A Beautiful Lentil Mistake: Cheezy Vegan Fried Lentils

Yesterday I was attempting to make some Red Lentil Latkes, the recipe called for some eggs and cheese, and I thought “I can make this vegan easily!” so I pulled out my Ener-G Egg Replacer and Daiya and went to town… But it turns out I couldn’t make Lentil Latkes, instead I created something amazing and did my own thing! Here’s what I got:

 

Cheezy Vegan Fried Lentils:

–       1 cup red lentils

–       3 small potatoes

–       1 small yam, peeled

–       3 vegan “eggs” (I used Ener-G Egg Replacer, but you could use any egg substitute)

–       2 heaping tbsp Veganaise

–       5 small cloves of garlic (or 3 large ones)

–       2 heaping tbsp of Ketchup

–       a few sprinkles of salt

–       pepper (as much as you like!)

–       1 tsp of cumin

–       ½ – 1 tsp of chili powder (depends how spicy you want)

–       4 green onions, chopped

–       2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional, but gives a good cheezy flavour)

–       a good drizzle of cooking oil (I used extra virgin olive)

–       ½ cup or more of Daiya Vegan Cheese (I used the cheddar)

 

Start by cooking the Lentils in a medium sauce pan with about 2 ½ cups of water and a sprinkle of salt, bring it to a boil, then stir and lower the heat to medium and cook until their tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.

While the Lentils are cooking, grate all the potatoes and yam into a large bowl, dab the potatoes with a clean towel or paper towel to remove excess moisture.

When the Lentils are done drain out the excess water and add them to the bowl (they will be hot so don’t use a plastic bowl!) and combine it all, then add all the other ingredients except the Daiya and oil, and combine well.

 Heat a large frying pan to a medium-hot temp, add the oil, and then add the whole lentil mixture. Spread it out flat on the pan and let sit for a few minutes, then stir. Repeat this 4-6 times until it starts to smell good and you can see some of the lentils getting a little crispy, then add the Daiya cheese, stir and let that melt in for 5 minutes minutes, then turn off the heat, let it cool a minute, and eat!

 Image

You can eat this just as is, have it for dinner with some veggies for a complete meal, or put it in a tortilla and make a burrito! The possibilities are endless 🙂 Enjoy!

Advertisements

You don’t need meat to get all of your essential amino acids!

If anyone tells you that you need to eat meat, they are severely mistaken. You can get all the protein you need, and then some, from things that come out of the ground, not a slaughterhouse.

The words “complete” and “incomplete” protein simply mean that a food either has equal amounts of all amino acids (complete) or has less of one or more amino acids (incomplete). It does NOT mean that any amino acid(s) is or are missing entirely from that food, just that some may be present in lower amounts. This means that to get adequate protein (all essential amino acids) from plants, you simply have to eat a variety of different plant proteins and more of them! Who doesn’t want to eat more? And NO you don’t have to make special combinations at every meal, just make sure you’re eating a variety of whole grains and the following throughout your diet:

Quinoa: Quinoa is very high in protein! It is considered one of the complete plant proteins because it contains good levels of all essential amino acids. And it also has good amounts of iron, calcium, B vitamins, and other minerals, so eat some!

Image

Sprouts: when a seed, grain, or legume is sprouted its protein content increases by 15-30%, that’s awesome! This is because during the sprouting process some of the carbohydrate component gets converted into protein. Sprouts are also richer in other nutrients so they are a very good choice, but best eaten raw! Also try sprouting at home! Check out this site.

Image

Soybeans: though they are in the legume family they deserve some special mention, they contain good levels of all amino acids and are high in protein (one of the best sources of vegan protein). It is important to make sure your soy is organic and non-GMO because unfortunately a lot of the ones grown in our world are tampered with! And yes, males can safely enjoy non-GMO soybeans as well and they will not develop breasts, that is a myth! Also my favorite way to enjoy the nourishing properties of soybeans: smoked organic tofu!

soybeans2

Peanuts: they are 20% protein! And did you know that peanuts are actually a legume, not a nut! It is best to refrigerate your peanuts to prevent them from rancidity, and getting them raw is best, or in the form of natural peanut butter (no not the Kraft brand with teddy bears on it, sorry).

peanuts

Legumes: This includes all peas and beans and lentils! These are a great protein source and are inexpensive! They are great to combine with brown rice and vegetables for a yummy dinner. Or combine them with quinoa for an even bigger protein kick!

lentils

So now you know where us vegans get our protein so you no longer have to ask! Thanks for reading 🙂

Reference: “Staying Healthy with Nutrition: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine (21st century edition)”, 2006, by Elson M. Haas, MD. with Buck Levin, PhD, RD. 

My top 6 Core Exercises!

No more crunches! Do these 6 exercises to work all of your abdominal muscles and get a strong, sexy core! A strong core is the foundation to a strong and healthy, active body. So if you’ve never done strength training, do these 6 exercises to get your body ready! Don’t forget to drink water and refuel with a yummy, healthy vegan meal like one of these ( Creamy Coconut & Date Oatmeal, Brown Rice Stew)

#1: Single Legged Plank

Perform on each leg, holding for at least 10 seconds, with the lifted foot flexed and your glutes tight, increase time as you improve.

IMG_5968

#2: Side Plank

Make sure your wrist is below your shoulder, hold your hips up for atleast 10 seconds, increasing each time. Repeat on other side for same time.

Image

#3: Single Legged Side Plank

This one is my favorite because it also works the inner thighs which are a hard to target area! Make sure you keep those hips up and keep the foot planted, Hold for as long as you can (with good form) and repeat on the other side.

Image

#4: Single Leg Raises

Start with both legs at 90 degrees and abs engaged, pulling your belly button to the floor with your head on the ground, inhale as you lower one leg, exhale as you bring it back up to 90, repeat with the other leg.Thats one rep, do as many as you can until it burns!  Breathing is important! A strong exhale as you raise your leg engages the core more!

Image

#5: Cat Plank

I am not sure what this position is really called, but I think this name is suitable. Essentially like a regular plank, but your legs are bent and your knees are off the ground! Hover with your knees just an inch off the ground and hold for as long as you can, keeping a strong and straight back.

Image

#6: Reverse Plank

We can’t forget about our back! Our “core” is not exclusive to the front of the body. This move helps strengthen the whole backside, make sure your feet are pointed and turned out (you’ll want a soft surface for this) and your butt is clenched! Try to keep your neck straight, looking up and not at your toes. Hold for as long as you can!

IMG_5991

Repeat this whole sequence 3 times for an awesome total core workout, perfect for pairing with a cardio, such as my 10 minute calorie scorcher one here (click this link) for when you are short on time.

The fantastic thing about all of these exercises is that most of the muscles in the body are acting as stabilizers, so your not just working your core! You will notice that  your shoulders and triceps may feel a bit tired after all of these planks, and thats the bonus! Who doesn’t want nice, toned arms and shoulders?