Mushroom and green lentil ragu (vegan)

I've been discovering lentils this week.  Last night I made the family a wonderful Italian sausage pasta.  I wanted Italian also so I went to work making this filling, delicious, spicy, vegan dish. It came out rustic and tasting better then the pasta and cheese dish I had made my family.

1.5 Cups green lentils (wash them and check for invaders)
8 Oz diced button mushrooms
8 Oz diced portobello mushrooms
1/2 Yellow onion rough chopped
5 Cloves garlic minced
2-3 Tbsp fresh basil - chiffonade
1- Cup baby spinach chopped
1/2 Tsp onion powder
1 Tsp garlic powder
1 Jar of organic tomato sauce
2.5 Cups organic veggie broth
3 Tbsp balsamic vinigar
Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tsp salt
1-2 Tsp pepper
Olive oil

Heat large dutch oven or pot over medium heat.  Toss in your mushrooms and sauté for about five minutes.  Add in onions and garlic and sauté until onions become clear.  Add in garlic powder, onion powder, salt, pepper, and red peppers.  Wilt in the spinach and basil, mixing until combined. While this is all cooking down rinse and sort through your lentils.  Add lentils to pot and combine.  Add in tomato sauce, vinegar, and stock.  Cover and reduce heat to low. Allow to simmer for 35-40 minutes until most of liquid is gone and lentils are soft. 

I topped mine with some garbanzo beans for dinner.  I added more fresh basil for color but forgot to take a photo before I hoovered it all.

Vegan banana muffins

 I shouldn't have made these.  They are really super delicious and I want to eat the whole pan.  Also, since I don't eat egg, especially not raw egg I've never had the pleasure of eating raw cookie dough.  I was able to eat as much of this batter as I wanted while prepping.  I'm not sure if that is a good thing or not.

1.75 Cups whole wheat flour
2 Tsp baking powder
1/2 Tsp baking soda
1/4 Tsp salt
1 Tsp vanilla extract
3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
1/8 Cup liquid coconut oil
4 Ripe large bananas smooshed up

You can add in nuts or dark chocolate chips.  My family is allergic to nuts so we left them out.  I love chocolate so I added some vegan chocolate chips to my 5 muffins. 

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare muffin tins.  I used silicon muffin liners and they worked amazing.  If you don't use liners you will want to grease your muffin pan. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and set aside.  In a large mixing bowl mash your bananas.  Add in coconut oil, maple syrup and vanilla.  Whisk until combined.  Add in dry ingredients and whisk until combined.  Toward the end I switched to a rubber spatula for mixing just to get it all off the sides.  This is a very thick batter but it comes out moist and soft.  Fill muffin cups about to the top.  They rise but not too terribly much.  Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Mine came right out in the silicon cups and I don't think I will ever make cupcakes or muffins again without them.

You should get about 12 full size muffins if you don't eat all of the batter.

  The chocolate chip ones are prettier then the plain ones.  My kids love them and the husband loved them.  They are very moist and they hold up for a few days if covered.  Perfect snack for my boys lunch today.




Spicy lentil wrap with tahini sauce (A copycat of the expensive wrap you can buy at Trader Joes)

I used to go to Trader Joes on a Monday and buy six of their pre-made wraps to get me through this lunch week.  This is expensive.  While playing around online the other day looking for vegan banana bread (coming soon) I found another persons version of this wrap.  Theirs was just a little too high cal/carb for me so I updated it.  Mine is more simple but seriously, so so so good. You can make these wraps ahead of time and take them with you for lunch, the Lavash bread does not get soggy. I recommend keeping the tahini in a separate container for lunch traveling, the wrap will get messy if you add that before wrapping and traveling.  For a weeks worth of lunches I took a tupperware of lentils, a bag of cabbage, 5 half pieces of Lavash bread, and a container of sauce to my office and then built each wrap on my break. 

1/2 Slice of Lavash bread (or a whole if you are hungry)
1/8 Cup Spicy red lentils
1/2 Cup shredded cabbage
Red pepper flakes to taste

Lay wrap flat on plate. Spoon lentils onto one half of wrap.  This is where Trader Joes uses a chili paste.  I am a sissy so I skipped that and just put a few red pepper flakes. If you want the chili paste Trader Joes sells an excellent pre-made one with minimal ingredients.  Add cabbage on top of lentils.  Starting from the side of the wrap with the lentils roll towards the empty side.  This should give you a nice clean wrap.  I prefer to drizzle with tahini sauce before each bite.  You may dip, or pour, or put it in before rolling it up. I enjoy the drizzling. 

To make Tahini sauce
2 Tbsp tahini*
1-2 Tbsp unsweetened coconut milk
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 Tsp chopped parsley
Pinch of red pepper flakes (more if you aren't a sissy like me

Combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix with a fork until smooth and able to drizzle off fork. If using raw tahini you will want to add a little more coconut milk to make it pourable.

*I've used raw Tahini or the Trader Joes Tahini sauce found near their hummus
Spicy red lentil recipe found here

Spicy red lentils

This has become one of my new go to Sunday night dishes that I make to use in a bunch of different ways throughout the week.  I will post the recipe for the lentils and then post the adjoining recipes using the lentils next.  This is a great dish because you can make it ahead, refrigerate it, and eat it all week.  As a bonus it taste super yummy cold on wraps. I would also like to add a disclaimer that I don't really have a picture of the finished product in the pot.  It was really good while tasting, and I kept burning my mouth, plus I was starving, so when it was finished I just put it on a wrap and walked away.  You can kind of see the finished product once it's layered on a wrap, I'll post that below.

1 Cup red lentils (checked for rocks and goodies, then rinsed)
3 Cups water
1 Rounded tsp cumin
1 Tsp garlic powder
1/2 Tsp sea salt
Pepper to taste
1/8 Cup chopped white onion 

*Optional crushed red pepper flakes

In a medium dutch oven (or sauce pan) bring water and lentils to a boil.  Once boiling add in cumin, garlic powder, salt and pepper.  Stir to get all of the lentils off the bottom of the pan and combine seasoning.  Reduce heat to low and cover for five minutes allowing it to simmer.  Add in chopped onions, stir, once again getting all the bits off the bottom of the pan. Cover and allow to continue simmering for 15-20 minutes until lentils are tender and soft.  Remove from heat and stir one final time checking consistency.  If your lentils seem soft with no bite, they are done.  If not, add a little more water and keep simmering.  Your lentils should have very little left over liquid when done.

If you are more adventurous then me this is when you would add in a pinch or two of crushed red pepper flakes.  I am not adventurous.  

You can serve the lentils warm as is, or refrigerate them for about three hours and use them as the base for a few types of wraps which I will link to after I post them up.

This recipe has so far made enough for three wraps, plus a good amount just spooned right into my mouth, and it looks like I have enough left for two wraps. If you wanted to feed a family on this I would double the recipe.  This is something I made to have on for lunch and dinner for myself since I am the only vegetarian in the house.
This is how they look the next day after being chilled over night.  Kind of a spreadable wrap filling.  Reheated it will be a nice hearty spoonable texture.