Spicy Red Lentils with Roasted Cauliflower Recipe

This week, I made a decision to incorporate more raw foods into my diet. My new goal is to eat at least one raw meal a day, and to transform my kitchen into an entirely raw one. I’ll be documenting the steps I’m talking, and go further into the reasons why in my next several posts.

My first step though is getting rid of all of the wonderful food I’ve got stored up, but will now be eating less of, like grains, beans, and soy products. I can’t think of a more delicious way to clean house than this red lentil recipe I created last night.

I’m still stuck on what to name this dish. My husband called it “Mediterr-Indian” because of the spices that borrow from both cultures. It’s pretty low on fat, and good for people with food allergies, as it’s nut, soy, and wheat free, and of course, vegan. The recipe for the lentils, and the roasted cauliflower after the jump:

2 Cups dry red lentils
1 Small yellow onion
2 Cloves garlic
1 Cup chopped mushrooms (button or crimini)
1 Tbsp. Veg. Oil
2 Tbsps tomato paste
1/4 Tsp Tumeric
1/4 Tsp Paprika
1 Tbsp Mediterranean seasoning*
1 Tsp salt
Vegetable broth

1 head cauliflower
3/4 C Veg. broth
1 Tbsp yellow mustard
1 Tsp nutritional yeast
1 Tsp whole cumin seeds
Pinch nutmeg
Pinch rosemary
Cracked black pepper

Rinse off your lentils and then put them in a pan, covering with 2 cups of liquid (I used a mix of water and vegetable broth). Simmer, covered, on medium heat until all the liquid has been absorbed.

While they cook, pre-heat your oven to 375. Chop up your cauliflower into bite-size pieces and place in a roasting pan. In a bowl, mix all of the sauce ingredients well, and then cover the cauliflower in it, tossing so that all the pieces get coated. Toss in the oven.

In a skillet, heat up your oil (any kind will do) and a small amount of vegetable broth, to get the pan coated. Chop up the onion, and saute it in the pan. Next add the chopped garlic, and chopped mushrooms. Use a little Sherry, or white wine to deglaze the pan, and get all those good flavors.

Now, add your spices: the tumeric, paprika, and Mediterranean blend. (*I have a pre-mixed blend that contains oregano, thyme, rosemary and fennel.) Next, add the tomato paste and mix well.

By this time your lentils should be finished. You may want to mash them up a little with a fork or potato masher. Add the veggies from your skillet directly to the lentils. As you mix, you’ll want to add some vegetable broth, as well as your salt. Use as much as you need to give everything a nice creamy consistency.

If your cauliflower hasn’t browned yet, you may want to turn the oven up to a higher heat. The lentils can sit, sauteing for a little while, while it finishes. Once it’s all done, serve side by side. I garnished with some fresh parsley.

Hot yummy meals like this certainly make going raw seem like an impossible challenge. In my next post though I’ll discuss why raw foods are great not just for your health, but for the planet. In the mean time I’ll be savoring my warm lentils while they last, though!

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