Lebanese style rice and lentils is one of those unassuming, simple meals that delivers a lot of comfort, flavour and sustenance.
My recipe was inspired by the real deal - the much loved Lebanese dish, Mujadara. There are variations of it found throughout the Middle East, but the fundamental elements are always basmati rice and lentils, cooked together with aromatic spices, and served with a generous layer of caramelised onions on top. Sometimes other toppings are added. Creamy sauces like Hummus, or Tahini sauce, go wonderfully. Pomegranate molasses can be drizzled over it, or fresh Pomegranate seeds. My version calls for fried pine nuts, fresh herbs and currants, but it's more a suggestion than a rule.
It's the perfect simple meal on its own, or as a side with other dishes like shawarma chicken, falafel, roasted eggplant, salads and pita bread. Leftovers make excellent patties which are perfect for a veggie burger! (See in Pimp My Recipe for instructions).
Greater than the sum of its simple parts, this vegan-friendly, kid-friendly, quick as a flash to make soup may well become a staple for your midweek dinner or weekend lunch.
I use red lentils as they're quick to prepare for starters: no soaking, and they cook in just 10 minutes making them a favourite with many of our customers. Another factor in their popularity is flavour - they're milder and sweeter than other varieties of lentils, making them suitable to a broader palate.
The addition of garlic, turmeric and ginger makes this a practically weaponised bowl of goodness as we head into the colder months, while the lemon and gremolata give it an unexpected twist and a fresh, light sparkle for your taste buds.
When I decided to focus on TVP for this newsletter, I knew what recipe I wanted to cook with it: Vegan Bolognese.
Myself and my colleague Kellie both do a different version of vegan bolognese. Kellie uses TVP, while I use lentils and walnuts. At the risk of causing a bitter divide by choosing one recipe over the other, I experimented and discovered that a combination of both recipes was just the best darn vegan bolognese I've ever tasted.
And here it is. A really excellent, convincing, rich, hearty bolognese sauce that will be loved by vegans and carnivores alike.
From Hetty McKinnon's Provençal Grain Salad & Ottolenghi's Farro Salad to the ever popular Cypriot salad, we Sydney folk sure love robust, earthy and vibrant dishes. Our Village Feast Salad is our take on this popular dish. What I love about it is that it's a meal in itself - no need to make anything to go with it! And it can easily be adapted to feed a crowd.
With the holiday season upon us, this is just the kind of salad to have up your sleeve. Featuring many pantry staples we all often have on hand, it makes for excellent leftovers and leaves wiggle room for creativity and putting your own spin on it. We encourage you to tweak it to make it yours.
The idea for this dahl came to me on a sticky, 38°c summer day. The kids had requested dahl for dinner and the thought of a bowl of hot food didn't fill me with joy. I thought of ways I could rejig the ingredients and flavour profile of a traditional dahl to better suit both the weather as well us Sydneysiders' love of zesty flavours; casual meals that are simple, fresh and nourishing to boot.
The result is a dish that ticks many important boxes: it's family friendly, costs only a few cents per serve, is simple and quick to prepare, and adaptable for different palates and weather.
In the warmer months, serve this dish at room temp and garnish with coconut, mango, yoghurt and all things summer.
In winter, add an extra cup or 2 of stock, serve hot and top with chutney for a soupy hug in a bowl.
We hope you enjoy our adaptation of a family favourite!