I have had a hiatus. It was supposed to be a two week hiatus – a little break to free up my crammed evenings. It turned into almost two and a half years! I have still been cooking; new recipes, old recipes. Some I’ve been keen to share, but I just didn’t have the momentum.
Then, things changed. Two things fell into place: a holiday, and a new outlook on food.
The holiday has left me with spare time I didn’t have before, and the new outlook came from watching a documentary called What The Health. A brief scour of the net tells us that, as with anything, the facts may not be entirely as presented in this documentary. However, it left me thinking that a plant based diet may be a good thing to try for a while, to see if there are any individual benefits for us.
I struggled though – where are the exciting, inventive vegan recipes? I’m not talking about making a chocolate cake from avocado, I’m talking about something quick, tasty and nourishing to fill you up on a week night. So, I decided to come back to log, mainly for myself, my plant based recipes. I’m hoping to aim for two a week – if I fall off the blogging wagon again, feel free to throw me back on it!
A couple of caveats – I’m aiming for plant based, not vegan, so there may be bits and pieces you’re not happy with if you’re vegan (check the ingredients list). Secondly, I’m not envisaging this to be an all consuming diet and I’m sure I’ll move away from it sometimes. We’ll see how it goes- this is the very beginning!
I have called this recipe a chilli for want of a better word although it has no spice (you could add some though); it is smoky and satisfying and very very easy!
Lentil Chilli with Roasted Sweet Potatoes
4 large sweet potatoes
3tbsp olive oil
400g chestnut mushrooms
2 x 250g packets of ready to eat lentils
2tsp smoked paprika
1tep dried oregano
2tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1. Put the sweet potatoes in a bag and pour over 2 tbsp of the oil. Add a generous pinch of salt and rub them well to make sure they’re coated. Tip onto a baking tray and slice a cross into the top of each one with a sharp knife. Put in the oven at 180 degrees for an hour (or longer – the longer the better in my opinion). They’re done when a knife cuts through them easily.
2. For the chilli, finely chop the onion. Heat the remaining oil in a saucepan and add the onion, stirring, for two minutes.
3. Chop the mushrooms into chunks and add to the pan. Leave to cook until they are starting to turn golden.
4. Add the passata, lentils, smoked paprika and oregano. Cook gently for 5-10 minutes, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Just before you are about to eat, add the chopped parsley to the chilli. Slice the sweet potatoes and dollop the chilli on top. We also had a spoonful of vio life vegan cream cheese on top for a little creaminess, but this is optional.