Archives for posts with tag: lentils

This post is a double up, being my second recipe from ‘My Cookbook Library’ as well as a vegetarian ‘Meat Free Monday’ dish. Jerome has decided that the ‘My Cookbook Library’ posts (cooking my way through all my cookbooks, one recipe from one book at a time) should be renamed ‘Jerome’s pick’, as he quite enjoyed being given the cookbook index (on eat your books) and getting to pick what I cooked.

The second book I chose to cook from is Rachel Khoo’s The Little Paris Kitchen: 120 Simple But Classic French Recipes. I love this cookbook and related cooking series. After studying patisserie at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, Rachel started testing recipes for a cookbook in her tiny apartment with just a mini oven and two gas rings.  She also opened the smallest restaurant in Paris in her apartment, serving just two people for dinner. This is one of those rare books where when I look through it, I want to try at least every second recipe. If you want to give French food a try, I certainly recommend this book. If Rachel can cook these recipes in her tiny apartment with limited equipment, I think most of us should be able to replicate them in our own kitchens. I certainly try to remember what Rachel cooked with whenever I start complaining about my own kitchen!

This is a very light dish, and would make a nice light lunch or side salad at dinner. Dill isn’t my favourite herb, but it went quite well against the earthiness of the beetroot and lentils and the creaminess of the cheese. We had the salad as a light dinner with some crusty baguette. Simple, only a few ingredients, but they all work well together.

Beetroot and goats cheese salad with lentils

Book recipe number: 2

Number of cookbooks owned: 198+ (198 now logged in my eat your books library, however there were quite a few that weren’t in their database that I now have to count)

New book credit: 0.4 (3 more to go before I am allowed to buy another cookbook)

Click here for the recipe

Although I’m not vegetarian, I also don’t feel like eating meat every night. So I do cook quite a few meat free dishes. Meat can get quite expensive, especially as I prefer to buy local, free range, top quality meat. I would rather eat meat less often and buy the best I can get, than eat cheaper/mass produced and imported products.

Meat free Mondays is an international campaign aimed at encouraging us to take a day off meat and raise awareness of the personal health and environmental benefits of reducing our meat consumption. A number of Australia’s celebrity chefs and cooks are involved, including Maggie Beer and Kylie Kwong. Some of the facts quoted on the campaigns website include:

  • Australians are some of the world’s biggest meat eaters, with many consuming double the global average.
  • 9 out of 10 Australian adults aren’t eating the recommended amount of vegetables.
  • Health authorities recommend against eating large amounts of meat.
  • Australian livestock industries are responsible for approximately 10% of our total greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Livestock production accounts for 70% of all agricultural land around the world.
  • Meat production is water intensive.

While I don’t limit myself to eating meat free dishes only on Mondays, I think anything that encourages people to add meat free meals to their diet and raises awareness of the benefits of a meat free meal once a week is a great initiative. With that in mind, here is the latest meat free dish I have tried. I added in a pinch of cayenne pepper to the recipe and I think the addition of the heat from the cayenne works well with the sweet and creamy pumpkin.

I also used filo pastry from the fridge rather than the freezer section for the first time, and found this so much easier to work with than frozen filo.

Filo parcels

Click here for the recipe

Browsing through some new cooking magazines the other day, this puy lentil dish reminded me of some of the everyday home cooking we enjoy when we visit Jerome’s parents in France. So of course I had to try it. It’s only in the last few years I have started using lentils and beans in a lot of my cooking. I really like using them now as they add a different texture to food, and are also very filling.

Although the recipe takes a while to cook, it doesn’t require a lot of effort and the end result is very satisfying, rich and filling while still having a freshness from the addition of lemon and parsley.

I found the sauce tasted great even before the addition of mustard and crème fraiche at the end, so if you can’t eat dairy or want a slightly lighter meal, you could omit the crème fraiche and still have a great dish. I admit, it isn’t the prettiest looking dish , but the flavour more than made up for the appearance.

IMG_2712

Click here for the recipe

Even though I enjoy cooking, sometimes after a busy day at work, it can be too easy or tempting to succumb to picking up takeaway on the way home. Especially as I have so many great restaurants (Indian, Italian, Japanese and many more) within five minutes of my house. Alternately, I fall back on a few tried and tested favourite recipes, which if cooked too often will no longer be favourites. So finding new quick and easy recipes that I can add to my repertoire and save the takeaway for an occasional treat is something I am actively trying to do.

The other day I was looking through a new cooking magazine and I came across a warm beef and salsa verde salad that sparked my interest. It looked like a great spring dinner, but although I liked the look of it and the idea, I didn’t feel like beef so I went with lamb instead. Then because I was cooking with lamb, I thought mint would be a great addition to the salsa verde rather than just the parsley they used. And how about some basil as well given I’m adding tomatoes to the salad, and some lemon to freshen it up? Next thing you know the recipe below was created and the result delivered was just what I was after. A quick (all up around 30 minutes), light and tasty dinner perfect, in my opinion, for a spring night in Perth. Next time I might try cooking the lamb on the bbq instead of the stove.

It’s nice when cooking ‘experiments’ work out. And as I’d never used anchovies or capers in any of my cooking before, this really was an experiment for me. Don’t be scared of the anchovies, they don’t make the dish taste of fish. The leftovers were great for lunch the next day, the flavours had intensified and I thought it was delicious.

Quick lamb salad with salsa verde and lentils click here for the recipe

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