Lentil Sweet Potato Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette & Crispy Shallots

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I’ve been staying with my parents this week while Ben is in London. You know, quality family time. Aside from getting into fights with my mom à la 16-year-old me (she thinks I’m a messy cook and don’t know how to do my own laundry, I think she pesters me too much), it’s been really nice. One thing that’s been great is having unbridled access to the pantry and cooking whatever the FLIP I want without having to do any grocery shopping (sorry, Mom). Also, wine. Endless wine.

This week something else of note is happening: the Virtual Vegan Potluck! I’m new to this, but it’s basically a bunch of vegan bloggers who get together to throw down and share mad vegan recipes so that you end up with drool all over your keyboard. What’s not to like? You can start over at Vegan Miam, who leads off the appetizer course, then click allll the way through the many lovely recipes to dessert. The featured ingredients are citrus fruits, so obviously I had to make the ill grapefruit vinaigrette I’ve been making like it’s my bidnass for weeks. This is one of my real go-to dishes when I don’t feel like cooking but want something hearty and delicious. I doubled the recipe you see listed below specifically so that I can eat this for the whole weekend and into next week. Maybe I’ll even share it with my parents (if they’re lucky).

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Lentil Sweet Potato Salad with Grapefruit Vinaigrette & Crispy Shallots

  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable stock or water
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 2 cups green lentils
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 small sweet potatoes or 2 large, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 shallot, peeled and sliced into 1/8″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbs olive oil + a bit more for sweet potatoes
  • 2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbs maple syrup or honey
  • 2 Tbs dijon mustard
  • 1-2 wedges of grapefruit
  • 1/4 cup dried cranberries
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1. In a medium pot, combine the vegetable stock and white wine, then bring to a boil. Add the lentils, reduce heat to low, cover with a lid and simmer until tender and the liquid is almost absorbed, about 35 to 40 mins.

2. In the mean time, preheat oven to 400* and toss the sweet potato pieces lightly in olive oil. Spread on a cookie sheet and roast for 20-25 minutes, or until tender. Remove and set aside.

3. Combine the olive oil, balsamic, maple syrup, dijon mustard, and juice of the grapefruit in a bowl and whisk well. In a large bowl, combine the lentils, roasted sweet potato, dried cranberries, and the dressing. Toss well.

4. Add the vegetable oil to a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and cooking, stirring, until lightly browned. Pour over a strainer and save the oil if desired. Allow the shallots to cool, then toss with the lentil salad. Serve room temperature or warm.

GO BACK or GO FORWARD

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Dark Chocolate Chip, Oat, Hemp cookies (& a giveaway)

This week I saw someone post a list of reasons why people don’t stay vegan or vegetarian after they’ve tried it. In a study of former vegan and vegetarians, 63% of people said they did not like that a plant-based diet made them stick out in the crowd and 84% said that they were not actively involved in vegan/vegetarian groups or organizations, like potlucks or online communities. I feel fortunate to have found a fantastic online community of people committed to eating a plant-based diet (for reasons ranging from health to environment to animal welfare) and generally kickin’ butt! I find it incredibly valuable to use this community to find new recipes, learn more about nutrition from experts, and learn tricks for being vegan in the wild. Emily von Euw is one of the leaders of this online movement with her blog, This Rawsome Vegan Life.

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Last time Emily put out a book I was psyched when it showed up on my doorstep (like, eating-pizza-in-bed-while-wearing-footie-pajamas psyched). That woman knows how to take fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, spices, and natural sweeteners and turn them into things of absolute beauty! Here is one of the recipes from her new book, 100 Best Juices, Smoothies & Healthy Snacks: Recipes For Natural Energy & Weight Control the Easy & Healthy Way.

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Dark Chocolate Chip, Oat, Hemp Cookies

Printed with permission of Page St. Publishing

Chocolate

2 Tbs (42 g) cacao powder

2 Tbs (27 g) melted coconut oil

1 Tbs (21 g) coconut nectar (I used agave!)

Cookies

2 cups (222 g) cashews

1/4 cup (108 g) hemp seeds

1 cup (81 g) oats

1/4 cup (85 g) coconut nectar

1/4 cup (55 g) melted coconut oil

pinch of Himalayan salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

 

To make the chocolate, whisk all the ingredients together until smooth. Pour into the bottom of a pan or on a plate and put in the freezer for 20 minutes or until solid, then cut or break apart into chocolate chip sized pieces.

To make the cookies, pulse the cashews and hemp seeds into powder in a food processor then add the rest of the ingredients and process until it all sticks together. Break up in a large bowl, then add the chocolate chips and mix everything together with your hands. Roll into cookies, or use an ice cream scoop. Drizzle with more chocolate if desired.

NOW THE EXCITING PART!

I’ve got a copy of Emily new book (released tomorrow!) to give away. Enter HERE!

 

You can, of course, buy the book too. Check it out on Amazon!

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Miso-Ginger Eggplant with Thai Basil

In the four years I’ve been writing this blog it’s existed in a number of forms and designs (some more unfortunate than others) and has been hosted by three different hosting services. These days it looks baller (gotta give a yearly shout out to Pati and Tyler!), but one caveat of switching the hosting around a couple times is that some recipes got lost in the fray. Here is a recipe one of my college roommates, May, first made two years ago and I’ve made a dozen times since. It’s simple, but it tastes complicated (à la Avril Lavigne) and is perfect over a bed of brown rice or eaten straight out of the bowl.

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Miso, thai basil, and Japanese eggplant should be available at an Asian grocer, if not at your normal grocery store. The dressing is sooooo garlicky and savory and I’m JUST SAYING you might want to make a double recipe. Go out of your way to get these ingredients. It’s worth it.

Miso-Ginger Eggplant with Thai Basil

  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • handful of sliced basil (thai)
  • 1/2 teaspoon miso
  • splash of grapeseed oil (or other neutral oil)
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ginger, minced
  • 1 Japanese eggplant (or 1 small regular eggplant)

Preheat the oven to broil.

1. In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients except the eggplant and stir well.

2. Slice the eggplant lengthwise and soak in cold water for 5-10 minutes. Place on a baking sheet and brush lightly with oil. Broil for 3-5 minutes each side. Remove from the oven, slice, then toss with the dressing. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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