Chickpea and Spinach Couscous (Vegan, Quick & Easy)

This is a dish that is on my ‘I have nothing in the fridge’ or ‘I have no time to cook‘ or ‘I want something healthy that my kid will love‘ recipe roster.  It’s something that I have been cooking for years and is still a family favourite.  I love the simplicity of it, and the versatility.  If you don’t have chickpeas, go ahead and use white navy beans or kidney beans.  If you don’t have spinach, use collard greens or kale.  Like I said, I’ve been making variations of this dish for a really long time, and it always works. 🙂

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

You’ll love how quick this will be on your dinner table.  It’s ready in 25 minutes and devoured even quicker!  Since we’re looking to making this quick, we are using canned tomatoes and chickpeas.  Of course, if you have more time, by all means use fresh tomatoes and dried chickpeas.  Otherwise, it’s best to choose organic canned tomatoes.  If you’re new to vegetarianism or eating plant-based, or even looking to simply add more plant-based meals to your dinner menu, this is a super easy and delicious meal that will deliver!

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

Chickpea and Spinach Couscous

Ingredients

  • 1 cup couscous (preferable whole wheat)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon Hungarian paprika
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice (preferably organic)
  • 2 cups baby spinach, washed
  • 1 can (400 grams) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • ¼ cup cashews, lightly toasted

Instructions

  1. Bring a small pot of water to a boil, add your couscous, cover the pot and turn off the heat. Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Remove lid, fluff up the couscous using a fork. Set aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium heat, heat the olive oil. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onion is translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add cumin, coriander, salt, pepper, paprika and lemon. Stir. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Add spinach and chickpeas. Stir, allowing the spinach to wilt. Taste, and adjust any seasonings if needed. In the meantime, lightly toast the cashews in a small pan on the stove top. Spread your nuts out in an even layer and heat over medium, shaking often – don't overcrowd your nuts. Keep stirring or shaking for about 5 minutes, or until nuts are fragrant and browned.
  4. To serve, spoon the couscous into a shallow bowl, then spoon the chickpea and spinach mix overtop. Top with toasted cashews.
  5. Enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/22/chickpea-and-spinach-couscous-vegan-quick-easy/

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

vegan chickpea and spinach couscous

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sophia

Mint Chip Milkshake (Vegan, GF)

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

I do believe I just made the drink of my childhood dreams.  My all time favourite icecream flavour has always been mint chocolate chip, and today, it’s my son’s favourite as well.  He never, ever gets anything different, it’s mint chip all.the.time.  I was also a huge fan of milkshakes growing up (who wasn’t??) and thought of combining these two delicious childhood favourites into one leaner, greener drink.  

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I had so much fun making this and photograpphing it.  It was really hard not to take sips of it, but then I finally sat and enjoyed my awesome milkshake on the porch with a huge grin on my face.

There’s no artifical colour here, the beautiful green colour comes from healthy baby spinach.  The flavour has the perfect amount of mint, and you can top your milkshake with chocolate chips like I did, or cacao nibs for a less sweet, more bitter flavour.

Vegan Mint Chocolate Chip Milkshake

Mint Chip Milkshake

Yield: 1 large milkshake

Ingredients

  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup baby spinach
  • 1 large frozen banana
  • handful of fresh mint leaves, stems removed (about 10-15 sprigs)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon pure peppermint extract
  • 1 tablespoon vegan chocolate chips for garnish

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients except for the chocolate chips into a blender. Blend until smooth. Pour into a chilled glass and garnish with chocolate chips. Enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/05/mint-chip-milkshake-vegan-gf/

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sophia

Greek Lentil Salad

Greek Lentil Salad

Being Greek, I guess you can imagine I’ve had my fair share of Greek salads growing up.  I always loved the combination of fresh tomatoes, crunchy cucumbers, salty olives and creamy feta.  It’s a staple at my mom’s house even today.  Today I am giving this classic salad a twist, and combining it with lentils.  This boosts the protein content, and makes it a filling meal for lunch or dinner.

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This meal went over really well with my son as well.  It’s funny, he started eating olives as a toddler and I found it a strange liking for a boy his age.  My father is from Kalamata, and he still has family living there, including his brother.  To this day, my family in Greece grows Kalamata olives and ships them to Canada for us.  We are so spoiled, because seriously, I have never tasted better quality cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil.  We love drizzling it on fresh vegetable salads!

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This is a great summer salad that is really simple to whip up.  If you’re really short on time, you can use organic canned lentils instead of dried. It is essential, however, that you use fresh herbs! It gives great flavour to the feta and the rest of the salad.  I used garden oregano here, as my little garden is GROWING! Woohoo!

 You can also easily veganize this salad by either omitting the feta or making a plant-based feta such as this one from Happy Herbivore.

Greek Lentil Salad

Yield: 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 cup du Puy lentils
  • 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 English cucumber, sliced then halved
  • 1/2 cup kalamata olives, halved and pitted
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 8 ounces organic feta cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Instructions

  1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with 4 cups of water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 20 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Strain and set aside to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine tomatoes, cucumber, olives, oregano, feta, salt, pepper, and cooled lentils. Top with olive oil. Stir gently to combine.
  3. Place in the refrigerator to chill before serving.
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/06/04/greek-lentil-salad/

Greek Lentil Salad

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Potato & Grilled Corn Salad with Fresh Dill

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Summer is pretty much in full swing in most parts, which means picnics, family bike rides, BBQs, and lots of dinners on the patio.  A popular summer salad which I was never really able to get behind is the traditional potato salad.  I just find it too heavy with mayo and much too creamy for my liking.  I do, however, love the idea of grilled corn, fresh dill and tangy mustard in my potato salad, and that’s just what I did to recreate this classic dish.  IMG_5441-2 We just planted our vegetable and herb garden last weekend.  I get so excited about this every year, digging up the dirt for our baby plants with my husband and nurturing them in the early mornings.  It’s such an amazing thing to do if you have the green space.  I really really do not have a green thumb (as my indoor plants can attest to), and we’ve had success every summer over the last three years.  If I can do it, you can, too. 🙂 This year we planted red and yellow cherry tomatoes, big beef tomatoes, Lebanese cucumbers, jalapeños, purple and red bell peppers, and romaine hearts.  In our herb garden we have chives, basil, thai basil, oregano, cilantro, and fresh dill.  There’s really no better feeling than going right into your backyard to cut fresh herbs at the moment you need them.  So, that’s what I did for this salad, and coming from a potato salad loving hubby, this statement was a big one: “This is the best potato salad I’ve ever had. Totally. The best.” 🙂 vegan potato salad

Potato & Grilled Corn Salad with Fresh Dill

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: Makes 6-8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 organic cobs of corn, husked
  • 2 pounds small white potatoes, washed
  • 3 green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Instructions

  1. Place corn on grill over medium-high heat. Grill until tender and slightly charred, about 10 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat, let cool slightly before handling, then cut off kernels using a sharp knife. Place into a large bowl.
  3. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the potatoes until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and slice in half. Add to the bowl of corn, along with green onions, mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and dill. Toss all to combine well.
  4. Serve and enjoy!
http://loveandlentils.com/2014/05/30/potato-grilled-corn-salad-with-fresh-dill/

This recipe makes for excellent leftovers, and it’s so easy to whip up to bring along to a lunch or dinner party.  It won’t leave anyone feeling weighed down by heavy mayo, and you can proudly say it’s vegan! If you’re new to Love and Lentils, hello 🙂 and thank you for being here – feel free to join me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter! Thanks so much for reading, sophia   

Very Berry Raw Pie – Guest Post on Girl Eats Greens

I don’t know why, but I was always a little apprehensive about raw baking.  I thought it would be complicated, time-consuming and that I wouldn’t really wow anyone with my creation.  Then I started seeing so many mouth-watering recipes online, which not only looked delectable, but were also so much healthier than a typical dessert.  So, this past Easter, I decided to challenge myself and make a raw pie to serve as dessert for our family.  My father-in-law, who tells it as it is, went crazy over this pie! He had seconds, and thirds.  The pie plate was practically licked clean, and I was super proud to say that it was completely raw, and sugar-free.  Between you and me, it was also SO easy to make.  No baking, nothing you can possibly overcook or burn, not time-consuming, and no crazy kitchen tools required.

Very Berry Raw Pie

So, this recipe became a keeper, and I made it again and again for more friends and family.  It’s really one of those crowd pleasing desserts.  You’ve gotta give it a try!

Today I am sharing the recipe over at Girl Eats Greens.  Jamie, the one behind the blog, is off on an amazing adventure in Southeast Asia.  If you’ve never checked out Girl Eats Greens, I encourage you to – Jamie shares delicious vegan recipes and she is a very talented photographer.   Jamie got in touch with me to guest post while she’s away, and I couldn’t be happier to help her out and share this Very Berry Raw Pie with all her readers and of course, you. 🙂

So head on over, and do tell me what you think! 

Very Berry Raw Pie