Thursday, 24 April 2014

Neapolitan Breakfast Dahl





I can't wait for summer. Seriously, no more stupid essays, no more deadlines, just music and fun. And weather warm enough to eat ice-cream in, that would be nice too. Not that its been cold recently, in fact its been lovely, but still not ice-cream weather, not for me anyway. I have to be BOILING in order to want ice-cream. Sometimes I burst into the flat after walking up the hill like "I NEED something cold!" then five seconds later after I've taken my shoes off the craving's gone.

Ah well. Nothing to say I can't recreate ice-cream flavours even if I can't/won't recreate their coldness. This one seems to have been going around a lot lately.

I tried two versions of this, one with banana, one with liquid sweetener. It's true that you can definitely taste the banana, but it's not overpowering, and I definitely prefer it - but both versions are nice! Another alternative would be to do "overnight lentils", adding a pureed date into the cooked lentils and leaving it to sit overnight before adding other ingredients. I've used this method to sweeten other banana-less dahls before and think it would work really well. If anyone tries this, let me know!


Neapolitan Breakfast Dahl

by Shonalika Tilak

Cook Time: 15-20mins

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1/4 cup dry red split lentils
  • 1/4 cup water (freshly boiled from a kettle will increase cooking speed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 banana (45-50g) (Optional, can replace with sweetener of choice)
  • 2-3 strawberries (50g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/16 tsp salt

Instructions

1. Measure out lentils and rinse very thoroughly. (This can be easily done in the cooking pot itself.)

2. Add water and milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and keep partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. While lentils are cooking, puree strawberries. (If using an immersion blender, it helps to chop them up a bit first.)

4. Mash banana thoroughly and add to lentils.

5. Add salt and vanilla.

6. Get out a bowl and transfer 1/3 dahl into it. Stir your cocoa powder into this.

7. Get out another bowl and transfer 1/3 dahl into it. Stir your strawberry puree into this one.

8. Add a little extra vanilla to the third remaining in the pot.

9. Layer up all fancy like, or just splatter the whole lot into a bowl alongside one another, along with any additional toppings (eg. peanut butter, nuts, coconut). Enjoy.

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Saturday, 19 April 2014

Honey Nut Dahl with Apples




I made this recipe, then realised it wasn't vegan. I proceeded to sit on it for a few days, occasionally pondering the issue in-between worrying about college assignments. I was rather poignantly reminded about it yesterday when a bee flew into my high-ceilinged flat, causing me to watch it, waiting for it to get tired enough to settle down somewhere, before I could pounce on it and put it on the windowsill. It looked as if it might be too tired to fly, as I watched it from behind the glass, but after a few moments of appearing to come back to life it lifted its wings, was easily caught up by the light summer breeze, and carried on its way.


And I got back to writing my post. I got a little too into it, in fact, and ended up with a short article explaining my personal views on honey. If you're interested, you can read it here.      

May I suggest, if you make this recipe, that you use locally sourced honey from a trusted apiary - or use it as an opportunity to try out some honey alternatives? Aside from agave or maple, there are other sweeteners available specifically designed to mimic honey - and I'd love to hear from people who have tried them, as I've yet to do so myself.


Honey Nut Dahl with Apples

by Shonalika Tilak
Cook Time: 15-20 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
  • 1/4 cup dry red split lentils
  • 1/4 cup water (freshly boiled from a kettle will increase cooking speed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 apple
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsbp peanut butter
  • Honey/vegan alternative
Instructions
1. Measure out lentils and rinse very thoroughly. (This can be easily done in the cooking pot itself.)
2. Add water and milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and keep partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add salt and vanilla.
5. Dice apple and add. (I prefer it just "warmed," as opposed to properly cooked - if you prefer softer apple, add earlier.)
6. Drop in your peanut butter in globs, or stir in.
7. Transfer to a bowl, top with honey/vegan alternative and enjoy.
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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

PB&J Breakfast Dahl




If there's one thing I can't stand, its wasting food. And yet I've just been struggling to come up with ways to make sure I don't do that, because my flat is flooded with strawberries.

The stall down the road was selling them off cheaply to get rid of them before they went bad. I said I'd like some strawberries and just got HANDED two punnets instead of one. Its not like I even had a choice in the matter.

I've been dumping them into my breakfast every morning, but even then, for me, excess strawberries pose a problem, because I can't stand the texture of them cooked. Since I only use them as a topping, I use fewer of them than I would with any other berry. That, coupled with the fact that I'm currently living alone and can't count on someone else eating them for me, means I've been pushed to actually make things with the strawberries rather than just eat them whole.

One of those things was this lovely strawberry-chia jam, created by Emma over at Coconut and Berries. (Full recipe here.)

I don't eat jam on a regular basis, so this porridge was a chance novelty. I wasn't even sure I was going to like it - my only memory of PB&J as a child was being given it, once, in a sandwich, by my American aunt. I thought it was disgusting, which is interesting considering the number of people for which its a childhood favourite... I guess its all just to do with what you're used to.

Although the only other times I've tried the combination since then I still didn't like it, I was willing to give it a second try as breakfast dahl - and I'm glad I did! This recipe is a delightful mix of nutty and fruity-sweet.



It's probably a good thing I don't often have uses for jam, because I ate more than double the amount pictured.




PB&J Breakfast Dahl

by Shonalika Tilak
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 15-20 mins
Ingredients (1 serving)
  • 1/4 cup dry red split lentils
  • 1/4 cup water (freshly boiled from a kettle will increase cooking speed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 banana (45-50g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • 1-2 tsbp peanut butter
  • Jam of choice (I made mine using the recipe linked above, but any jam will do)
Instructions
1. Measure out lentils and rinse very thoroughly. (This can be easily done in the cooking pot itself.)
2. Add water and milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and keep partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Mash banana thoroughly and add to lentils.
4. Add salt and vanilla.
5. Add peanut butter in small globs, or stir in fully.
6. Transfer to a bowl, swirl in jam, and add any additional toppings.
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Sunday, 13 April 2014

Polka-Dot Breakfast Dahl



I was going to call this post banana-split dahl, but then I remembered that's already a thing. Which isn't this.

This is more based off those lollipops I used to love as a kid. Did you ever get them? Banana on one side and chocolate on the other?

They were delicious.

It's a recipe for the indecisive.

(Also, why did the sun have to come out JUST as I'd finished photographing/eating the thing??)


Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dry red split lentils
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 a banana (45-50g)
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • Extra banana and chocolate chips for topping




Directions:

  1. Measure out lentils and rinse very thoroughly. (This can be easily done in the cooking pot itself.)
  2. Add water and milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and keep partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Mash banana thoroughly and add to lentils.
  4. Add vanilla extract. (I also added the cinnamon here because I like cinnamon-y chocolate, but add half the amount later if you'd prefer to keep things separate.)
  5. Remove half the porridge and set aside in a bowl for the banana half. (Add cinnamon if you didn't earlier.)
  6. Add the cocoa powder into the pot and stir thoroughly.
  7. Pour the chocolate sludge into the bowl alongside the banana half.
  8. Top with banana, chocolate chips, and milk. Or forego either if you'd like, its also lovely plain.
To reheat from previously made dahl:
  1. Mash banana into dahl along with cinnamon and vanilla. Microwave on full for 1 1/2 mins, remove, stir, and remove half of the dahl.
  2. Stir cocoa power into this half, then spoon back into the bowl alongside banana half.
  3. Microwave for a further 1 minute, then remove, top with bananas, chocolate chips, and milk.

This dahl has a thick, "cake" like texture, which I would recommend sticking with if you want the two halves to remain separate:) 




Saturday, 12 April 2014

Chocolate Strawberry Dahl

Those words do clash a little, I'll admit. Particularly that last one. 

It occurred to me, one day, while I was preparing a pot of dahl, that it essentially served the same purpose as oats - cooked in the same way, achieving much the same texture. The only difference being that rather than fruit and sweet spices, I'd usually add spinach or tomatoes and savoury spices.

Why not make a sweet version, and have it for breakfast? 

You've seen black bean brownies, you've seen chickpea cookies. Now you're getting lentil porridge. 



Prepared correctly, this is every bit as delicious as its oaty counterpart (and that's coming from someone who used to eat oats every day.)

Though I'm not the first person to have thought of this concept, I would like to share my personal methods of preparing breakfast dahl, along with flavour ideas. Some will be familiar classics simply adapted to suit the medium (bananas and peanut butter, anyone?) and others more unique and experimental.

I'd like to start with a fail-proof favourite - chocolate! 

I also like my porridges VERY thick, sometimes almost cake-like (more on that later.) If you'd prefer it thinner, increase the amounts of water and milk:)

Chocolate Strawberry Dahl

by Shonalika Tilak

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 15-20 mins

Keywords: breakfast gluten-free vegan chocolate strawberry lentils banana

Ingredients (1 serving)

  • 1/4 cup dry red split lentils
  • 1/4 cup water (freshly boiled from a kettle will increase cooking speed)
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 banana (45-50g)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder (don't skimp!)
  • 1/16 tsp salt
  • Strawberries, sliced or diced, and any additional toppings such as chocolate chips or nuts

Instructions

1. Measure out lentils and rinse very thoroughly. (This can be easily done in the cooking pot itself.)

2. Add water and milk and bring to a boil. Lower to a simmer and keep partially covered for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Mash banana thoroughly and add to lentils.

4. Add salt, vanilla, cocoa powder and stir.

5. Transfer to a bowl, top with strawberries, more milk, and any additional toppings.

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