Lentils, leftovers and popcorn!

No, it is not glamorous, and it is far from complicated, but popcorn is and will probably continue to be one of my most beloved snacks. And since Matt constantly tells me that this is the single greatest popcorn he has ever had, every time I make it, I decided to release the highly guarded secret of perfect popcorn to the masses.

Step one – Buy this

 

Coconut oil is a staple in my house for roughly 9 zillion things but it is the absolute star of popcorn. They actually used to use coconut oil in old timey theaters back in the day before people got all twisted up about saturated fat. Not knowing at the time, of course, that saturated fat from animals (lipids that are solid at room temp ie butter) are not able to be broken down as easily if at all, as the fat in coconut oil which contains a higher content of cholesterol lowering acid. AAAAAAAAAnd moving on.

You could use another oil, but why would you?

Put 2 T oil in a COLD deep pan with a lid and add 1/4 – 1/3 cup popcorn kernels. I like the white kind 🙂

Turn heat to med – med high and cover. Swish the pan around every few seconds until you start to hear them pop. *It’s important that the popcorn doesn’t get a chance to touch the lid once the pot starts to fill up. It makes it kinda stale if it gets damp*

Keep swishing around while the kernels are popping like mad and when they start to slow to  about once every 10 seconds, remove from heat.

Matt likes his with just a sprinkle of salt, and me well I am more of a wild child. I put about 1/8 t of cayenne and several generous shakes of nutritional yeast on mine.

 

This morning we had Liam’s favourite breakfast, Scrambled tofu and toast.

 

I kinda love it too ❤

Lunch was a sedate affair with left over taco salad and warmed up can of Amy’s Black bean Chili. I went in the kitchen to fix lunch and was like… “omg.. I’m done? that was flipping easy! As soon as were done eating  Imma go play zelda!”  Thats actually what went through my mind. I R LOSER. I ❤ leftover taco stuff lol.

 

I squished up 2 fritos on my chili lol.

Now, to the love of my food life, lentils. I have trouble finding ways to use them, even though I love them cooked and tossed in a little vinaigrette  and eaten over salads or plain, Matt doesn’t care for their earthy taste.

 

Enter Veganomicon (have I mentioned that I love this book?)

 

 

Lentils and rice with caramelized onions from Veganomicon.

3 large yellow onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings

3/4 cup olive oil ( I only used 1/2 cup and I still felt it was too much, next time I will only use 1/4)

1 cup long grain brown rice

1 cup red lentils (I used brown)

1 cinnamon stick

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees

In a large deep baking pan ( I used my cast iron skillet), toss onion rings in oil and roast for 25 – 30 min stirring often until golden brown and a little crisp, some burnt ones are okay too.  When done, remove from oven and set aside.

Boil 4 cups of water, add rice and spices, bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cover for 15 min. Add lentils and return to a boil, reduce to simmer and cover cooking for 45 min. (I cooked mine about 35 and it was still a little too long, when the water is gone, turn off heat. )

It seemed a little dry to me, and I was going to stir in some vegetable stock, but my hand magicaly went to my coconut milk in the fridge so I put a couple tablespoons of that in there when it was done cooking it. I also added 1 -1 1/2 t salt and some pepper to the finished product.  This.Is.YUMMY. Liam tore it up and I had to keep myself from going back for more. Since it’s just brown rice and lentils, it is pretty calorie dense but it is soooooooooooooooooo good I almost couldn’t help myself.  I was going to braise some kale but changed my mind at the last minute and opted for a simple massaged kale salad instead.

 

Well, hope that there is something on this ridiculously long post that some of you will try and love as much as me! ❤ I hear a malbec and a book calling my name! Night! 🙂

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Ode to sloppy joes

You know those things from your child hood that, when you come across them later, your are transported back in time for a few blissful seconds? Reviling in sunburned shoulders and scraped knees, climbing trees and putting streamers on your bike handlebars. Yeah, well I had one of those moments last night! I came across Veganomicon’s recipe for snobby joes a little while ago and have been waiting for a good time to test them out. I was watching a friends son yesterday evening and couldn’t think of a better time to try them.

Mommy cooking … I desperately need more counter space 😦

Helping mommy!

One bite, and BAM!  five years old lol!  So freaking good I can’t even tell you. LOVE THESE THINGS.

I didn’t even want the celery, I just feel strange if I can’t see something green when I eat. I probably could have been a bit more creative with a side dish but … meh…

Snobby Joes from Veganomicon

1 cup uncooked lentils

4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, diced small
1 green pepper, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon salt
8 oz can tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 tablespoons maple syrup ( I used agave)
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

4 to 6 kaiser rolls or sesame buns

Directions
Put the lentils in a small sauce pot and pour in 4 cups water. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, lower heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until lentils are soft. Drain and set aside.

About 10 minutes before the lentils are done boiling, preheat a medium soup pot over medium heat. Saute the onion and pepper in the oil for about 7 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and saute a minute more.

Add the cooked lentils, the chili powder, oregano and salt and mix. Add the tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

Turn the heat off and let sit for about 10 minutes, so that the flavors can meld.

I did not even know how much I missed sloppy joes untill I ate these! So delicious! Liam ate at least one cup of it and had more today for lunch!

Being vegan for a few weeks has been awesome, although I know that this will not be something I will maintain forever. I like sushi way way way way way WAY  too much. I miss it. Also, to be propper vegan, you are not supposed to eat honey. Now, I don’t eat much honey but it is only because I like agave better ( honey is too sweet), but the reasoning behind abstaining from it isn’t something I totally agree with. Something along the lines of bees being exploited or some such thing. Here is my problem. I kill spiders. All spiders. There is no such thing as a “good spider” to me. Hate. Lets review. Spiders = evil. 🙂 So if I wage war on spiders why should I feel sorry for bees?

Even though I will eat fish, I doubt very seriously if I will ever be as big a dairy/egg girl as I used to be. I just don’t miss it. I prefer soy or almond milk, and I don’t miss cheese. (except for Brie with apples)

Anyway, enough ranting! Going to play Oblivion! ❤ Night!

Chocca-wha?

Man today has just clean worn me slick, but it was still a great day. Liam woke up quite  bit last night, and for some reason I absolutely was unable to go back to sleep all the way after 3 am. I just tossed and turned until it was time to get up. Fail!  So basically Liam and I were hobos, which is something I excel at.  This consisted of us playing with blocks, watching New Moon, and being creative in the kitchen. I was fixing my oatmeal this morning and noticed this on the side of my soy milk carton.

I … must … have. I am a little bit of a pudding whore but seriously hate the powderd kind and don’t like all the extra sugar in the snack pack kind. So basically I have done with out. But this … Oh my. Right after lunch I made some.

I wasn’t even about  to put 1/2 a cup of sugar in it though so I just added a bit of  agave, and 1.5 packets of stevia until it was sweet enough for me. Also, I am not sure why you would put butter in pudding when coconut oil is so much more yummy!  I kept forgetting to take a picture of my bowl, but I can tell you this much …..

I hated it.

Liam hates it too :-).

Happy hobo 🙂

Dinner was something I have never had before but was really fun to make. Anything that has a lot of dicing of vegetables is right up my ally. Lentil bolognaise was on the menu this evening and it was sooo yummy! This will defiantly be a repeat performer at our house. I am always trying to find new ways to fix lentils because they are so good for you, but can get boring very quickly.  I also loved how easy this recipe was, all the veggies can be prepped before hand and you can cook it just prior to serving, or you can make the whole thing and just heat it up when ready.

1tsp olive oil

3 garlic cloves minced

1 onion diced

1 shallot diced

2 stalks celery diced

1/2 bell pepper diced

1 carrot diced

1 zucchini diced

8 button mushrooms diced

1/4 c red wine

pinch dry thyme

1 14 oz can diced tomatoes strained and juice and pulp reserved separately

1 cup cooked lentils

Salt and pepper to taste

2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp sugar

whole wheat spagehtti

Brown garlic over low heat. Add all the vegetables, except the mushrooms, increase heat to medium and cook untill veggies are soft and no liquid remains. Add mushrooms.

Increase heat to high, add wine and cook about 2 min. Add thyme and juice from tomatoes, reduce by half.

Add lentils and pepper, stir in tomatoes, and cook about 3 or 4 min longer. Remove from heat, add lemon juice and sugar.  Serve over spaghetti.

Hope every one is having a great week! I’m getting in to the rest of the wine from dinner and going to bed early tonight 🙂 It’s a bath, book, tea, and wine kinda evening ❤