Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf

The title should be even longer.  Roasted Sweet Potato Lentil-Quinoa Pilaf with Chili-Maple Vinaigrette.  But that’s a mouthful, right? I just want to mention every amazing flavour in this dish!

Sweet Potato Lentil Quinoa Pilaf - Vegan

So, January is almost over…how is your quest for healthy living going?  I, for one, am really focusing on eating the foods which will help me deal with my condition, PCOS.  I don’t want to bore you with a huge science lesson, but basically, this is a condition for which there is no cure.  The only treatment is medication or diet, or a combination of both.  I have chosen to work solely with my diet, and so far, so good.  The thing is, I am to avoid processed foods, wheat, sugar, and dairy (the most important ones).  Foods which cause inflammation are to be completely avoided.  Foods with a high Glycemic Index which contribute to type 2 Diabetes, also need to be kept off your plate because people living with PCOS are at higher risk for developing type 2 Diabetes in their lifetime.   I find the hardest one to really abstain from is sugar, but that’s only because it’s so darn addictive.  Like, truly, physically addictive.  So, I focused on eliminating it completely over the last two weeks, and, luckily – there are dates.  Nature’s candy.  To the rescue! 🙂  What does a PCOS diet consist of?  Lots of fruit and vegetables that are low in GI, beans, nuts, legumes, tofu, brown rice, whole grains, lots of high fiber foods, and good fats like avocado and nut butters.

So, all this has led to even bigger plates of veggies and whole grains, and truly, I know this is how I am supposed to eat.  I feel much better.  Less bloated.  My skin feels better.  I feel like I am exactly where I need to be.  If PCOS is something you are also living with, do feel free to share your experiences!  I am happy to discuss it with whoever is interested. 🙂 [Read more…]

Forelle Pear Green Smoothie

I could bet that today, four days after New Year’s, millions of people are starting their day off with a green smoothie of some sort.  Green smoothies are always associated with cleanses or detox or optimal health, but you know what, they can also be darn delicious.  Today I am sharing a very kid-friendly green smoothie that is sweet and fruity, and although green, no weird flavours here.

green smoothie with pear and apple

I used forelle pears for this smoothie, as they are cute and adorable and bite-size.  Okay fine, not only because of that, also they are quite sweet and have a bit of a cinammon spice flavour making them perfect for kid-friendly snacks or smoothies.  This variety is only available from about September until December.  I call this smoothie my winter blend; because of the pear variety and also because it’s not a freezing cold drink.  If you want to make it colder, go ahead and add a few ice cubes.

This smoothie is so easy to whip up and makes for a great addition to your healthy eating goals.  Let’s get blending.

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Forelle Pear Green Smoothie

Yield: 1 large smoothie

Ingredients

  • 1 cup plain almond milk
  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 forelle pear (or any small pear will do)
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1/2 a small apple (I used gala)
  • 1 medjool date, pitted

Instructions

  1. Add all of the ingredients into your blender and blend at high speed until smooth.
http://loveandlentils.com/2015/01/04/forelle-pear-green-smoothie/

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green smoothie with pear and apple

I hope you all have a relaxing Sunday and if you aren’t already obsessed with Instagram, come join the fun.  Follow me here! 🙂

sophia

Summer Chickpea Salad with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette

Summer Chickpea Salad 

Hello all!  I hope you have been enjoying your summer.  It’s been beautiful in Montreal, and with the summer season being so short, I’ve been spending much less time behind the computer screen and more time camping, picnicking, playing in the park, and running through sprinklers with my boy.  So I hope you understand my slight absence from here. 🙂  And I hope you’ve been eating great nonetheless!  We just came back from a week of camping (and a bit of indulging on vegan sausages and campfire marhsmallows) so we’re back on track and feeling great – energizing with green smoothies and plant-based, whole meals.  When we returned, my chive blossom vinegar that I’ve been working on was vibrant, aromatic and ready to be used!  If you’ve been following along on Instagram, you’ve probably seen the life cycle of the vinegar, starting off with chive flowers from the garden mixed with white wine vinegar and canned for a couple of weeks. The process is so simple, and then you are left with a delicious vinegar to add to your summer salads.  I just love the colour so much, too!

The first salad the chive blossom vinaigrette was paired with is this summer chickpea salad.  It’s probably one of the easiest salads you can whip up, and the ingredients are filled with protein and nutrients.  My son would not stop saying how delicious it was, so when your five year old is happy, I think it’s worth sharing. 🙂

I’ll get straight to the vinegar recipe, and then the chickpea salad recipe below.  Enjoy, everyone, and have a happy Monday. 

I also wanted to mention that I have a great giveaway coming up for a bag of Organic Matcha Green Tea Powder by Kiss Me Organics.  I just received mine and I’ve been busy making smoothies and such and they were very generous in offering one lucky ready a free bag and free shipping as well (it’s sold exclusively on Amazon).  So, come back soon. 🙂

Thank you for reading,

Sophia xx

Chive Blossom Vinegar IMG_5850 IMG_6501

Chive Blossom Vinegar
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups chive blossoms, stems discarded
  2. 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
Instructions
  1. Place the flowers in a large bowl of cold water and swish them around to remove any dirt or bugs. Pour the flowers into a colander and strain the excess water.
  2. Place the flowers into a mason jar. Pour the vinegar into the jar just enough to submerge the flowers. Place a small piece of parchment paper over the jar, then close the jar with the lid. You don't want the vinegar to come in contact with the metal as it will change the flavour of your vinegar.
  3. Allow the vinegar to steep for a minimum of 2 weeks, the longer the better. (The one pictured here was steeped for 1 month). Place the jar in a cool, dark place and allow it to brew.
  4. When the vinegar has brewed, pour it through a fine sieve into a glass bottle, and discard the flowers.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
 Summer Chickpea Salad

Summer Chickpea Salad with Chive Blossom Vinaigrette
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Ingredients
  1. 1 - 19oz can organic chickpeas
  2. 4 lebanese cucumbers - chopped
  3. 2 small red bell peppers - chopped
  4. 1 tablespoon fresh dill
  5. 1 tablespoon shelled hemp seeds
  6. 1/4 cup pepita seeds
  7. Vinaigrette
  8. 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  9. juice of half a lemon
  10. 4 tablespoons chive blossom vinegar (see recipe in post above)
  11. 1 tablespoon agave nectar
  12. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  13. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Instructions
  1. Pour all ingredients into a jar, cover, and shake vigorously to combine all ingredients.
Love and Lentils http://loveandlentils.com/
Summer Chickpea Salad

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

If you’re new to Love and Lentils, I’d love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

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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