Saturday, July 7, 2012
first sprout your lentils
I now have such exacting dietary requirements (vegan plus low starch) that it's more important than ever that I bring something substantial for me to eat to any potlucks I go to. I brought a couple of recipes from my new favorite raw cookbook, Eat Raw, Eat Well, to a recent work meeting, and they were both very successful. One was a banana goji berry cookie, made from almonds and cashews stuck together with banana and coconut fat, and the other was a curried sprouted-lentil stew. I altered the stew quite a bit--I used sprouted lentils instead of soaked garbanzo beans, and toned down the seasoning. Raw cookbooks in general seem to use more salt and spices than I like, so I have to remind myself to be judicious when I get to that part of their recipes.
Below is my rendering of 'Curried Chickpea Stew.' You will have to start it a couple of days in advance, because it takes about a day and a half to sprout the lentils, but other than that it's a quick and easy recipe. And very tasty.
To start the lentils, soak about 1 1/2 cups of them in plenty of water in a big jar (mine's a half gallon) fitted with a sprouting lid. After they've about doubled in size--maybe six hours--drain the water and let the jar rest, tipped so as to continue to drain, in your dish drainer. Rinse and drain the lentils a couple of times a day,till they've grown as big as you want them. The last time I made them, they germinated after only twelve hours and were grown to my liking after another eighteen. At that point, switch to a regular lid and stick them in the refrigerator till you're ready to use them. They keep for quite a while in the fridge--at least a couple of weeks. You'll end up with more sprouts than you need for this recipe, but they're really tasty on salads too so you shouldn't have any problem using them up.
Curried Lentil Stew
3C sprouted lentils
1C dried tomatoes, soaked half and hour in warm water, then drained
1 lb fresh tomatoes (unless it's summertime, use cherry or grape tomatoes)
a carrot, roughly chopped
a celery stalk, roughly chopped
a handful of cilantro, including its roots if you have them
1/2 a small onion, roughly chopped
2T peeled, chopped ginger
1T peeled, chopped fresh turmeric (if you can get it)
3 cloves garlic
1/4C fresh lemon juice
1T agave nectar
2T olive oil
1 1/2T curry powder
1t ground coriander
1/2t aleppo pepper
2t kosher salt
2 ripe bell peppers (whatever color you like), trimmed and diced
herbs for garnish (I used some dill I got in my vegetable box)
Grind everything but the lentils and pepper in a food processor till there are no big, visible lumps. Scrape into a bowl and stir in the lentils and peppers. Decorate with your chosen herb and let everything soak for an hour or so before serving.