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Crispy Roasted Lentils

Crispy Roasted Lentils

Looking for something different to snack on I hit the cupboard in search of potential said snack. I had such good success with the crispy maple red lentils I thought I would try my hand at a savory version. But looking for something with a bit more bite I decide to go with green lentils.

Wanting a good hit of flavor I started thinking I wanted garlic involved. Pure garlic is fantastic but it doesn’t always agree with me. Not true of roasted garlic.

To roast garlic turn the oven to 350 degrees. Grab a sheet of foil large enough to wrap 2 -3 heads of garlic. Trim the bottom end of the bulbs of garlic just exposing the inside of the cloves. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with oil. Wrap and pop the bundle into the oven.

Now to get some lentils cooking. Just place some in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer. Start checking for doneness after 20 minutes. You want them to have a bit of bite, not completely soft. Once they are at that point put them into a colander and rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process.

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Get a large cookie sheet covered with either parchment paper to foil. Set aside.

Check the garlic after 40 minutes, it should have a nice toasted appearance. Remove from the oven and drizzle the oil from the package over the lentils. Stir well to coat.

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Turn up the oven to 400 degrees.

Take a head of garlic, careful, it will be hot. I used a double layer of paper towel to hold it. Now give it a bit of a squeeze and rub the entire surface of the cookie sheet coating it with the roasted garlic.

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Save the other two heads for another use, I like it in hummus.

Spread the lentils out on the cookie sheet. Roast in the oven for up to 40 minutes stirring occasionally.

Store in a cover jar. They are ready for snacking, adding to salads or adding to any dish that could use a bit of crunch.

Crispy Roasted Lentils

 

 

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Red Lentil Bacon Corn Fritters

Red Lentil Bacon Corn Fritters

I have had a lot of fun experimenting with lentils these past few weeks. And my lentil infatuation is just as strong as it has always been. Though I am looking at them in a whole new light.

Next up is my freestyle entry for the Canadian Lentil contest with the deadline for entries just under 24 hours from tonight.

*Update: I am very pleased to announce my recipe for Red Lentil Bacon Corn Fritters was the runner up in the Canadian Lentils Recipe Revolution contest! *

My recipe choices have been quite the discussion during morning coffee at work with my bosses, everyone has made suggestions as to what I should make next. I forsee a lentil feast at our next managers dinner.

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So without further ado…. I present,  Red Lentil Bacon Corn Fritters.

3/4 cup of red lentil  flour (directions for making the lentil flour can be found in my previous post for Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos)

1 tablespoon of all purpose flour

2 tablespoons of cornmeal

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/2 cup of milk

1 large egg

1 can of corn kernals

1 strips of bacon, chopped and fried

Vegetable oil, for frying

In a large bowl, stir together flours, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and cayenne.

Making Red Lentil Bacon Corn Fritters

Add milk and egg to flour mixture and stir together to create a batter. Add corn and bacon and fold to combine. Let rest for 5 minutes.

Heat 4 inches oil in a large heavy-bottomed pot over high heat until a deep-fry thermometer reaches 375 degrees. Working in batches, using  two spoons, drop batter by the tablespoon into the oil. Cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and deep-golden brown, 1 to 2 minutes; adjust heat as needed to keep oil temperature between 350 and 360 degrees. Transfer fritters to a paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Season to taste with salt.

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I served them with maple syrup. Depending on your mood and menu you could serve them with a variety of sauces or dips.

 

 

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Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos

Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos

If you have checked out the recipes being created for the Canadian Lentils contest you’ll notice how creative everyone is getting. Keeping that in mind I wanted to kick my entrée recipe up a notch. Something quick, easy and crazy delicious!

The pineapple in store right now is absolutely gorgeous so I started with that in mind. Thinking I want a lot of color in the dish pineapple salsa seemed the perfect choice. One of my favourite things to go with pineapple is coconut. The rest fell into place after that.

I ground red lentils into a flour and Lentil Coconut Shrimp was born. Nesteled in a nice lightly fried tortilla with a gorgeous pineapple salsa and finished with a squeeze of fresh lime to make a sweet tart crunchy taco. Total hand held perfection.

Red Lentil Coconut Shrimp Tacos

Lentil Flour

1 cup of red lentils

blender

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Place the lentils into a blend and process until it become fine like flour.

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Set aside.

 

Lentil Coconut Shrimp

1 pound of shrimp

1 cup of lentil flour

1 cup of cornstarch

5 teaspoons of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1/4 teaspoon of cayenne

1 1/4 cups of coconut water

1/2 teaspoon of oil

2 1/2 cups of shredded coconut

1 lime, cut into wedges

In a medium sized bowl combine the flour, cornstarch, baking powder, salt and cayenne. wisk in the water and oil, mixing until smooth.

Place the coconut into a bowl. Dip the coconut into the batter then coat it in with the coconut. Set in a bowl, battering and coating all the shrimp.

Using a large skillet heat oil to 375 degrees. Fry the tortillas until lightly browned, flip over and fry until the second side is browned. Using tongs take the tortilla and drape it over the handle of a wooden spoon suspended over a large bowl shaping it into a traditional taco shape.

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Fry all tortillas.  Now fry shrimp a handful at a time until golden brown.

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Drain on paper towel.

To build the tacos.

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Add some greens down the center of a fried tortilla, ie:  chopped kale, lettuce, shaved brussel sprouts, whatever you have on hand and enjoy. Place a large spoonful of pineapple salsa on top of the greens. Top with lentil coconut shrimp! Squeeze a wedge of lime over the taco.

Pineapple Salsa

2 cups of fresh pineapple – chopped

1/2 of a red pepper – chopped

1/4 cup of onion, white or red – diced

handful of fresh parsley, chopped

1 clove of garlic, crushed

fresh lime juice

salt to taste

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Combine everything in a bowl adding salt at the end to taste. Serve in Lentil Coconut Tacos.

Be sure to check out my dessert entry Crispy Maple Lentil Crème Brulee. It is as good as it sounds!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Crispy Maple Lentil Crème Brulee

Crispy Maple Lentil Crème Brulee

It is that time of year again, the annual Canadian Lentil contest! I use lentils year round so am always excited about this contest! I also look forward to it as it pushes me to think outside of the box as to how I can use lentils.

For the dessert round I am going fancy. It is actually the first time I have ever made Crème Brulee. It is quick and easy yet is such a striking elegant dessert.

Now from the reading I have done one of the best parts of creme brulee is the hard sugar layer you crack through to get to the creamy custard. My thoughts were to take this layer up a notch. I set forth to make a batch of maple candied lentils to go on top of the maple custard.

You can make the lentils while the creme brulee is cooling in the fridge.

Crème Brulee

2 1/4 cups (560 ml) 35% cream

1 tablespoon of pure maple syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla

5 egg yolks

1/4 cup of sugar

1/4 cup of sugar for the finishing of the crème brulee

1/2 cup of crispy maple lentils

Preheat the oven to  325 ºF. In a saucepan, heat the cream for 5 minutes with the maple syrup and vanilla.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and sugar. Stir in the hot cream. Pour the mixture into four 3/4 cup  crème brulee dishes.

Bake in a water bath. To do this, place the dishes in a baking dish. Pour hot water 3/4 up the sides of the dishes. Bake for 40 minutes.

Let cool and refrigerate to chill completely.

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To finish sprinkle with the additional sugar and caramelize quickly with a kitchen torch.

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Once the sugar layer has been torched and it still sticky sprinkle with a layer of the crispy maple lentils.

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Enjoy immediately!

Maple Candied Red Lentils

2 cups of red lentils

3 1/2 cups of water

3/4 cup of brown sugar

1/2 cup of butter

1/4 cup of maple syrup

Place the lentils and water into a medium sized pot. Bring to a boil and cook for 8-9 minutes testing around the 7 minute mark. You do not want to over cook the lentils, soft with a bit of bite is the goal here. Once they are cooked strain in a fine mesh strainer.

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Place back into the pot with the butter, sugar and syrup an cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

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Strain again with the fine mesh strainer and allow to cool.

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Once cool spread the lentils on two parchment lined cookie sheets to the thin layer. Place in a  325 ºF oven. Check every 10 minutes stirring the lentils and rotating the pans between the shelves. Once they start to brown turn the oven off and let the lentils finish drying.

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Store in a covered container.

You can use Candied Maple Lentils in granola, on salads or anywhere you want to add a touch of crunch to.

 

 

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Taste of Barrhead 2014

Taste of Barrhead 2014

When I was hired on at the Co-op my boss asked that I participate in some of the food base events in and around town. Of course I am a very willing participant. Any chance I get to prepare food for the masses I am on top of the world!

Representing Canada at The Taste of Barrhead

 

For the Taste of Barrhead we are to pick a country we want to represent. Naturally I immediately wanted to do Canada. Not for the butter tarts or maple flavors we automatically think of when we think of Canadian fare. My Canadian food of choice is Lentils! If you are a regular reader here you know I am crazy about lentils. I cook with them every week and through my source at TGP found a source to have them supplied in my section in the store.

I talk lentils to any customers who will listen. But talking is one thing, serving them amazing dishes prepared with them is another. As they say, the proof is in the pudding! Once you taste a dish that you can’t forget that is all that it takes to become a fan. Once you learn how healthy they are you become an super fan!

For this years event I made 2 of my favorite lentil recipes. Lentil Chili and Oatmeal Lentil Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both were a huge success. At one point I had one woman come back an buy 3 dozen cookies!  I need to remember to take large take out containers for next year.

Lentil Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Lentil Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

1 cup of brown sugar

3/4 cup of butter

1 egg

1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

3/4 cup of green lentil puree

1 1/2 cups of flour

1/2 teaspoon of salt

1 teaspoon of baking soda

2 cups of quick cooking oats

1 1/2 cups of chocolate chips

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

 

Preheat oven for 375 degrees F.

In a bowl mix together the sugar and butter. Add the egg just until blended. Add vanilla and lentil puree mixing well. Sift the flour, salt and soda together. Add it one third at a time to the butter sugar mixture. Mix on low until just blended. Now add the oats and chocolate chips and cinnamon, stir until combined.

Scoop out one generous tablespoon of dough for each cookie onto parchment lines cookie sheets.  Flatten slightly with a fork.

Bake for 12 – 15 minutes until the bottoms are lightly browned. Do not over bake.

I have made this recipe before adding peanut butter but because of allergy reasons I left it out this time. I wanted everyone who attended the opportunity to try them.

If you are in Barrhead I will be featuring Lentils at The Festive Celebration tasting event at the Co-op in Barrhead starting the afternoon of the 20th of November running from 3 to 7 pm.  Stop in a try some fantastic dishes and lets talk Lentils!

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