RSS Feed

Tag Archives: lentils

Sloppy Lentils

We mentioned before when we made Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes last August that Sloppy Joes were always a favourite meal growing up. Really, they’re a saucy, sloppy mess of a meal – what kid doesn’t love that?

The last time we made them, we decreased the beef and added lentils to lighten them up a bit and pack in some of the fibre and other nutrients that lentils have to offer. Well, we’ve done it again, but this time, we’ve taken out the beef entirely and made a completely vegetarian version of the classic!

DSCN5599

And of course, we packed it full of veggies for an additional nutrition bonus!

DSCN5601

Now, we know what some of you may be thinking “What? No beef?!?” but seriously, guys, don’t knock it ’till you try it! The flavour is all there, and the lentils add a great texture all their own, it’s really quite delicious.

DSCN5603

Meatless meals are also a great idea if you’re trying to watch your saturated fat intake, or just squeeze some extra veggies in. And they can be just as tasty as their meat containing counter parts!

DSCN5604

So take a leap of faith with us here, guys, we promise you won’t be disappointed! 🙂

Lentil Sloppy Joes

DSCN5599

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1/2 c. brown lentils
1 1/4 c. water

2 tsp olive oil
1/4 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/2 c. mushrooms, chopped
2/3 c. frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 tsp smoked paprika

For the Sauce:

1/3 c. tomato paste
1 tbsp molasses
1 tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 drops of liquid smoke
3-4 tbsp tomato juice
1 chipotle chili in adobo sauce
pepper, to taste

2 whole wheat hamburger buns

Directions:

Put water and lentils into a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low heat and simmer for 25min, or until fully cooked and most of the water has been absorbed.
Heat oil on a  pan over medium heat. Dice onion and add to pan, cooking until translucent. Mince the garlic and chop the peppers and mushrooms and add to the pan along with the frozen veggies.
Add the smoked paprika and cook until tender-crisp, approximately 4-5 min.
Add all sauce ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth. (Option: finely dice the chili and stir all sauce ingredients together in a bowl).
Once the lentils and veggies are done cooking, stir the lentils into the vegetables and mix well. Pour the sauce over the mixture and stir until evenly coated.
Divide the sloppy joe mixture over two warm hamburger buns and enjoy!

~twosaucysisters

Do you have a favourite classic recipe that you’ve changed to make healthier? What were some of your favourite meals as a kid? We were huge fans of eggs and toast or cereal for dinner, but we also loved mashed potatoes and whenever our Dad did burgers on the bbq!

Lessons in Curry

A couple of months back, Linsday from Pinch of Yum posted about her favourite lentil recipes, which were all curry (or curry-esque) recipes. We love curry and lentils, so we thought that we would give one of her recipes a try. The problem is, we couldn’t decide which of the 6 recipes we wanted to make, so naturally, we made them all!

Every Monday for 6 weeks we made one of her lentil recipes when we got home from practice, a day we dubbed to be “Curry Monday”. Of course, eventually we had made them all, so what were we to do?

Make our own curry, obviously!

DSCN5476

We’ve made curry plenty of times before, and they we always good, but we found that there was something missing… they didn’t send us to our foodie happy place, nothing so special that we would write down the recipe so we could make it again. Until now!

DSCN5480

So what was it that we did differently? Well, there were a  few things, each that made a big difference:

1. Curry Paste – we currently have a jar of yellow (though it looks red to us!) curry paste, and we’re telling you this stuff is curry-making magic! It may seem expensive, but all you need is a small amount to really take your curry to a new level.

2. We added less spices. I know it seems weird – less spices to a curry dish? But they are supposed to be super-duper spice-filled! We know, that’s what we thought too, but the thing is, curry spices are very strong, and so if you add too many, you just end up with a slightly bitter bowl of curry. Yuck!

3. Added the spices sooner. In the past, we’ve always added the spices much later in the cooking process for fear of the spices losing their flavour. However, while that may be the case with more delicate herbs, not so much with these spices! This time, we added them right off the bat when we were cooking the onions. Cooking or “toasting” your curry spices doesn’t cook off flavour, but more the bitter compounds and flavours that these spices have in their raw state.

DSCN5486

This particular curry also has a special ingredient, one we don’t normally have in the fridge but just happened to be on sale this week.

DSCN5478

Mangoes! 🙂

We don’t know if it’s mango season somewhere, but if it is,  we are very glad it is.

DSCN5469

A full-flavoured, sweet potato and lentil curry with hints of sweetness from the chunks of mango: Dinner time done right!

Sweet Potato and Mango Lentil Curry

DSCN5486

Prep time: 10min
Cook time: 30min
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

1/2 c. green lentils
1 c. water

1 c. sweet potato, cubed

1/2 tbsp coconut (or olive) oil
1/2 c. white onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped
1/2 28oz can of No Salt Added diced tomatoes
1/2 mango, chopped
1 c. spinach
1/3 c. coconut milk
1 tbsp fresh ginger
1/2 tsp garam masala
1/4 tsp EACH curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg
1/2 tbsp yellow curry paste (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Put lentils and water into a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 25min.
Cook sweet potato in the microwave until soft, about 5 min.
Heat oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan. Add onions, garam masala, curry powder, cumin, turmeric, nutmeg and curry paste, and cook until translucent. Add the ginger, garlic and peppers and cook for another 2-3min. Stir in tomatoes, mango, cooked sweet potato and spinach  and cook for another 2-3min, until spinach has wilted.
Turn off the heat and stir in coconut milk and cooked lentils and mix until fully combined.
Add salt and pepper and serve over rice of your choice.

~twosaucysisters

Does anyone else have any tips or tricks for when they make curry?

Study Breaks

As I type this post, I’m listening to Christmas music! I know, I know, It’s exams Julie, you should be studying! But you see, I am a firm believer in taking breaks and relaxing a little during exam time. I’m not one of those people who can sit down for six (or more!) hours straight and study. I max out at two hours, and then my brain starts to get all fuzzy and I can’t absorb anything. This exam period I have two types of study breaks: Running ones and blog related ones. I obviously adore my running breaks, for the getting to see my friends part just as much as the actual run itself! I also love my blogging breaks, as they result in something like this:

DSCN4091

Cranberry, Pear, Lentil and Millet Stuffed Squash!

DSCN4094

Or as I like to call it – Squash stuffed with Christmas! Seriously, I have fallen in love with cranberries! They are tangy, ever-so-slightly sweet and bursting with flavour. To me, they are one of those flavours that sort of embody Christmas. Like eggnog, peppermint and clementines, they have a way of getting me in the spirit!

DSCN4103

Delicious! Unfortunately, I have procrastinated long enough – back to studying!

Cranberry, Pear, Lentil and Millet Stuffed Squash

DSCN4104

Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 30 min
Serves: 2

Ingredients:

1 acorn or peppercorn squash
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp maple syrup
dash salt
pinch pepper

1/2 c. red lentils
1/2 c. millet
3 c. water

3 c. kale
1/2 c. cranberries
1 pear
1/4 c. onion
1 clove garlic
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
dash salt
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1/3 c. walnuts

Directions:

Preheat your oven to 375F.  Cut your squash in half, drizzle with olive oil and maple syrup and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place the squash cut-side down on a tray lined with aluminum foil and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is soft.

Place the red lentils, millet, and water in a pot and bring to a boil.  Turn the heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 25 minutes, or until the lentil an millet is cooked and most of the water is soaked up.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, heat a drop of olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the diced onion, pear, and cranberries and cook until the onion is translucent and the cranberries begin to split.  Add the garlic and kale and saute for another few minutes until the kale begins to wilt.  Add the cinnamon, nutmeg, and dash of salt and cook for another couple minutes.

When the lentils and millet are finished cooking, add them to the pan with the cranberries, onions and kale and stir to combine.  Stir in the apple cider vinegar and maple syrup, and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything is heated through and and the liquid is evaporated.

Place the walnuts on an oven-safe plate and place in the oven for the last 10 minutes of cook-time with the squash, watching carefully so they don’t burn.

When the squash are done, remove them from the oven and flip over.  (be careful- they’ll be hot!)  Fill each half with as much filling as you can fit.  (you’ll have leftover filling, but don’t worry- it makes for great leftovers on top of salad!)

Sprinkle with toasted walnuts and an extra drizzle of maple syrup, if desired.

~Julie@twosaucysisters

What do you do when you take study/work “breaks”?  What kinds of foods get you into the Christmas spirit?

WIAW: The Comforts of Fall

Can you believe it’s already the end of September?

We’ve been back in school for almost a month now, and we both still feel like we’re trying to make the transition from summer, which is why the theme for this month’s What I Ate Wednesday- “Falling into Good Habits”–  just seems so appropriate!  Because “falling” is a great way to describe the completely un-graceful transition that we are attempting to make, here.

But there are a few things that have been helping make this transition easier, or at least more pleasant.  Of course, being back with our cross country team has been fabulous, and we do love being in London, but there is one aspect of fall that really speaks to our inner-foodies.

As you know (and we’re sure you’ve all noticed lately!) the temperature takes a bit of a nose-dive this time of year.  And while we are both summer girls at heart, we take comfort in the fact that along with cooler temperatures comes one of our favourite foods- soup!

And not just any soup.  We’re talking about the thick, creamy variety made from nothing else but the season’s best squash (that just so happen to be only 50 cents/lb!).

Creamy Coconut, Buttercup squash and lentil soup.  Comfort in a bowl, friends!

We seriously can’t think of anything better than coming home from a hard cross country workout in the brisk fall breeze and digging into a warm bowl of this soup.

So if you’re feeling like us, and are still trying to adapt to the season, give this soup a try.  It might not help you keep track of all your homework and assignments, or just simply fall back into your routine, but it’ll make the transition easier 🙂

And then head over and visit Jenn at Peas and Crayons, and check out all the other What I Ate Wednesday participants!

Creamy Coconut Buttercup Squash and Lentil Soup

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 35
Serves: 2-3

Ingredients:

2 small buttercup squash, roasted and peeled
1/4 white onion, diced
1 clove garlic
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/2c. red lentils
4 c. water
1/2 c. coconut milk
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

Place buttercup squash, onion, garlic, bell pepper, lentils, and water in a large pot over medium-high heat.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes.

Transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth.  Return to the pot and add coconut milk and seasonings.  Return the soup to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until heated through.  Add 1/4-1/2c. extra water if you desire a thinner consistency.

Spoon into bowls and serve topped with yogurt and hot sauce, if desired.

~twosaucysisters

What are your favourite Fall comfort foods?

Grab-and-Go

It has been a busy week for us.

Between moving in to our London house, cross country try-outs, and school preparations, our days have been filled up!

And by school prep we don’t mean buying school supplies and filling up binders with paper.  No, we spent all of 10 minutes doing that!  Nope, school prep for us means making meals to put in the freezer, and more importantly, making snacks!

Busy schedules require quick and easy snacks that can be thrown in lunches on the fly, so that’s what we’ve been working on this week.

And what a successful week it has been!

Friends, we have made some of the yummiest (and probably healthiest!) granola bars ever. Yup, ever.

The secret ingredient?  Lentils!

Yes, lentils!  They make these granola bars extra-chewy and very hearty!  Not to mention give them a boost in protein and fibre 🙂

And you know what else is so great about these granola bars?  They don’t fall apart!  It doesn’t matter how delicious a granola bar is, if it crumbles apart in your hands, then it’s not gonna work packed in lunches.  Crumbled on top of yogurt? Yes. But not for a grab-and-go snack.

Full of chopped almonds, oats, and just a hint of sweetness from chocolate chips, these are incredible.  As a matter of fact, we may just have to make another batch of them, because the first ones may be gone by the weekend 😉

Chocolate Chip Lentil Granola Bars

Prep: 30 min

Bake Time: 30 min

Makes: 8 bars

Ingredients:

1/2 c. dry red lentils
1 c. water

1.5 c. rolled oats
1/2 c. whole wheat flour (or any flour!)
1/4 c. ground flax seeds
1/2 c. honey (or other liquid sweetener)
2 tbsp whole flax seeds
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp coconut oil (or other oil)
1/4 tsp almond extract
1/2 c. roughly chopped almonds
1/4 c. chocolate chips
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:

Bring lentils and water to a boil in a small pot.  Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for 25 minutes.  Drain of any excess liquid.

Preheat the oven to 350C

Mix all ingredients in a medium-sized bowl until everything is evenly combined.  Dump mixture into a lined and greased 8×8 inch pan, and bake for 30 minutes, or until edges are slightly browned and the bars feel firm to the touch.  Allow to cool slightly before cutting them into bars.

~twosaucysisters

What are some grab-and-go snacks that you like to have on hand?

Savory Dates

Hello friends! It’s that time of week again – Meatless Monday!

This week’s letter is “D” for Dates!

Mmm… dates. 🙂 We love them, they are so sweet, and can be used so many ways! Our favourite thing to do is make dates into date paste, which we use in so many of our baked goods, breakfasts, eating it with a spoon… you get the point!

It would have been really easy for us to just do some sort of baked good or breakfast item for this Monday, however baked goods tend to be meatless as it is, so we wanted to put out a recipe that uses dates in a savoury way!

Sweet and Spicy Lentil Balls!

Using dates, red lentils, split peas and spices, and rolled in quinoa flakes and sesame seeds. Baked to perfection!

Sort of like a lentil ‘meat’ ball these delicious little bites are great on top of salads, in wraps, or even just to dip in  tahini dressing and eat as a snack!

Be sure to head on over to Heather and check out the rest of the Meatless Monday participants!

Split Pea, Lentil and Date Balls

Prep time: 35 min
Cook time: 25 min
Makes: 9 balls

Ingredients:

1/2 c. each lentils and split peas
3 c. water

1/2 c. dates
3 white mushrooms
1/4 c. walnuts
1/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp berebere spice mix
pepper, to taste

1/4 c. quinoa flakes
1 tbsp sesame

Directions: 

Put lentils and split peas into a pot with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 25min or until soft.

In a food processor, pulse the dates until finely chopped. Add the mushrooms, walnuts and spices and pulse until chopped. Add half of the lentil-split pea mixture and blend again until smooth. Remove from processor and stir in the rest of the lentils and split peas.

Combine the quinoa flakes and the sesame seeds.  Form the lentil mixture into 9 balls and roll them in the quinoa flakes so that they are evenly coated.

Bake at 350 for 25 min.

-twosaucysisters

What’s your favourite way to use dates? 
Have you ever had dates in a savoury dish before?

Untidy Samuels

Do you have any random memories that have absolutely no significant impact on your life but for some reason the image has been burned into your memory and it remains there as clear as if it just happened yesterday?

We have lots of those.

We both seem to have impeccable memories for random things that happened in our childhood.  Remembering what time we work at tomorrow?  No, we should probably check the schedule.  Remembering to call and book a hair cut? We think the fact that we both haven’t had a hair cut in 6 months speaks for itself (don’t judge…).  But remembering that random and insignificant line from that movie that we don’t even know the name of from when we were 7 years old?  Of course!

We won’t get into the details of the film (although you know we could…), but the scene that sticks in our memories went like this:

A little British boy and girl are playing in the nursery in the mansion in which they reside, when their also English-speaking butler comes into the room and announces that dinner is ready.

“Sloppy Sams?!?” they both exclaim (hmmm… the British version of sloppy Joes?)

In his most proper manner, the butler replies, “We will refer to them as ‘Untidy Samuels'”.

As a couple of 7-year-olds, we thought this was the most hilarious thing we had ever heard.  Laughter ensued for serveral minutes, and “Untidy Samuels” were requested for dinner that night.

Sloppy Joes were always a favourite meal of ours growing up.  It was one of those meals that our mom could make for the entire family and be completely confident that she would get no complaints from anyone.  And this holds true to this day.  We love anything that’s sloppy and oh-so-saucy ;), and the rest of our family have not outgrown their love for the messy, meaty dish.

So in the spirit of random childhood memories, guess what we made for dinner last night?

Untidy Samuels!

With a hearty dose of veggies and the addition of cooked brown lentils, these are the more grown-up version of our childhood favourite.  And over a bed of steamed zucchini noodles, we both agree that these are classy enough to be termed “Untidy Samuels”.

And because everything tastes better in a bowl…

Using lean (or extra-lean!) ground beef, and adding a hearty dose of veggies into the mix boost the nutrition of this meal, but what takes it to the next level are the lentils.  1 cup of lentils have only 1 gram of fat and 4 mg of sodium, and boast 16 grams of fibre and 18 grams of protein.  They also contribute a great source of iron, folate, and thiamin, as well as a host of other nutrients. (source)

And if you’re like us and have giant zucchinis comin’ out the ying-yang, then you should definitely consider serving this meal over steamed zucchini noodles, because it’s a great way to use up a lot of the tasty summer staple.

Which, conveniently, is the theme of this month’s What I Ate WednesdaySummer Staples!

Up until now, we have not participated in What I Ate Wednesdays, but we have been considering it for quite some time.  And what a better time to start?  Like so many of you, we also have zucchinis bursting out of our garden and taking over the produce drawer.  We really can’t think of more of a summer staple than the tasty summer squash!

Often when people have an excess of zucchini the first instinct is to hide it in bread or cake, but we ask why?  Why hide it?  Not that we have anything against zucchini bread (we love it, actually) but we think that zucchini deserves the chance to shine.

So tonight go make you and your family some sloppy… er, unitdy Joesephs!

Beef and Lentil Sloppy Joes

Total time: 25min

Serves: 6

Ingredients:

1.5 lbs lean ground beef

1/2 c. brown lentils + 1 c. water

3/4 c. peas

3/4 c. corn

2 mushrooms, sliced

1/2 c. bell peppers, chopped

2 cloves garlic minced

1 c. tomato paste

1/4 c. molasses

1/4 c. apple cidar vinegar

1/4 c. worchestershire sauce

1 tsp. ground mustard

1/2 tsp EACH turmeric and paprika

1 tsp steak spice

pepper, to taste

1 Tbsp of chives

1 large and 1 medium zucchini, sliced into match-stick thin “noodles”

Directions:

Add lentils and water to a pot, bring to a boil and then simmer for 20min

Add ground beef to a skillet and cook until browned, drain.

Put zucchini noodles in steaming basket and steam until tender, about 15min.

Add all other veggies and saute for 2-3min.

Add all other ingredients, excluding the chives. Cook over medium heat for 7-8 min, or until heated through.

Add chives and serve over zucchini noodles.

– twosaucysisters

P.s. A huge congrats goes out to the Men’s 8 for winning the silver medal, our Canadian women’s gymnastics team for a phenomenal showing in yesterday’s team competition, the women’s 4X200m freestyle for advancing to the finals, and to our 3m springboard divers for doing well despite their obstacles in this past 3 months! So proud to be Canadian! 🙂

Did you love sloppy Joe’s as a kid? What meals instantly bring you back to your childhood?