Simple Potato Salad with Lentils, Sugar Snaps and Basil

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Potato salads of different kinds replace soups and stews as our “clear out the fridge” meals in the summer. More or less anything can go in there, and it turns out a nutritious and delicious dish every time with some simple add-ins and flavorings. This version here is as simple as can be (although substitutions are of course encouraged) and comes together in just a little longer than the boiling time for the potatoes themselves.

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Smoky Lentil Mushroom Tacos

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Some vegetarians/plant-based eaters search for recipes and products that will mimic meat in one way or another – either as far as consistency/texture or flavor (or both). We typically don’t, simply because we’re not missing meat, but the lentil-mushroom concoction part of this recipe most definitely feels… a little bit more towards that rich, smoky, umami-like end of the spectrum. Not rich as in heavy, but rich as in carrying deeper, bolder flavors. The texture has been made a little more interesting, with both non-mushy green lentils, chewy mushrooms and finely chopped walnuts, and pairs perfectly with crispy cabbage on top. And please, name a taco not benefitting from pickled red onions on top?

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Pantry Lentil Tomato Soup with Spiced Sunflower Seeds

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We’ve been clearing out the cabinets lately, and when you do, you realize how many quick and easy meals you can whip up using mostly shelf stable items forgotten in the back of the pantry. This is an excellent example of such a dish – it comes together in 30 minutes start to finish, and really only requires ingredients most of us have at home. We like to make this for a warming lunch – perfect when you work from home – and of course we serve it with a thick slice of bread on the side. The spiced sunflower seeds both look and taste great, and are well worth the extra few minutes of prep work.

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Lentil Bolognese

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Calling it “bolognese” is… well, not the most accurate description if you would ask the bolognese puritans out there. It definitely doesn’t contain any meat. It doesn’t really taste like bolognese, either (but I honestly can’t even remember what it does taste like? It’s been 19 years now!). But. This is a tomato-based, spaghetti loving, sauce-y, delicious concoction, after all, so what else to call it? It seems like old news by now, but this is yet another dish we LOVE to make a giant batch of, and then eat for leftovers as well as put in the freezer for more dire times. For example, we made a big batch for the ski trip we’re currently on. Ah, what could trump a whole day cross country skiing in the mountains, followed by some sauna time and then a big bowl of spaghetti lentil bolognese? Not much, in our opinion.

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Warm Lentil Parsnip Salad

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As I’m typing this, it’s well below 0ºC (32ºF) outside and the ground is covered by snow. It’s 3pm… and the sun has already set. In other words, it’s (late) December. Salads might, therefore, seem a little off at first glance. But not this one. No, this unassuming yet perfect little winter salad has a lot of things going for it – seasonal vegetables, hearty lentils, flavorful dressing… and served warm or at room temperature, it feels just as grounding and nourishing as a bowl of soup. Nutritionally, it’s a bomb. Kale – as we all know by now – packs a wide range of micronutrients (and eaten raw, as in this recipe, it’s even better), and the heaping amount of lentils per serving guarantees plenty of both slow carbohydrates and protein. Parsnips bring – besides great flavor and texture – high levels of both potassium and folic acid, and the walnuts get us a quite the chunk of good fats (walnuts are a great source of omega 3), more protein, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc (among other goodies).

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Christmas Vegan Meatballs – Two Ways

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With less than a week until Christmas, how’s your menu planning going? This year, we’re not hosting Christmas but instead bringing some items to my stepsister’s house. Last year, we had 15 people at our house (which is quite roomy for us but certainly a little tight when the whole crew comes over) and it was our first ever Christmas that we hosted. Needless to say, we went completely over the top with everything. Number of dishes (way too many). Amount of each dish (way too much). Number of “classics” no one even likes (at least a handful). We ate Christmas leftovers for a week and learned a big lesson. So. This year, we’re not planning a whole spread. We’ve instead handpicked a few of our favorites (such as these Ginger-y Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnuts and this Slow Cooked Green Kale) that we’ll bring, and when it’s time for us to host again (maybe next year?), we – hopefully – won’t repeat the mistakes of last year. But enough about that. How are you celebrating the holidays? At home, at someone else’s, by doing something by yourself? If you’re cooking, what are your go-to’s, your favorites, your classics?

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Lentil-Potato Dal

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Dal – spelled daal, dhal and dahl as well – is a term used for legumes (that is, lentils, beans and peas) in the Indian subcontinent. It also refers to a variety of soups or stews prepared with any of the said ingredients. Most commonly, one tends to associate dal with a curry-laden lentil concoction, and that goes for us too. In our opinion, that’s just the best. Sometimes we make it without potatoes and serve it over rice instead (which, we’re not going to lie, is ridiculously yummy), but with potatoes already in there, it turns into a one-pot complete meal AND a much more eco-friendly alternative (naturally, buying locally grown potatoes is a far better choice than imported rice). Another great alternative is to serve it over wheat berries, which gives you some rice-like chewiness from a far more sustainable food source (at least for us up here in the north).

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Vegetarian Lentil & Cashew Meatballs

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We’ve obviously all heard about Swedish meatballs, and I did have my fair share of those as a kid. But since going vegetarian about 18 years ago, I’ve – naturally – opted out. While there are a bunch of vegetarian ‘balls’ out there, none of them have really tickled my fancy. I tend to stay away from soy stuff, simply because of the environmental impact, and the ones we’ve tried making at home over the years have come out either a little dry and crumbly or just… plain. And then we took to experimenting a little. Thanks to some leftover raw cashews nuts that we stumbled upon when going through the cabinets, we came up with the idea of mixing those with chewy black lentils, and this combination turned out to be the winner.

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