Curried rice and lentil salad with grapes and celery

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If the Waldorf-Astoria merged with the Best Marigold Hotel, this would be the new hotel’s signature dish. This salad, which eats as a meal, combines flavourful Indian spices, the crunch of celery, the sweetness of grapes and the staying power of lentils and rice. It’s also an easy dish to make that will last for 3-4 days in the fridge and travels well, which makes it great for toting for lunches, picnics or pot lucks.

Ingredients

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The salad

2 ½ cups cooked brown rice (that’s about 1 cup uncooked)

1 cup of cooked du Puy or beluga (a/k/a black) lentils (about ½ cup uncooked)

2 green onions sliced

2 stalks of celery sliced

1 ½ cups red grapes cut in half

¼ cup slivered almonds toasted*

The dressing

The juice of 1 lemon

4 Tbsp canola or peanut oil**

1 Tbsp curry powder

½ tsp cumin

½ tsp turmeric

3 – 4 cloves garlic minced

¾ tsp ground ginger

¾ tsp salt

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Directions

Place all the salad ingredients in a large bowl. In a cup or small bowl, whisk all the dressing ingredients and pour over the salad. Toss everything thoroughly to combine. I like this salad after it’s had time to sit and the flavours can marry. I usually make it in the morning for lunch.

Serve up and enjoy!  This makes 3-4 servings.

*To toast the almonds, place them on a small cookie sheet or other heat-proof dish (I used a miniature casserole dish). Place the almonds in the oven (To save power, I use my toaster oven.) at 400F for 3-4 minutes. Seriously keep your eye on them! They can burn in a flash. Remove the almonds from the oven as soon as they are toasted or they’ll keep cooking.

**Use an oil that is flavourless and will not go solid (like virgin coconut oil does). I tried this salad with melted coconut oil once and the minute the oil got cold, I was left with unappetizing mini-chunks of “oil” throughout the salad.

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Isa’s Goddess Pasta a/k/a Tahini Linguini

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I think I have a girl crush on Isa Chandra Moskowitz. Or I should say a goddess crush because she is a kitchen goddess extraordinaire. Every recipe of hers that I’ve tried, I’ve loved. Here’s the latest – Goddess Pasta or as I am calling it, tahini linguini because if that not the name of a new Muppet, I don’t know what is.

Anyway… about this recipe. Isa promises it’s so ridiculously easy that she almost left it out of her cookbook, “Isa Does it”.  I’m glad she didn’t. This recipe IS(a) fast and easy. And despite what I thought was a lot of garlic and green onion (or chives), the dish is mild yet flavourful and creamy, crunchy and satisfying. I ate this dish hot, but I think it would even be great cold. So, without further ado, here’s how I made Isa’s Goddess Pasta. If you want to make it the way Isa does it, buy the book!

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Ingredients

12 oz linguini

The juice of 1 lemon

1 ½ cups cooked chickpeas (a 15 ounce can)

1 bunch broccoli cut into bite sized pieces. I also peeled the stem and sliced it up.

3-4 spring onions chopped finely

4 cloves garlic minced

2 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tsp salt (I don’t salt my pasta water)

A few grinds of pepper

½ to 2/3 cup tahini (I didn’t measure exactly!)

½ cup hot water (I used the water from the boiling pasta)

1 Tbsp olive oil

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Directions

Boil the pasta according to the package directions. While the pasta is boiling, prep the sauce and other ingredients.

In a large bowl, blend together the green onion, lemon juice, salt, tahini, nutritional yeast, hot water and ground pepper. You will have a thickly creamy dressing. If the dressing is too thick, add more water.

In a large wok or frying pan, heat ½ tablespoon olive oil and sauté the garlic until it’s golden. Add the garlic to the sauce mixture.

Add the rest of the olive oil to the pan and heat. Add the broccoli and stir fry until the broccoli is bright green but still very crunchy.  Add the broccoli to the sauce mixture and add the chickpeas.

Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients. Toss everything to combine and serve up. Enjoy!

This recipe makes 4 servings.

p.s. I think next time I may even add some shredded carrot and julienned red pepper for extra colour.