It’s not often I get inspired to make brownies. Don’t get me wrong, I love a brownie, but they generally aren’t the healthiest thing you can bake and once you make a batch you have to eat them, right? So it’s usually flapjack in my cake tin.
However this week Miss K brought home a lentil brownie recipe in her bag from school and it intrigued me. Lentil in a brownie? Surely not.
I’ve adapted the recipe slightly to lower the sugar and next time I would definitely add in pecans. You can’t beat a pecan in a brownie.
These were a hands down winner. Easy to make (as long as you have lentils already cooked or cook them earlier in the day) and they baked whilst we ate dinner. I gave one to my hubby, he looked at me suspiciously and took a bite, then with a surprised voice told me they were really good. My poor family have to try a lot of dud baking as well as the good bits!
None of my children or husband even noticed the lentils. I had a faint taste of them, but I had made them so was probably a bit sensitive to the taste. A great way to lower the glycaemic index and make a higher protein version of a chocolate brownie.
Lots of people are working on reducing their meat consumption at present, it sounds easy but if you are doing it you need to replace that meat protein with some other protein sources. Some examples would be soya, tofu, all forms of bean from kidney to cannellini to black beans, eggs, cheese, quinoa and pulses including lentils.
Having Sri-Lankan blood I absolutely LOVE lentils. So here is one of my favourite ways to cook them – DHAL.
Dhal is legendary in my family. We’ve all grown up on it and a meal of curry and rice is not complete without it. It’s incredibly versatile, can be made with all types of lentils and pulses and you can add most veggies to it too. Also a great dish for weaning 🙂
I also have a love of aubergine (or eggplant), so here is my recipe combining the two, slow cooked for true laziness.
An easy dhal recipe using the amazing aubergine, low GI, high in protein and super healthy.
1tsp each of mustard seeds, turmeric, coriander, garam masala and cumin
Saute the onion in pan or crockpot with spices, then add ginger and garlic, plus all other ingredients. Stir well, add water so it's covered by about 1/2 inch and leave to cook on high for 5 hours. Check the fluid level and towards the end of cooking add 100ml milk. I cooked mine for most of the day, it smelt divine.
It’s wheat free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan and baby friendly too, but is it tasty? OH YES. This is one of those meals that I hadn’t made for ages, I tend to get into a cycle of making certain meals and forget about all the others that are out there. Suddenly seeing the bag of red lentils in my cupboard and the random veggies lying around my brain pinged into recipe action and I remembered this gem…so here it is for you to also try.
We all love this recipe in my house and find it a great substitute for a meat bolognaise. Plus it’s easy to make.
If you have a food processor (I can’t live without mine) chop 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic in it. Now add in a pile of veggies, most will work. I always use carrots and some form of peppers, this time we had 4 carrots, 1 courgette, 1 green pepper and a handful of mushrooms. I’ve used celery, leek, kale and cabbage in the past too. A great recipe for using up leftover bits and past their best veggies. Chop all the veggies finely in the food processor (or by hand) and heat a tiny drizzle of oil in a pan. Simply add the veggies to the pan along with some lentils, I’d say about 2 cups of lentils for 4 people. It should look a little like this:
Throw in a tin of chopped tomatoes and then half till the can with water and add that too. Now the fun part – customise this as you want to. I add in seasoning, mixed herbs, bay leaves, balsamic vinegar, tomato puree and whatever else I have to hand. Here it is in the pan.
Let it simmer for 30-40 mins gently or until the lentils are cooked and serve with pasta. It was quite literally yummy. Give it a go and please let me know how you get on.
Freelance Dietitian specialising in helping those with Eating Disorders and a Media Spokesperson for the profession.