Hey Dal Face!

May 21, 2011

Red Lentil Dal with Garden of Eve spinach

Since learning that BPA is in the lining of most canned foods–and not wanting to serve it up to my baby along with her beans–I’ve begun cooking more dried legumes. Specifically, the red lentil. It cooks quickly, practically purees itself and provides protein, fiber, iron and folate. Here are two red lentil recipes I gladly eat alongside my little one:

Red Lentil Dal with roots & greens

Red lentils are thickened with root veggies and get their green hue from fresh spinach (organic spinach came from our winter CSA share with Garden of Eve farm). Packs a good amount of Indian-spiced heat. Freezer-friendly!

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 1 medium sweet potato, diced
  • 1 large organic golden potato, diced
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 medium carrots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups fresh organic spinach, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder or Garam Masala
  1. Add lentils, potatoes and onion to a medium pot. Add 3 cups water and the salt and bring to a boil. Lower heat to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Add peas, carrots, spinach and spices and cook until carrot is tender and the lentils are a stew-like consistency, about 20 minutes. Stir in a pat of butter or drizzle of olive oil, if desired.
  3. If serving to baby, use an immersion blender to puree to desired consistency.

Lentil Quinoa Banana Bars (not pictured)

These bars were one of baby’s very first finger foods and could stand in for a meal in a pinch. In my opinion, they are what snack bars should aim to be–balanced nutrients, faintly sweet, unprocessed and portable.

  • 1/2 cup red lentils
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 5 Tbsp flour (unbleached, whole wheat, or gluten-free variety)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  1. In a 2 qt saucepan, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add lentils and quinoa and simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  2. In a small bowl, mix banana, flour and cinnamon. Add cooled lentil mix. Spread into an oiled 8″x8″ baking dish and bake at 350 for about 20 minutes. Cool, cut into bars, and store in the refrigerator or freezer. Cut into bite-size cubes if serving to baby.

(Both recipes are adapted from Baby Bistro)

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Oooh Mommy! Umami!

May 6, 2011

Umami & Egg Pizza Pie

I’ll be celebrating my first Mother’s Day this year, and the cliche of eating off of a tray in bed sounds downright appealing. Not sure what my husband has up his sleeve, but do have my doubts that he could man a stove while wrangling our active 10-month old. (The “hot breakfast” is always a dual-parenting endeavor at our house).

So, that’s where this recipe comes in. Quick, yet impressive, it’s a breakfast pizza with warm, runny farm-fresh eggs and the umami paste,  Taste No. 5.

Umami is a Japanese word meaning deliciousness and is thought to be the fifth taste after sweet, salty, sour and bitter. In one tube of Taste No. 5, you get a combination of tomato, garlic, anchovy paste, black olives, balsamic vinegar, porcini mushrooms, parmesan cheese, olive oil and a touch of sugar and salt–!!! They say umami is the flavor that makes your mouth water, and what Mom doesn’t deserve that? Need I also mention it’s pizza, so Mom can eat with her hands, in bed, while someone else rubs her feet.

Mommy’s Umami Pie

  • 12″ frozen thin-crust cheese pizza, whole wheat if available
  • 1 cup loosely-packed baby spinach
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp Taste No. 5 umami paste
  • 2 Tbsp fresh-grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Follow cooking directions on the pizza package. Before placing in oven, carefully crack the eggs onto the pizza, spacing evenly.
  2. About 2-3 minutes before pizza is finished add the spinach, it should just wilt. Test the doneness of the eggs–you want the whites fully set up, and the yolks to jiggle a bit (do NOT over-cook, you want the egg yolk to be warm and runny when eaten).
  3. Remove pizza from oven, dot with the umami paste and sprinkle with the cheese. Slice into thirds, one egg per piece. Serve right away.