Anyone who wants to transition to a vegetarian/vegan diet, or at least try a vegetarian meal once or twice a week, should definitely invest the time to learn about Indian cooking (or Thai or Lebanese, for that matter). It is always hearty and delicious, and quite vegetarian friendly. The only truly challenging part of cooking traditional Indian food is marinating meat (which has to begin the day before). If you don’t eat flesh, that step is eliminated, opening up this perfect cuisine to the general public. As a bonus (in addition to whole grains, beans, and vegetables being incredibly good for you), many of the spices associated with Indian cooking (especially turmeric) are known to be anti-inflammatories that can reduce risk of heart disease and several types of cancer.
I was able to throw this together fairly quickly, and–unlike many of my recipes–I didn’t have to play around with it. I got it right on the first try! Yay me. Continue Reading
I tend to eat a lot of lentils, and also constantly experiment with vegetarian chili, but hadn’t combined the concepts until recently. I have no idea why I waited, because lentils (though good in a million things, as many of my recipes will eventually show) were made for chili. They are a perfect, uber-healthy substitute for ground beef without the artery clogging and intestinal irritation. This also cooks up fairly quickly if you have pre-cooked red beans on hand (or have canned beans, which even I use from time to time). There is also some great potential to mix this with my Perfect Vegan Mac and Cheese for a vegan version of that all-time white trash favorite: chili mac. If you want to make that, just layer the chili on top of the mac and cheese and then add the breadcrumb topping before baking. Simple.
Don’t be discouraged or afraid of this just because it’s vegan; the combination of lentils, curry, and peanut butter (yes, peanut butter) makes this hearty and delicious. It is extremely simple, too. There are only a handful of ingredients in it, and–unlike the recipes of a certain liar I could mention–this meal is actually ready in about 30 minutes.
*This recipe serves 6-8, so cut it in half if you want, but it keeps well for 4-5 days. I like having some on hand in the fridge for quick lunches.
PS: If you find the look of pureed soup to be less than appetizing, you can also keep this rustic and not blend it. Your choice!