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!
This is a slightly healthier alternative to the butter and sausage heavy Cajun classic. I typically opt for brown instead of white rice, but was out of brown when this was made. I won’t preach that brown rice is “just the same” as white, as it does have more of a nutty flavor and takes longer to cook; it is definitely an acquired taste. However, the spices in this dish are strong enough that you really don’t notice the difference. Try it with the brown for an extra kick of fiber.
This is a fairly versatile recipe, as you can opt for full fat andouille, healthier chicken sausage andouille (the Open Nature brand at Safeway is a good choice, as they don’t put nitrates/nitrites in their meat), or even veggie sausages. Switching to the veggie sausage makes the dish entirely vegan, as there is no dairy in this. This serves 8-10 people.
Several weeks ago, I finally convinced my partner to watch The Sopranos with me. Before we had even finished the first season, I had an overwhelming urge to put a healthier spin on baked ziti, which Carmella makes at least twice per episode. I had also completely memorized Andrea Bocelli’s “Con Te Partiro,” which they would play in any scene with Carmella crying (after bringing someone a baked ziti, of course). Anyway, that’s off the subject. I actually really like The Sopranos; I just wish Carmella would have branched out a little.
This is a pretty versatile recipe. The recipe I outline is the turkey sausage version, but vegetarians could easily replace the turkey sausage with TVP (Morningstar Farms crumbles, for instance) or about a pound of roughly chopped mushrooms–making it entirely vegan. Stubborn purists could make it with ground beef or pork sausage. All I ask is that you try it without the dairy. I’ve never been a fan of the grainy texture of ricotta, and this tofu version is actually really tasty (and much smoother/creamier than regular ricotta). You can also taste the mixture of the sauce, meat, and spices instead of the whole thing being a glop of melted cheese. Not to mention, it is much lower in saturated fat and bad cholesterol. So give it a shot!
[Mom–don’t you DARE put cottage cheese in this.]