Kenji’s Lentil and Coconut Soup and Sweet Potato Salad

This was a fantastic meal! The soup is a slightly modified version of Serious Eats editor Kenji’s Lentil and Coconut Soup. He made this as part of his month long vegan experiment and it’s really tasty! To go with the tropical flavors, we made  a salad with sweet potatoes, mango, basil, bean sprouts and a citrus-sesame dressing.

We made a few changes to the recipe, but check out the original and Kenji’s other vegan recipes.

1 TBL olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
2 habañeros,  seeds removed, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pound dry black lentils
2.5 quarts water (or stock)
2 bay leaves
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
1 tablespoon Siracha
1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
1 tablespoon soy sauce (we used Bragg’s)
1 tsp salt

Precook the lentils in a pressure cooker (about 8 minutes) or in a pot with water. This will dramatically reduce the cooking time.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add carrots, onions, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, habañero pepper, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Add the sauteed vegetables, etc. to the lentils, bay leaves, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are completely tender and have started to break down and thicken the soup, about 30-45 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Partially puree some of the soup with a hand blender or in a standing blender to thicken. Add coconut milk, salt, cilantro, hot sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce and stir to combine. Cook another 10 minutes uncovered.

Garnish with extra cilantro.

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Spiced Green Beans and Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

For the green beans:
1 lb green beans, ends snapped off, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup tomatoes (about 2 medium), chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 tsp fresh ginger, minced
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp hot paprika
2 TBL olive oil
2 TBL water
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil and saute onions and garlic until onions are soft. Add tomatoes, ginger, spices, and water. Cover and cook about 10 minutes, until tomatoes are very soft. Add green beans and cook 20 minutes. Remove cover and cook another 5-10 minutes on low, until some of the extra liquid has evaporated.

For the sweet potatoes:
1 large sweet potato
1/2 cup spinach (frozen is fine)
1/2 cup white beans, drained
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
7-8 kalamata olives, sliced
olive oil for cooking
Earth Balance

Preheat oven to 400 F and prepare a baking sheet with foil. Cut the sweet potato in half, long-ways. Generously rub the sweet potato halves with some Earth Balance and place open-side down on the foiled baking sheet. Bake 25-30 minutes, then remove from oven. They should be very soft.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. In a pan, saute the garlic and onions in a little olive oi. Then mix in the spinach and white beans, stirring well to mash up the beans. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Let the sweet potatoes rest for a few minutes, then scoop out the insides and add to the spinach mixture. Mix very well, so that all ingredients are combined. Then carefully spoon the filling back into the potato skins. Press gently to pack all of the filling in. (If you have extras, you can bake it up in a separate container!) Top the sweet potatoes with the sliced olives. Bake an additional 20 minutes at 400.

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes, Homemade Corn Tortillas, and a Happy Face

Although many of the dishes featured here are things we make together, I want the record to state that Stef made the tortillas single-handedly. This doesn’t mean she made them using one hand, though that would be extremely impressive. It means that she made 16 delicious corn tortillas while I was “busy” at “the office.”

In case you’re wondering if she used a tortilla press, the answer is no, she used the plating method, placing the dough on a piece of parchment paper and then pressing it into a circle with a plate (using two hands). Then she fried them in a dry skillet (30 seconds on one side, flip and cook 60 seconds, flip again 30 seconds).**


Perfect for tacos!

Then we had some delicious Twice Baked Ginger Lime Sweet Potatoes. You need two hands to eat these.

Now smile!

**You may have noticed that the tortillas look a little charred, this was due the stove being too hot. We followed the instructions on several websites, but realized that for our stove the temp needed to be lower. We’re still working out the ideal temperature, but in the meantime, the tortillas taste great!**

Garlic Sweet Potato Fries with Ginger Curry Dipping Sauce

Now, back to our regularly scheduled ginger MoFo posts.

Ginger Curry Dipping Sauce
1/4 cup ketchup (we use Whole Foods brand, but feel free to make your own)
1-1.5 TBL vegan mayo (Earth Balance brand)
1 tsp German mustard
1 TBL curry powder
2 TBL fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
1 serrano pepper, chopped

Blend all ingredients together until very smooth. Simple and quick!

Garlic Sweet Potato Fries
2 lbs jewel sweet potatoes
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper
2-3 TBL olive oil
small amount of oil for baking sheet

Prehat oven to 500. Boil a large pot of water. Chop sweet potatoes into fry shapes. Par boil potatoes for about 3 minutes. Drain well. Toss potatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Make sure the sweet potatoes are well coated, add more olive oil if needed.

Prepare a baking sheet with foil and a little oil, to prevent sticking. Spread sweet potatoes on the sheet leaving room between them. Do not over crowd! Use a second baking sheet if necessary.

Bake 20 minutes, or until crisp.

Roasted curried sweet potatoes, cauliflower, and chickpeas

We copied the CopyCat Cook‘s recipe for Roasted Curried Cauliflower, and added two (local) sweet potatoes, 1 can of chickpeas, and increased the spices.

1 TBL olive oil
1.5 TBL black mustard seeds
1.5 TBL cumin seeds
1.5 TBL sambar powder (or whatever curry mix you have on hand)
¾ tsp salt
1 large head cauliflower cut into large florets
2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into 1-1.5 inch pieces
1 can chickpeas with liquid

Preheat oven to 375. Heat oil in a large dutch oven and saute the sweet potatoes for a few minutes. Mix the spices together in a small bowl. Add chickpeas with liquid and cauliflower and stir in the spices so that the vegetables are well coated.

Bake uncovered about 45 minutes, stir every 15 or so.

Serve with fresh little salad.

Sweet potato, collards and chickpea stew

Lately, we’ve been on a collards kick. And a kale kick. Basically any kind of dark leafy greens. Since it’s actually cold here this year–too cold for salad– we’ve been making a lot of stews with our greens. This stew was simple to prepare, fragrant, tasted delicious the night of and as leftovers (the next day and the next day), and makes a ton! We basically followed the recipe at allcreatures.org. I’ve posted the recipe below as we made it.

1 onion, chopped

4  garlic cloves, minced

1 bunch (fresh) collard greens, chopped

2 sweet potatoes, cubed

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

1 – 15-oz. can chickpeas, with liquid

1 – 14-oz. can diced tomatoes

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped into pieces

1 TBL cumin

1 TBL paprika

1 TBL turmeric

I pinch of cinnamon (I’d say no more than 1/4 tsp.)

1 tsp. cayenne

Salt and pepper to taste

In a large pot, saute the onions, garlic, and bell pepper until the onions are translucent about 7 minutes. Add carrots and sweet potatoes, cook another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes and chickpeas (with liquid) and bring to a boil. (***Add more water or vegetable stock if needed. The vegetables should be mostly covered by water to allow the sweet potatoes to cook properly.***) Add spices and walnuts, reduce to medium. Cook covered about 20 minutes, or until sweet potatoes are soft. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with rice.