spruce it up with anything other than the occasional avocado. But we went on a hike last weekend, and I made a sandwich with it, and it was one of the best sandwiches I’ve had a VERY long time. This sandwich had hummus, avocado, lettuce, tomato and¬†sauerkraut. I am drooling just typing about it. I might have to revisit my no sandwich at home policy (that’s not a real policy, I just made that up, but I never eat sandwiches at home, feeling like they are a portable food made to be had when eating with utensils is not so convenient).

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups packed almond pulp (left over from a making almond milk)
  • 1/3 cup psyllium husk
  • 1 tsp real salt
  • 1/4 cup ground flax seeds (I bring them in my coffee grinder), soaked in 1/2 water for 10 minutes
  • 3/4 cups sun dried tomatoes (I used those soaked in olive oil, but any will do)
  • 1 TBS fresh oregano,chopped
  • 2TBS fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup pitted green olives, sliced
  • 1 cup sprouted lentils¬†

Steps:

  • put everything but olives and lentils in a food processor and blend together until week combined (I had to do this in batches because my processor is small)
  • add olives and lentils and blend some more or fold them in by hand
  • spread on a dehydrator sheet about 1/4 inch thick and score into desired pieces
  • dry for about 3-4 hours at 115*F
  • flip on to the mesh screen and dry another 3-4 hours or until desired consistency
  • I like mine still somewhat soft to resemble the texture of sliced bread
  • this will keep for about a week in the fridge
  • makes about 16-20 slices

Sprouting

Sprouts are one of the greatest sources of high quality nutrients in the world of raw foods because by definition, sprouts are still in the process of growing and therefor at the peak of their life force. They are not done growing, nor have they been “picked” and are slowly dying and loosing nutritional value. They contain enormous levels of proteins, vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, chlorophyll pigments and enzymes. The nutrient content in sprouts can rise from 50-2000 per cent!!

Whats more is that the body more easily absorbs nutrients from sprouts and are easily digested.

Sprouts are simply amazing and highly nutritious.

I started sprouting when I was pregnant with my first child, over 7 years ago. I started doing it because I wanted to feed my body the highest quality nutrients, and also because being a vegetarian, I have to be smart about my food choices in order to make sure I do not lack of vitamins and minerals, which can easel happen during pregnancy. Sprouts ensured that I was getting sufficient and high quality life force enzymes.

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                                                                     Radish seed sprouts, mung bean sprouts, chickpea sprouts

Sprouting at home is so easy and cheap. I sprout various ways, with a sprouting tray, with a nut milt bag, in a colander. One of the easiest ways though, using what you have at home, is to use an empty jar, a piece of cheesecloth and a rubber band.

For this last method, just put your seeds in your jar, rinse then soak in enough water to cover the seeds. Put the cheesecloth on the top of the jar, secure with a rubber band, and let sit for at least 8 hours.

Empty the water, rinse and empty again. And let it sit in a dark, warm place with the jar upside down or tilted to the side to allow for excess water to slowly drip out. After the first soaking process, you should never leave water in the jar other than the natural moisture from the seeds being rinsed.

Repeat the rinsing process twice a day until your seeds start sprouting. Depending on what you are sprouting it can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days.

If you have sunlight and remember to do it, place your sprouts for 2 hours in the sun to give them a nice energy boost.

Once they are sprouted, place them in a jar in the fridge and eat within 3 days to receive maximum life force and vitality from them.

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                                                                                          Brocoli, mung bean, and green lentil sprouts 

You can add sprouts to anything. I love to eat them as is, or on salads. Sometimes I make a little sprout bowl with varying sweet and savory flavors. For the kids, I throw them in their smoothie before blending. You can top a bowl of cooked food with them too. Really the possibilities are endless.

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                                                                                        Kiwi, persimmon, shredded coconut, sprouts

I cannot encourage you enough to start sprouting if you haven’t been doing it. It makes my body so happy to be eating such live foods.