Week 7: Red Lentil Zucchini Fritters

These red lentil zucchini fritters hit DIFFERENT.

Ingredients

1 cup red lentils
1 zucchini
1/2 medium onion
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/8 tsp curry powder
1 cup fresh parsley, chopped OR 1/2 cup dried parsley
1 tbsp lemon zest
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup neutral oil (or peanut oil or ghee)

How to make:

  1. Prep 1 hour beforehand: soak lentils in 2 cups room temperature water for an hour.
  2. Prep 30 minutes beforehand: Cut zucchini into matchsticks (first chop into three pieces crosswise, then chop each of those pieces lengthwise until about 1/4” thick). Thinly slice onion. Place onion and zucchini into a colander, and place over a large bowl. Toss vegetables with 1 tsp salt and let sit for 30 minutes, or until about 1-2 tbsp of water has come out.
  3. Drain lentils. In a blender, add lentils, cayenne, turmeric, curry powder, parsley, lemon zest and salt, and blend until smooth (doesn’t need to be perfectly smooth, and if you need to, add a squeeze or two of lemon to thin out the batter.
  4. Mix lentil paste and vegetables until combined and looking orange.
  5. Heat 1c oil or ghee in a pan until hot enough that a piece of batter dropped in the oil will sputter and bubble.
  6. Scoop out 1/4 c of the batter and place in the hot oil. Press down to get a nice fritter shape.
  7. Fry for about 3 minutes on each side or until a deep golden brown. Take out of the oil and immediately season with a little bit of salt (use flaky salt/sea salt if you have it and want to be fancy, but we just used kosher salt).
  8. Serve with yogurt and lemon and enjoy!

Week 6: Fried Plantain

Can be a sweet or savory snack, whatever you crave!

Ingredients

  • Plantains
  • Oil
  • Salt or sugar

How to make:

  1. Remove the peel and slice the plantains into thick pieces. This can be quite difficult and we recommend watching this video as a guide.
  2. Heat a pool of oil in a pan until hot, then add the plantains and cook until slightly browned on both sides.
  3. Take them out and use the bottom of a jar or any flat surface to smash the cooked plantain flat.
  4. Fry again until crispy.
  5. Sprinkle them with sugar or salt and enjoy!

Week 5: Black Bean Burger

Make some very filling burger patties!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cooked black beans (season your beans, people!)
  • 1 half onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 cooked quinoa
  • A bit o’ bread crumbs (optional)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to make:

  1. Cook your beans.
  2. Put oil in a pan on medium high heat.
  3. Saute onions for 5 min or until translucent.
  4. Add garlic and other spices and bloom (saute them in the oil while moving them around often to let the oils out) in pan for about 1 minute.
  5. Mix in the beans.
  6. Mash mixture.
  7. Add quinoa.
  8. Add breadcrumbs to your preferred consistency.
  9. Heat up the pan again, and form your bean mixture into patties and fry on pan until charred on both sides.
  10. Enjoy! ~ Can be eaten with burger buns to mimic a beef burger 😋

Week 3: Empanadas

Warm, crispy empanadas!

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup water
  • Separate: 1 egg for wash

Filling

  • 1 1/2 mushrooms of choice (we used dry and rehydrated them), finely chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • oil (to sauté onions)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • salt and pepper to taste

How to make:

  1. To make the dough: Add flour and butter into a large bowl and pinch in (careful not to over mix).
  2. Add in water slowly and knead to form a dough ball.
  3. Rest for 20 minutes.
  4. While the dough is resting, start on the filling: sauté onions until translucent.
  5. Add garlic and spices.
  6. Once spices have incorporated, add the mushrooms and peppers. Cook until soft. Remove from heat.
  7. Roll out the rested dough onto a clean, floured surface until fairly thin (about 1/8″ thick).
  8. Using a small bowl/large mug cut out circular forms (4-5″ in diameter)
  9. Spoon on filling (about 1 1/2 – 2 tbs) onto circular dough form.
  10. Use the egg wash to wet the edges of the dough (the circumference).
  11. Fold empanada and seal, making sure there are no air pockets. Pinch and fold the edges over to seal.
  12. Coat top of empanada with egg wash once sealed.
  13. Bake at 375°F for 18 to 20 minutes. Pastry should be flaky but still pale.
  14. Cool for 10 minutes then enjoy!

Week 2: Apple Crisp

Get in the mood of the Fall season by making some apple crisp! ~

Ingredients

Apples

  • a pinch salt
  • juice of 1 medium lemon
  • 1/4 tsp all spice
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • 6-8 small-medium apples peeled and thinly sliced
  • little bit of honey (or brown sugar)

Topping

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3/4 cup oats
  • pinch salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup honey (alternatively brown sugar)

How to make:

  1. Peel and cut up your apples. It can be in any shape, we did it in slices!
  2. Put all the apples and the ingredients for the apple mix in a bowl and mix.
  3. Place this mix in a pan.
  4. In a separate bowl, mix together all the topping’s dry ingredients.
  5. Cut in the butter with the mix of the topping’s dry ingredients. We did this using our hands.
  6. Add honey to the topping mix, we a bit less than 1/3 cup of honey (save some of the honey to drizzle it over the apples in the pan).
  7. Place the topping on top of the apples, try to make sure it’s evenly spread out.
  8. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.

Week 1: Lentil Soup

Let’s make some lentils! We also made our own veggie broth and so can you!

Vegetable Broth

Ingredients:

  • Veggie scraps (about half a gallon bag)
  • Water
  • Herbs (I put what we used below)
    • ½ tsp rosemary
    • ½ tsp thyme
    • 1 bay leaf
  1. Collect any veggie scraps you have until you fill at least half of a gallon ziplock bag. The best scraps usually include the following:
  • Anything onion related, especially the peels (garlic, scallions, onions, scallots, etc)
  • Any part of root vegetables (carrots, turnips, beets, parsnips, ginger)
  • Celery and bok choy are especially good additions
  • Squash peels (omit the pits and seeds → save the seeds for roasting if you want!)
  • Other additions include asparagus, cabbage, peppers (cautious for hot peppers though), brussel sprouts
    • Try to avoid leafy greens like lettuce and spinach
  1. Put veggies in a large pot with enough water to generously cover your vegetables. This is variable depending on how much broth you want to make. We put about 1½ – 2 liters.
    1. Bring the water and veggies to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for at least 30 minutes. The longer you simmer the vegetables, the stronger the flavor and color will develop. I usually look for the broth to be dark enough that you can see the color when you pick some of it up with a spoon, but you can go according to your own taste.
    2. After the initial boil, this is the time to add seasonings and salt. Dried and fresh herbs make great additions, but you can add any spices or herbs your heart desires. I highly recommend any combination of the following:
  • Basil
  • Parsley
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaves (max 1.5 leaves)
  • Fennel seeds
  • Oregano 
  • You may also experiment with cloves and star anise if you’re looking for more of a autumn-y profile
  1. Be mindful that the amount of salt and seasonings added now will limit the spices you add later. I would recommend no more than 1 ½ tablespoons of total seasonings for two liters of broth. Everything here goes by taste, so taste it frequently while cooking.
    1. Troubleshooting tips:
      1. If the broth needs to be sweetened, try adding squash peels, carrots or bell peppers
      2. If it doesn’t seem to have enough flavor, add more salt. It brings out the flavor much more, ut keep in mind to use less salt when cooking with it later on.
  2. Strain through a strainer or cheesecloth, or just pour very carefully into a container of your choice until future use. 

Lentil Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 1 ½ – 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 cups lentils, washed
  • 2 tbs olive oil (or cooking oil)
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil*
  • hefty amount of black pepper
  • Optional: 2 tbs tomato paste or 1 14-oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • ¾ teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 6-8 cups broth (depending on thickness)
  • Juice of 1 lemon (or 2-3 tbsp apple cider vinegar)
  • Salt to taste

How to make:

  1. Heat 2-3 tbsp olive oil in a large pot on medium heat. Add onions and garlic and saute, stirring occasionally for 2-3 minutes
  2. Add carrots and celery and continue to cook stirring occasionally for 7-10 min. Do this until the onions are translucent and sweet! Note: you can totally use other vegetables or canned vegetables in this process. If you use canned vegetables, don’t put them in the pot until after your onions fully sweated.
  3. Add tomato (if you have it), red pepper flakes, black pepper and basil and stir for about 30 seconds. *Note: we heavily added herbs to our broth, so I didn’t feel the need to add any more spices or herbs to the soup. If you want to add more herbs, I recommend either a mix of rosemary, thyme, and basil, OR paprika, cumin and chili pepper. 
  4. Add lentils and broth, bring to a boil, and back down to a simmer. Cover the pot! Simmer for 35-40 minutes or until the lentils are soft and cooked through.
  5. Add salt and black pepper to taste, and squeeze your lemon (or apple cider vinegar) into your soup. 
  6. Optional: take a few cups of your soup and blend them up in a blender. We have a stick blender so we used that.
  7. Enjoy! Right now. Do it. Everybody’s doing it come on you’re the only one who’s not doing it.