Healthy Vegan Dinner Bowl

We weren't totally sure what to call these but they are vegan, full of healthy things and served in a bowl.  Lately I've been eating a lot of kale, lentils and whole grains.  I decided to mix things up with some roasted beets, crunchy raw carrots, sunflower seeds and a citrusy vinaigrette.  I think these would also be good with a splash of rice vinegar and tamari if you're not in the mood to make a vinaigrette.   

Serves 4. 

Healthy Vegan Dinner Bowl + Lemon Herb Vinaigrette

for the bowls

1 cup brown lentils

2 cloves garlic, smashed

2 bay leaves

1 cup farro (or freekeh)

2 red beets

1 tablespoon white vinegar 

1 bunch kale

3 carrots, cut into matchsticks

sunflower seeds

for the vinaigrette

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 teaspoons red wine vinegar

6 tablespoons oil (your choice olive, canola, grape seed)

s + p

1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves

Heat oven to 425 degrees.  Remove stems and wash beets.  (Greens can be washed, chopped and steamed with the kale.)  Place beets in oven proof dish, cover with foil and roast 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until cooked through.  Remove from oven.  Carefully, rub off skin and chop.  Toss with a splash of vinegar, salt and pepper.  

Cook farro or freekeh in a pot of salted water, bring to a boil, then simmer for 35 minutes or until soft.  Drain, set aside. 

Bring a pot of water with the smashed garlic cloves and bay leaves to a boil.  Add lentils, return to a boil, reduce to a simmer.  Simmer until lentils are soft, about 20 minutes.  Drain well. Discard garlic ad bay leaves.  Season with salt and pepper, set aside. 

Steam or saute kale. Season with s +p.  

For the vinaigrette,  whisk together lemon juice and red wine vinegar.  Slowly whisk in oil.  Add herbs.  Season with salt and pepper.  

Assemble the bowls!  It's not as pretty, but I think the best way to form bowls is to toss some of the farro, beets, lentils, kale, carrots, sunflower seeds and as much of the vinaigrette as needed.  Otherwise, layer farro, lentils, kale, beets, carrots, seeds and drizzle with vinaigrette.  

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Classic Lentil Soup

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Aka Cam's favorite lentil soup.  (It's so easy having a food blog when your husband is a brilliant cook.)  Our weekend routine includes plenty of of time in the kitchen.  Part of it is developing and shooting recipes for Meats + Sweets and the other part Cameron making delicious soups and salads for us to eat during the week.  They are always excellent and healthy, and I'm pleased to share this one.  It is one of our personal favorites.  

For a heartier meal, serve over rice, grains or whole grain pasta.  We usually eat it over a pile of farro.  (Have you tried Kamut pasta? I have a box of it in the pantry that I'm pondering what to do with.)

Makes 8 servings. 

Cameron's Favorite Lentil Soup

splash olive oil

3 medium carrots, peeled, diced

1 yellow onion, diced

3 celery stalks, diced

1 poblano pepper, seeded, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 quarts vegetable stock

1 1/2 cups french green lentils

4 sprigs thyme

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons cumin 

1 teaspoon coriander

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 teaspoon red chile flakes

2 bay leaves

2 cups cremini or shitake mushrooms, chopped

s + p

lime juice or red wine vinegar (optional + to taste)

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large soup pot and add carrots, onion, celery, poblano and garlic.  Stew over medium high heat, stirring, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  

Add stock, lentils, thyme, cumin, coriander, curry, chile flakes and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and add mushrooms.  Let simmer until lentils are tender, about 40 minutes.  

Season with salt, pepper and lime juice/vinegar.  

Summer Vegetable Pasta

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Change up any of the vegetables in this dish as you like.  I suggest strolling around the farmers market and see what looks good.  I added cooked lentils at the end of cooking for a little protein, as you can see from the photo.  If you decide to add lentils, about 3/4 cup french green lentils cooked in plenty of water for 20 minutes, and add one more tomato to the recipe.  

serves 6. 

Summer Vegetable + Orecchiette Pasta 

1 lb orecchiette pasta

olive oil

1 shallot, diced

3 cloves garlic, diced

1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes

1 cup romano/flat beans, sliced

1 tomato, seeded, peeled, chopped

1 small yellow squash, halved, sliced

1 small zucchini squash, halved, sliced

juice of 2 lemons

2 handfuls fresh basil leaves, diced

1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves

s + p

pecorino romano cheese, grated   

Cook pasta to package directions.  Drain, rinse and set aside.  

Heat a splash of olive oil in a large pan.  Add shallot, garlic, red chile flakes, romano beans, tomato, squash and zucchini.  Cook until vegetables and crisp tender, about 6 minutes.   

Add pasta, one more splash olive oil, lemon juice, basil, oregano, salt and pepper.  Stir to combine and cook until all is hot.  Serve with grated pecorino romano.