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.

Warm Dal with Spinach (from ‘tibits at home’ cookbook)

First and foremost, HUGE apologies for the 2  month delay in posts!  We’ve had a very busy summer and then getting all 4 kids back to school and other work life bits has consumed me…… until NOW!  So, posts are officially back and I’m so excited that they are!  I can feel the chill in the air in London that Autumn has officially arrived – and I love it!  The crisp air, the leaves falling and my kids playing so much sport…… every weekend has definitely made me crave something warm and grounding!

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So when I was sent a lovely cookbook called ‘tibits at home’ from the incredible tibits restaurant – I couldn’t wait to cook from it! Not only is there a restaurant in Soho (London), but there are locations in Zurich, Winterhur, Berne and Basel.  tibits has been serving healthy vegetarian food for over a decade and was established by three brothers and the according to the Guinness Book of World Records, their restaurant in Zurich is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world!  The cookbook is filled with delicious, seasonal recipes and it was hard to choose which one to do for this blog!  But after much deliberation, the Warm Dal with Spinach won!  So, let’s get started….

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Grab yourself these ingredients:

250g red lentils

1 onion

1 garlic clove

20g fresh ginger

4 tbsp rapeseed oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp garam masala

1 tsp turmeric

500g fresh spinach

400ml coconut milk

200ml water

freshly ground sea salt and black pepper

1/2 lemon, juiced

P1040086I was lucky enough to have some super fresh, organic spinach on hand from my inlaws kitchen garden.  I especially love the photo of the spinach in the basket, basking in the sunny autumn day!  But remember you can use any dark green leafy vegetable if you don’t have spinach on hand…. kale works just as well too!

P1040114Serves 4 as a main and 6 as a side….. you decide!

Method:

1.  Cook the lentils for about 8 minutes in water and then drain.

2. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic.  Peel the ginger and grate finely.  Heat a frying pan, then add the oil and sweat the onion until transparent.  Add the garlic, ginger and spices and fry for 1 minute, until the mixture develops its fragrance.

3.  Wash and pluck the spinach, add to the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.

4.  Add coconut milk and water, and stir well.

5.  Add the drained lentils, mix in well and cook for a further 5 minutes.

6.  Season to taste with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and lemon juice.

P1040121Serve in warm bowls with some wholewheat pita bread or brown rice or maybe just a simple side salad!  YUMMY!  The flavours in this recipe are perfection.  And I love it that it has turmeric, the new queen of spice that research says may help ward of dementia and reduce the risk of cancer.  I’m in!  Be sure to check out ‘tibits at home’ cookbook at www.tibits.co.uk and also their restaurants too!  I’m lucky enough to be heading to their Soho location in mid-October to check out their Autumn menu and will be posting my review here!  So stay tuned!!!!

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Red Velvet Soup

When it comes to getting lots of nutrients into one dish, soup is the perfect way to do it. Within reason there’s no limit to how much goodness you can blend into any recipe and you can also mix in supplements without compromising the taste! Choosing to prepare soup is also a great way to make a lot of food with minimal fuss – which is perfect when you’ve got many mouths to feed at dinner time! This tasty dish takes just five minutes to prep for and a further 40 to cook, meaning you can easily make it fresh in the evening. My eight year old calls this his “favourite meal in the whole wide world” and he can easily polish off seconds and then thirds if there’s any left! To see what all the fuss is about and make some yourself, you’ll need the following ingredients:

red velvet soup grassrootsandgrains12 tbsp. of unrefined virgin coconut oil
1 & 1/2 tsp. of cumin seeds
1 & 1/2 tsp. of black mustard seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp. of fresh ginger, grated
2 tsp. of turmeric
2 tsp. of ground cumin
Pink Himalayan salt
2 cups of chopped tomatoes
8 cups of veggie stock
2 cups of red lentils, rinsed
1 cinnamon stick
1/2 a lime, freshly squeezedred velvet soup grassrootsandgrains3
1/2 tsp. of agave nectar
1/4 cup of chopped coriander, to garnish

To begin, heat the coconut oil at medium heat in a large pan and add only the mustard and cumin seeds. Sauté the contents of the pan until they begin to pop and then quickly include the onion, ginger, turmeric, ground cumin and a pinch of the salt. Continue to sauté for a further two or three minutes and then chuck in the two cups of chopped tomatoes and an additional quarter tablespoon of salt. Now give your ingredients a quick stir and continue to sauté for another two minutes.

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Now you can include your first half cup of veggie stock and cook until the liquid is reduced by approximately a half. When you can see that this has happened, it’s time to add the red lentils and stir well before adding the remaining seven and a half cups of stock and the cinnamon stick. Next you must turn the heat up to bring your concoction to the boil and then lower the heat again before covering and allowing to simmer for a good 30 minutes.

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After 30 minutes the lentils should be tender so you can now add another quarter tablespoon of the Pink Himalayan salt and leave to simmer again for another five minutes. Now you can remove the cinnamon stick and stir in the juice of your lime and the agave nectar. Then it’s time for the fun part, blending it all up! Pour the entire contents of the pan into your blender and blitz it until it’s smooth.red velvet soup grassrootsandgrains6

You can now serve into bowls, garnish with the chopped coriander and enjoy!

The combination of everything in this recipe will do great things for your energy levels as well as providing many other health benefits. Red lentils in particular are often spoken of as a super food with anti ageing properties. They are incredibly rich in protein and fibre as well as containing high levels of manganese, iron, potassium and vitamin B1. Including red lentils in your diet is a fantastic way to lower cholesterol whilst also maintaining blood sugar levels.

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As we already know, turmeric is brilliant for the system and cumin, coriander and ginger are also amazing ways to give the body a subtle boost. The chopped tomatoes included in this recipe bring a happy dose of lycopene to the table which research suggests prevents many types of cancer.

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