I’ve been neglecting this space lately, not giving it the attention it so deserves. The funny thing is, I’ve been cooking and rediscovering food and photography with renewed fervency, I just can’t seem to translate the passion on to this spot.
I have so many stories and discoveries to share – it’s a little overwhelming and I probably need to figure out how to take it one step at a time, just like the way I’ve learned with cooking… one ingredient at a time
I put off finishing this post and spent the last few days in New York – eating and exploring, it’s a city that never fails to thrill, and I always come back inspired and rejuvenated, albeit with deep longing to remain there.
Then I got home and returned to this meal, this old thing that I’ve made about million times, and suddenly it looks fresher, like I could make it a million more times and it’ll be different each time.
I’ve been exploring spices lately; in this spiced quinoa and lentils, I tried pungent mustard seeds and warming cumin and coriander seeds with lots of red onions and finished it off with cooling mint.
I make this quinoa and lentil combination quite often, variations of it, usually when I don’t have time for a proper meal, it’s an easy, one-pot dish, nutritionally dense and filling, I love the earthy and nutty flavours and quinoa is such a great substitute for rice.
It’s a protein, fiber and whole grain powerhouse and it’s comforting.
The mustard, coriander and cumin seeds are at their best here; they enrich the warm savoury flavours of the lentils and quinoa, and something magical happens when you combine lentils and onions in olive oil – it’s beyond delicious
This is an easy favourite, very satisfying with plenty of leftovers to come home to.
Spicy Quinoa and Lentils
- 2 cups quinoa
- 1 cup lentils
- 3 1/2 – 4 cups water (I like mine firmer so I use just about 3)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- Pinch of salt to taste
- 1 – 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 1 red onion, sliced
- 1/4 cup oil-packed sundried tomatoes, drained of oil and sliced
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or less/more as desired)
- Salt to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped mint
- Rinse quinoa and lentils thoroughly and combine in a saucepan, add water, coconut oil and salt to taste
- Bring to a boil over medium heat, then lower and let simmer until cooked and liquid is absorbed, fluff with a fork and set aside
- Alternatively, combine rinsed quinoa and lentils, with water, coconut oil and salt and add to rice cooker. Stir and set to cook, fluff with a fork when done and set aside
- Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a large saucepan or skillet
- When oil is hot, add mustard, coriander and cumin seeds
- Stir and cook for about a minute or so until spices are fragrant and mustard seeds start popping
- Add garlic and onions and cook for 2 – 3 minutes until onions are softened
- Add sundried tomatoes, crushed pepper and salt and let cook for another minute
- Add quinoa and lentils and toss with the rest of the ingredients, cook for an additional 2 minutes
- Check seasoning and add salt to taste
- Turn off heat and add chopped mint just before serving
- Serve garnished with nuts, mint and some freshly ground black pepper