Red Lentil Quinoa with Greens and Seeds

IMG_2376I’m back!!!  Yes, after a LONG hiatus of posting recipes to my blog …. I’m finally back and here to stay!  So, first and foremost – an apology for the long hiatus but it was with I hope a good excuse!  In the summer, I received a publishing deal to write The Flexi Foodie Cookbook!!!!  YAY!  It is a dream come true and I am over the moon to share this book with you.  So my entire summer was pretty much spend writing recipes and of course the entire book.  The photos for the book have turned better than I could have ever imagined – they are beautiful thanks to my amazing photographer and food/prop stylist.  Stay tuned…. the book hits the bookshelves 12th March 2015.   I will keep you all posted but wanted to quickly say thank you to all of YOU who’ve been reading my blog for the past 2 years.   This dream couldn’t have happened without all of you, so THANK YOU!

And with that said… here is the latest and greatest post.  A nutritionally packed meal with everything from whole grains to green leafy veg to pomegranate seeds!  Here we go….

 

Serves 4

250g quinoa

100g red lentils

800 ml water

1 pomegranate, de-seeded

large handful of collard greens

1 small onion, chopped

1 garlic clove, crushed

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. cumin

1 tsp. paprika

1 tsp. black mustard seeds

For the dressing: 

1 Tbsp. tahini

1 Tbsp. tamari

2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp. honey

In a large pot over medium heat, melt the coconut oil and add the mustard seeds, chopped onion and garlic and fry for about 5 minutes until the onion is translucent and the mustard seeds begin to pop.  Add the quinoa, red lentils and water, bring to the boil and then reduce to simmer and cover for 20 – 25 minutes until the water has been absorbed and the quinoa and lentils are cooked.   Once cooked, gently stir in the cumin and paprika along with the collard greens.  Allow the greens to become soft as you stir.  Remove from the pot into a large serving bowl and mix in the pomegranate seeds.  In a small mixing bowl, combine the dressing ingredients and whisk together until smooth.  Pour the dressing over the quinoa and mix well.  Enjoy the great combination of flavours in this simple, but nutritional powerhouse of a meal!

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For more information on Nutrition, head to my very first online nutrition course:  Nutrition for Optimal Heath at www.theflexifoodie.com! Or be sure to follow me on Instagram for health, wellness, yoga and inspiration at @juliemontagu.

Mung Bean & Sweet Potato Casserole

I haven’t really done a proper bean post before and one of my favourite beans are…. mung beans.  I actually think they’re really sweet and cute, and they do taste amazing too.  A wonderful trait about mung beans is that they are easier to digest compared to larger beans and you don’t need to soak them for hours.  You can just pop them in and let them cook for about 45 minutes.  Hurray!

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Some people have difficulty digesting beans and legumes. They may develop gas, intestinal problems, irritability, or unclear thinking. Here are a few techniques for preparing and eating legumes that will alleviate most problems.

  • Soak beans for several days, changing the water twice daily, until a small tail forms on the beans.
  • Chew beans thoroughly and know that even small amounts have high nutritional and healing value.

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  • Avoid giving legumes to children under 18 months because they have not developed the gastric enzymes to digest them properly.
  • Experiment with your ability to digest beans. Smaller beans like adzuki, lentils, mung beans and peas digest most easily. Pinto, kidney, navy, black-eyed peas, chickpeas, lima and black beans are harder to digest. Soybeans and black soybeans are the most difficult beans to digest.
  • Experiment with combinations, ingredients and seasonings. Legumes combine best with green or non-starchy vegetables and seaweeds.
  • Season with unrefined sea salt, miso or soy sauce near the end of cooking. If salt is added at the beginning, the beans will not cook completely. Salt is a digestive aid when used correctly.

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So what’s the scoop on mung beans, you ask?  Well, for starters, ancient China used mung beans for detoxifying the body, so a high five to the Chinese on that one.  Mung beans are high in soluble dietary fibre.  What’s soluble dietary fibre  you say?  Read after the pic of the green chilies!

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Here’s Soluble Fibre 101: Dietary fibre refers to certain food particles that cannot be digested. Dietary fibre comes in two forms: soluble and insoluble. Insoluble fibre aids in normalizing bowl movements, but it does not do much for lowering blood pressure. Soluble fibre when mixed with water in the digestive tract will form a gel-like material, which in turn aids in supporting essential bodily functions. And foods rich in soluble dietary fibres have been show to help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL).   So, another high five there.

Let’s get started on creating this delicious dish!

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Grab these goods and you are ready to go!  Serves 6 – great for a dinner party!

1 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 tsp. fenugreek seeds

1 tsp. cumin seeds

1 tsp. turmeric

3 garlic cloves

1 inch ginger, grated

4 green chilies, sliced

2 small onions, diced

2 red bell peppers, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, 1 1 /2 chunks

350g mung beans

1 litre vegetable stock

400g spinach

3 large tomatoes, chunked

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Heat the coconut oil in a large pan.  Once the oil has melted, stir in the fenugreek seeds and cumin for about 2 minutes until you smell the lovely frangrance of the spices.  Add in the garlic, ginger, chillies, onion and red peppers, sauté until the onion is soft.

Toss in your chunked sweet potatoes and top with the turmeric for about 2 minutes.  Then you’re ready to stir in the mung beans and the vegetable stock.  Bring to the boil and then let simmer for about 45 minutes or until the beans are cooked.  Lastly, add in the spinach and the tomatoes until both are soft but not over cooked – again, about 7-10 minutes.  Season with your limes, sea salt and black pepper.  This dish is incredibly filling so you probably won’t need any grain to go with it!

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Rhubarb, ApriSquash & Quinoa Stew

R-H-U-B-A-R-B!  It’s in Season!!!!  And it doesn’t have to be put in every single pudding or cake.  Yes, rhubarb can be used in main meals too.  Hurray!  My lovely mother-in-law brought me a huge stash of the rhubarb from her kitchen garden in Dorset and after much contemplating of what to do with it….. this recipe was born.  It’s easy, yummy and super fun to cook.  I say, this weekend, give it a go!

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I’m all about simplicity, so even though this recipe might ‘look’ complicated, I promise you, it’s not.  Here’s what y’all will need!

2 Tbsp. coconut oil

1 Tbsp. cumin seeds

1 Tbsp. cardamom pods

1 large onion, diced

3 garlic cloves, crushed

2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated

800g butternut squash, cut into 1-inch cubes

5 sticks of rhubarb, sliced

15-20 dried apricots

200g quinoa

3 Tbsp. raw honey

handful of flat leaf parsley, to garnish

ImageStart by heating the coconut oil in a large pan.  Grind the spices in your mortar and pestle to release the fragrance and add to the melted oil, stir for about 5 minutes.  The smell will be divine!  Add the onion, garlic and ginger and blend in to the spices for about 2 minutes.  Add the rhubarb, butternut squash and apricots and again, blend well with the spice mixture.  Next, add the quinoa and 900 ml of water, cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked and the squash is soft.  Season with sea salt and black pepper and stir in the honey.  Serve with an awesome handful of some delicious parsley!

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We all know that rhubarb is great for puddings/desserts/cakes and more.  But what if I were to tell you that it also an amazing nutritional addition to your diet!  It’s often thought of as a fruit, but guess what… it’s a vegetable!  This “plant” contains a fair amount of potassiumvitamin CVitamin Adietary fibre, and calcium.  There are also claims of additional health benefits, such as anti-cancer properties, aiding indigestion, lowering blood pressure, diminishing hot flashes, lowering cholesterol, and reports of anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-allergy properties.  So dig in!

ImageAnd cheers to R-H-U-B-A-R-B!

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