Yes, we’re all ready for spring after this long winter and it’s starting to make itself evident in Maryland. What we’re most looking forward to is gardening- we’ve started veggie & perennial seeds, we’ve been weeding like crazy, and ordering a bunch of shade loving plants for a big section of our backyard.
Another reason to get excited is the availability of cold weather produce. Radishes, lettuce, kale, spinach and more. I never really use radish, but couldn’t resist a bunch of them being so fresh along with a big bag of spinach.
Since most of our meals aren’t finished until well past sunset (and photographing food under light bulbs is less than ideal), I didn’t get a picture of the final dish. However, it was tasty enough that we plan on making it again and again. We ended up serving it warm by adding the spinach and radish to the warm lentils which resulted in slightly wilted spinach. I can easily see, though, serving it as a cold salad for lunch with warm pita bread or the like.
- 1 cup of onion (about 1/2 large onion), diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 celery stick, diced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3/4 cup of dried green or brown lentils
- 1.5 cups water or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp thyme leaves
- 1 bay leaf
- 5-7 radish bulbs, sliced thinly
- 1 bunch of fresh spinach leaves (about 3 handfuls)
- 1/2 cup dried quinoa
- 4 oz chicken style seitan (optional)
- salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup good extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tsp white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Cook the mirepoix in some olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot (dutch oven) with some salt over low heat until the veggies and soft and onions translucent. Add in the garlic and cook on high for a few minutes until any residual moisture is evaporated.
- Deglaze with the wine, then pour in the lentils, bay leaf, water/broth and thyme. Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to low and cook, uncovered, until the lentils are soft. As the lentils cook, stir occasionally and add more water to ensure the lentils are mostly submerged.
- While the lentils cook, make the quinoa according to package directions and make the vinaigrette by whisking together all the dressing ingredients in a jar.
- When the lentils are soft, turn the heat back up to high and cook off any remaining water and then kill the heat.
- If you plan to eat this as a cold salad, cool the quinoa and lentil mixture.
- Stir in the quinoa, radishes and spinach leaves. If you are using the seitan, saute it seperately in a fry pan and then add it into the lentil mixture.
- Drizzle on the dressing and stir to combine before serving. Season with additional salt and pepper.
It’s been a really good year for our garden this year. One of the consistently producing plants in our garden are sugar snap peas. We’ve got about 24 vines growing up some string and they put out like crazy.
I had little luck finding recipes with sugar snap peas in any of my books or online. The one that I did find in a book was from a vegetable cookbook, which stars veggies, but is far from vegetarian. The recipe was for a shrimp and mushroom curry… gross.
So, here’s a delicious curry that showcases my sugar snap peas and proves they can carry this thick, filling curry all by themselves!
- vegetable oil
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 dried whole red chilies
- 2 tsp tumeric
- 2 tsp ginger root, minced
- 200 g sugar snap peas, washed, tips and strings removed
- 500 g small mix of red and gold potatoes, diced
- 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
- 1 small tomato, peeled, seeded and small diced
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 cup water (optionally, substitute 1/4 cup of the water for coconut milk)
- 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped
- Heat oil (~2tsp) in wide cast iron skillet over low heat, and garlic and cook until slightly golden.
- Add the chilies, tumeric, ginger root, and cook for 30 seconds, then boost the heat to medium high and add in the sugar snap peas.
- Season with some salt and cook peas until golden brown (but don’t char them!), then drop the heat back to low.
- Using tongs, remove the pea pods and keep aside. Add in the gold/red potatoes to give them a head start, for about 10 minutes.
- Now, add in the sweet potato, tomato, lentils and water. Increase heat to high to bring the water to a boil, then drop it again to low. Simmer for 20 minutes, covered, scrapping the bottom occasionally to avoid burning and add more water if it becomes too dry.
- Uncover, and cook until the potatoes are soft and there is not runny water left.
- Kill the heat and stir in the oregano and the cooked peas. Serve with some chopped cilantro or extra crushed red peppers.