Monday, April 30, 2012

Heavenly Hummus Wrap

There used to be a cute little cafe near my home that offered lots of vegan wraps and such. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irene flooded them out and they had to close down.  They had the best hummus wrap that I used to get all the time.  I thought about that place recently and decided to re-create the wrap.  Hummus does not last long around here, I honestly think I could live on it.  So I thought I better give this recipe a try before my new batch of hummus runs out!

Heavenly Hummus Wrap
(serves 6 small wraps)
3/4 cup garlic hummus
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 carrots, shredded
2 celery stalks, chopped
1 small cucumber, chopped
1 cup lettuce, shredded
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
(small) Tortilla wraps
Combine onions, carrots, celery, cucumber and lettuce in a large bowl.  Add hummus and mix to combine.  Add 1-2 tbsp of balsamic vinegar (depending on how much you like for taste), and mix.  Pile as much as you like on top of a tortilla wrap and enjoy!

This is a must try for any hummus lover!  It tastes *heavenly* :-)  I'm glad that there's lots leftover too, I'm already looking forward to more!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Rise & Shine! Mango-Banana Smoothie

I recently bought some frozen, organic mangos from Trader Joe's and built this smoothie around those.  I wasn't in the mood for a traditional breakfast this morning so I decided to make this.  It was a delicious (and nutritious) alternative!  It's also quite filling.

Mango-Banana Smoothie
1/2 cup light coconut milk
1 cup frozen mangos
1 small banana
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
handful of almonds
Place all ingredients in blender/food processor and blend until smooth.

*This will make a thick smoothie, so feel free to add 1/2 cup more liquid if you like it thinner.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Peanut Butter & "Jelly" Energy Bars

I used to eat lots of energy bars or "protein bars" several years back.  I thought they were good for me then.  Of course it wasn't my fault since they were marketed that way, right? ;-)  I wish I had known then what I know now.  Story of my life!  It took me a while to figure out the connection between consuming those bars and a seriously sick stomach.  I guess I thought it was just a coincidence.  When I started my journey on eliminating additives from my diet, I couldn't believe just how many chemicals and processed ingredients I discovered were in those supposed health bars.  We've come a long way since then and there are healthier options now (my inspiration for these bars is the ever popular Larabar), but in my opinion, there is nothing quite like making your own.  It's fun and rewarding, and it saves money too!  

These bars are a snap to make and taste eerily similar to PB&J!  The healthful ingredients in these will provide you with lots of energy, protein, dietary fiber, mono-unsaturated fatty acids that help lower cholesterol, and impressive amounts of nutrients, vitamins and minerals. Grab one of these in between meals to keep your energy going, or munch on one when your sweet tooth hits.  Enjoy them any which way you choose!

PB&J Energy Bars
(yields about 10 bars)
2 cups fresh dates, pits removed
1 cup peanuts
1/2 cup dried cranberries
2 tbsp peanut butter

Place first three ingredients in food processor and blend until combined.  A thick dough ball will begin to form.  Add peanut butter and pulse to combine.  

Line an 8x8 inch glass baking dish with parchment paper. Place dough ball into baking dish and press down on the dough mixture until flat and evenly distributed. Place in refrigerator for up to one hour to harden up a bit.

Remove hardened mixture from baking dish and place on a flat surface (it should maintain the shape of the baking dish).  Cut into bars, or whatever shape you desire.  Store in fridge. 

If you enjoyed these, you might like my post on Vanilla Almond Date balls.

You can make these in many flavors.  If anyone has any requests, please feel free to let me know.  I'm always up for the challenge!  :-)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Easy Quinoa Primavera

I got the idea for this recipe from my sister and her husband.  They had it last week for dinner and my sister mentioned to me how good it was.  I'll admit that I had never heard of it before, but it sounded good!   I like quinoa and just bought a new package from the store, so I threw this together tonight using the vegetables I had in my fridge.  It was very easy to prepare and was a nice change from pasta. 

Quinoa Primavera
(serves 4)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
2 cups cooked quinoa
1 cup onions, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
1.5 cups asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1.5 cups carrots, shredded
1 cup peas
1/4 tsp pepper 
salt to taste
*1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

*I added 1 tsp of lemon juice to the portion on my plate, not while it was cooking.  It's optional but does add a nice, refreshing flavor!

Chop onions & asparagus, shred carrots and mince garlic; set aside.

Prepare quinoa according to package directions.

While quinoa is cooking, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat in 4.5 quart pot.   Add onions & garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.  

Reduce heat to med-low, add asparagus, carrots salt and pepper.  Pour remaining tbsp of olive oil on top and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 8 minutes. 

Reduce heat to low, add peas and stir to combine, and cook for 2 more minutes.  

Add cooked quinoa to sauteed vegetables and mix.

I should note that I don't typically like to cook with oil, but I make exceptions sometimes.  I felt that if I sauteed the veggies in water like I normally do, it would take away from some of the flavor of this dish. It turned out very good, and was the perfect light dinner for a spring night!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Maple Walnut Waffles w/Banana Soft Serve

If you've been reading my blog for a while, you might remember this post where I said I wanted to experiment with breakfast more.  Yeah, that hasn't really happened.... until today that is!  When I first got my waffle iron I made waffles quite a bit.  I guess somewhere along the line the newness wore off and back it went into the pantry closet to collect cat/dog hair dust.  ;-)   

I decided to make some waffles this morning after I remembered how yummy they used to be when I topped them with banana soft serve in place of maple syrup.   You can prepare the soft serve ahead of time and let it sit in the fridge while you make the waffles.  

Banana Soft Serve

(yields about 1 cup)
2 frozen bananas
1 tsp vanilla extract
touch of water

Place bananas, vanilla and a touch of water into food processor.  Blend, adding as much additional water as you like to achieve desired "soft serve" type consistency.

I got the inspiration for the waffle recipe here.  I adapted it quite a bit.

Maple Walnut Waffles
(yields about 8 waffles)
1 1/2 cups rice milk
1 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp ground flaxseed + 6 tbsp water
2 cups unbleached white whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/3 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1 banana, sliced (optional)

Prepare waffle iron according to manufacturer's instructions.

For "buttermilk": Combine rice milk with apple cider vinegar.  Stir and let sit to curdle while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

For "flax eggs": Combine flaxseed with water, stir to combine and let it sit to thicken.

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In separate bowl, combine maple syrup and applesauce.  Add to dry ingredients, followed by the curdled milk and flax egg mixtures.  Stir until ingredients are combined and a light batter is formed.

Add walnuts and stir to combine.  Make each waffle by pouring about 1/4 cup of batter onto the center of the waffle iron.  Bake according to manufacturer's instructions.

You can top these with traditional maple syrup if you wish, but since the waffles already contain maple syrup, the banana soft serve helps prevent 'maple syrup overkill' (if you believe in such a thing ;-)), and it really adds a nice flavor!   Top with sliced bananas, or other types of fruit, if you wish.

These waffles don't really stay very "crisp" for long, I'm not sure why that is.  I've yet to make waffles that stayed crisp like the store bought freezer ones I used to eat.   Maybe it's the lack of preservatives?  No worries, though.  You can just pop them into the toaster oven to crisp them up if they've been sitting around for a bit and lost their crunch.  You can freeze any remains for future use!

As for the soft serve, I'm not sure how much topping you like on your waffles, but I'd say that the cup of banana soft serve is good for about 3-4 waffles.  

Enjoy! :-)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Peanut Butter Banana Bread

I recently came across this recipe while searching for bread recipes. Not quite the bread I originally had in mind to make, but my uncontrollable urge to satisfy my sweet tooth got the best of me. The title alone was enough to convince me to give it a try.  Imagine my excitement when I read the list of ingredients and realized it also contained chocolate chips! :-) I could already imagine just how good this was going to taste.

The original recipe contains refined sugar, which of course I wanted to replace.  I used maple syrup instead and was able to reduce the amount of overall sugar by 1/4 cup.  This is also oil free!

This recipe is adapted from Eggless Cooking:

Peanut Butter Banana Bread
1/2 cup rice milk
1 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/4 cup organic pastry flour 
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup mashed banana (2 medium bananas)
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 and lightly grease an 8x4 inch loaf pan.  

In a small bowl, mix rice milk and cider vinegar and set aside so the mixture can curdle (about 5 minutes).

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, combine mashed banana, peanut butter, maple syrup, curdled milk mixture and vanilla.

Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until combined.   Stir in the chocolate chips.

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center.    Place on wire rack and cool for 15 minutes.

There was no one flavor that overpowered the bread, it was a nice blend of peanut butter, banana and chocolate.  It came out super moist and delicious!  My sister said, and I quote, "My favorite part was the chocolate chips!".  I couldn't have said it better myself! :-)  I actually made this about a week ago and she was wondering why I hadn't posted the recipe yet.  Well, here it is! 

My cat Sam was watching the whole process from his new favorite spot.  I wonder what he's thinking?

I bet he's thinking "that smells good!"

Meow! =^..^=

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Carrot Cinnamon Muffins

There is a fabulous healthy eating blog I follow called Nurturing Naturally.  The blog authors recently came up with the idea for a "Recipe Test Tuesday".  They will post a recipe on their blog (and link it to Facebook if you're on there) and if it looks like something you'd like to try out, you make the recipe and then report back with your thoughts.  It's a great way to test out new recipes and get to know more people who also enjoy cooking/baking!  

I'm excited to be a part of this, as I love trying new recipes and getting to know more like-minded people.  The first recipe they posted was for Gluten Free Carrot Cinnamon Muffins.  Since the original recipe was already dairy-free, it was pretty easy for me to make it vegan.  I actually enjoyed the challenge of not only subbing out the eggs, but also making this refined-sugar free.  I went through my vegan substitutions cheat sheets, put my thinking cap on, and got to baking!

Here is my adaptation (the original recipe can be found here):

*Please note that my version is not Gluten-free, but it is refined sugar & oil-free).  I will discuss my substitutions below.

Carrot Cinnamon Muffins
(yields 12 muffins)
1 1/4 cup Unbleached White Whole Wheat Flour
2 tbsp milled/ground flaxseed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce 
3/4 cup Organic, Grade B maple syrup
2 cups finely grated carrots

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a muffin tin, or line it with baking cups.

Mix together the flour, flaxseed, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl, mix together the applesauce, maple syrup and grated carrots. 

Mix the dry ingredients with the wet ingredients until just combined.   Spoon batter into muffin tin.

Bake for 20-22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (mine took 21 minutes).   Cool in muffin tin for 15 minutes, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

Excuse me while I devour one...or two.... YUM!! 
I almost couldn't get through this picture without finishing the half-eaten one :-)

I'd like to discuss my substitutions since you might be visiting me from Nurturing Naturally and want to know the "whats and whys" behind my recipe adaptation.

First, I didn't use gluten-free flour because I didn't have any on hand.  I was therefore able to eliminate the need for Xanthan gum since I read in the comments section in the original recipe link (here), that it's used to give gluten flour more of a regular flour type consistency.

Second, since I'm vegan, I wanted to use an egg substitute.  There are many options for that, but I settled on applesauce.  I typically use a "flax egg substitute" (1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water), but this recipe already contained flax so I wanted to try something different. Besides, the thought of applesauce in a carrot cinnamon muffin just sounded right! :-) You can use 1/4 cup of applesauce per egg.  You'll want to increase your baking powder by 1/2 tsp to help obtain a lighter texture in your baked goods though. 

Third, I like to stay away from refined sugar whenever possible so I typically use maple syrup in my recipes.  Substituting liquid sweeteners for regular sugar can be tricky.  You can do it cup for cup, but you want to make sure that you either a) decrease other liquids by 1/3 cup, or b) increase your flour by 1/4 cup.  Since I used maple syrup, I eliminated the 1/3 cup Rice Milk from the original recipe.

Dry ingredients

Wet ingredients 

Muffins before baking

Muffins after baking

These turned out melt-in-your mouth moist and delicious!  

Happy baking!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Pasta w/Creamy Sauce

I've been wanting to try and make my own pasta sauce for a while now.  I thought I would just make your basic pasta sauce with added veggies & spices.  However, lately I've been dying to try something creamier or cheesier, like so many vegan pasta dishes contain that I read about.  My only problem with most recipes I've come across, whether just to make a creamy sauce or cheese sauce, is that they contain Nutritional Yeast (aka: "nooch").  It's high in protein and B vitamins making it pretty popular among vegans.  It also has a creamy, cheesy flavor that makes it a great cheese substitute.  However, my problem with it is that it also contains high levels of free glutamate from its processing.  I only tried nutritional yeast once and had a bad reaction, similar to how I would feel if I had consumed MSG. Therefore, I avoid it.

Thankfully, I read recently that using ground mustard is a good way to spice up, or add a nice kick and unique flavor to several dishes, included sauces.  Typically, it compliments cheese (or nutritional yeast) in recipes. Since I already had a basic idea on how to thicken up sauce, I thought I'd experiment and see what I could come up using just ground mustard, minus the "nooch".  I couldn't be happier with the thickness and taste of this sauce!  This is a very basic recipe with a whole lot of flavor!  

Pasta w/Creamy Sauce
2 cups marinara sauce
3/4 cups cashews
1/4 cup rice milk
1 tbsp ground mustard
salt & pepper to taste
16oz fusilli pasta (or pasta of choice)
2 cups frozen peas

For "Creamy Sauce":
Place marinara sauce, cashews, rice milk, ground mustard, salt & pepper in food processor and blend until smooth and thick.  Pour sauce into medium pot and heat over medium-low, stirring often until heated through.
*This recipes yields about 2.5 cups of sauce.  Feel free to make more if you like a lot of sauce.  I found it to be just enough for our liking.

For Pasta & Peas:
While the creamy sauce is heating up, prepare pasta according to package directions.

Towards the end of the pasta cooking (with around 8 minutes remaining), add peas and 1/4 cup of water to small pot.  Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low.  Simmer for 5 minutes, until peas are bright green and softened.   If any water remains, drain.

Top pasta with creamy sauce, then add the peas.   Then say "yum!" :-)

Creamy Sauce simmering in the pot

Pasta Dish "before"

Pasta Dish "after" :-)

I hope you enjoy this as much as I did!  

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

(Homemade) Date Paste

I use date paste a lot in my recipes to replace sugar.  I thought I would make a separate post for the recipe so that from here forward, every time I make something using it, I can just reference this post rather than writing out the whole process of making it each time.  

Date Paste
(yields one cup)
1 cup Organic, Medjool dates (pits removed)
1 cup water

Soak dates in 1 cup of water for 10-15 minutes.

Drain, reserving 1/2 cup liquid.  Place dates & 1/2 cup liquid in food processor and blend until a paste is formed. 

It's as simple as that!

You can use date paste in a wide variety of ways.  It can replace oil or sugar in cookies, cake, muffins, etc., or you can use it as the base for your own healthy snack bars. Do some research and have fun making your favorite treats healthier by using this substitution in place of other, less nutritious ingredients.

Friday, April 6, 2012

(Vegan, Bread Machine) Oatmeal Maple Pecan Bread & Apple Nut-Butter Sandwich

This recipe is straight from my West Bend Bread Machine Instructional Manual.  I adapted it to make it dairy-free.  I was in the mood for a sweet bread and thought I'd give it a shot. The only ingredient I left out was 2 tbsp's of dry milk.  I confess....I'm famous for leaving out ingredients and hoping for the best when I don't have them on hand or in this case, wouldn't use them and don't know how to substitute for it! :-)  I did a quick Google search and determined that leaving it out should not detrimentally effect the outcome, and it didn't!   (The only use I could find for adding the dry milk was to make the crust crispier, but it turned out plenty crisp without it).

Oatmeal Maple Pecan Bread
(Yields 1.5lb loaf)
3/4 cup + 2 tbsp warm water
1/3 cup Organic, Grade B maple syrup
2 tbsp coconut oil (use in its solid form to replace butter)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
3/4 cup quick oats
1 1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp dry active yeast
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Place ingredients in bread machine in order recommended by manufacturer.   Set to "sweet" cycle and light crust.   

This bread turned out hearty, very moist and really, really good!

I wasn't sure what to have for lunch so I threw together this quick and nutritious sandwich using some slices of this bread.   It's easy and shouldn't even be called a "recipe", but I'll include it anyway as a suggestion!  

Apple Nut-Butter Sandwich
1 apple, sliced thin
1-2tbsp almond butter, or nut butter of choice
2 slices bread

Spread nut butter over bread.  Thinly slice 1/2 an apple and place slices on top of nut butter.  Enjoy as a sandwich with the other half of your apple on the side!

The apple and nut butter was the perfect combination of flavors to combine with the Oatmeal Maple Pecan bread!  (You can make this sandwich with any bread you like though.) 

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Pinto Patties w/Mango Chutney

I got the inspiration for this dinner from a meal I used to eat in my pre-veg days.  I used to think that eating ground turkey was healthier than eating ground beef, so I made turkey burgers with chutney quite often.   I can't exactly remember how I made the chutney, I think it was peach and not mango, but I do remember using refined sugar.  Since I had a mango and some dates hanging around, as well as leftover cooked brown rice and pinto beans, I decided to figure out a way to 'veganize' that former favorite of mine.

There are many ways to make chutney, but I like mine more on the sweeter side, so that's what you'll find with this recipe.  You can tailor the ingredients to suit your own taste.  

Mango Chutney
1 medium mango (not quite ripe yet)
1 cup dates, pits removed
1/8 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
1/2 + 1/4 cup water

For "date paste": Soak dates in water for 10-15 minutes.  Add to processor/blender with 1/4 cup water and blend until smooth.   Set aside.

Remove skin from mango (I used a potato peeler).  Slice & chop mango into small chunks.  Set aside.

Heat 3 quart sauce pan over medium heat.  Add mango, date paste, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/2 cup water.  Stir to combine and bring to a light boil. Reduce heat to simmer, add chopped walnuts and mix to combine.  Cover and cook 45-60 minutes, until it thickens.  (Mine took the full 60 minutes to thicken nicely and for the mango to soften up).

Store leftovers in air tight container in fridge.

 Date Paste

Chopped Mango 
(next time I might chop it a bit smaller)

Chutney Cooking on stove-top

Using dates to sweeten this up in place of refined sugar worked perfectly.  I liked my blend of spices too, but as I mentioned above, feel free to experiment with what you prefer.  

Pinto Patties
(makes 6 patties)
16oz pinto beans, cooked
1 cup leftover, cooked brown rice
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
*1 flax egg (1 tbsp flax + 3 tbsp water)
salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp water

*any egg replacer should do if you don't have flax

Preheat oven to 350.

For the "flax egg":  Combine 1 tbsp flax with 3 tbsp water.  Whisk until combined and set aside.  The longer you let it sit, the thicker the mixture will get, which is good.

Place pinto beans in food processor/blender with a touch of water and pulse until slightly mashed. (Don't over-process as you don't want complete mush, some chunks are okay).

Heat 1 tsp water in small pan.  Saute onions and garlic for about 5 minutes, or until softened.

In mixing bowl, combine beans, brown rice, bread crumbs, sauteed onions & garlic,  salt, pepper and flax egg mixture.   Form into 6 patties.  

Line baking sheet with parchment paper, bake patties for 30-40 minutes, until crisp and golden on top. 

I served this on a bread machine hard roll, with some baked potato wedges and steamed broccoli on the side.  

This was really reminiscent of the turkey burger.  Of course it didn't taste like turkey but then again, I don't think the ground turkey ever did either.  ;)  It had a similar look and consistency though.  It went very well with the mango chutney too.

Just keep in mind that I made the pinto patties specifically to be topped with the mango chutney, so I'm not sure how well it would go as just a "burger" with traditional toppings.

Enjoy! :)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

(No Bake) Banana-Berry "Ice Cream" Pie

This is one of my all time favorite desserts!  Yes, a dessert that does not contain chocolate is one of my favorites.  It's rare, but it happens.  :)  I've made it before and remember it being a big hit at a family gathering.  I suppose it's really a warmer weather type dessert, but I really don't discriminate when it comes to what type of weather is best to enjoy a frozen treat!  ;)  

This dessert is all-natural, easy to make and so delicious.  I know you will love it!  

This recipe is adapted straight from my Green Star Juicer Operation Manual.  (If you don't have a juicer, don't worry.  You can still make this using a food processor or blender.  See directions.)

(No Bake) Banana-Berry "Ice Cream" Pie
1 cup almonds
1/2 cup sesame seeds
1 cup cashews
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup dated, pits removed (roughly 6 dates)
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp Organic, Grade B maple syrup
6 frozen bananas
1 1/2 cups frozen mixed berries

*This recipe requires the "homogenizing blank" screen if using this particular juicer to grind the ingredients.*

For the Crust:
Grind almonds, sesame seeds, cashews, raisins, dates and pecans together. (Note: if using a food processor or blender, soak dates first for 10-15 minutes before processing).

Add vanilla and maple syrup; knead by hand to form dough.  Press dough into a 9 inch pie dish to form the crust.  Refrigerate the crust 3-4 hours (or place in food dehydrator for 45 minutes).

For the "Ice Cream":
Grind frozen bananas and frozen berries together to make "ice cream". (Note: if using a food processor or blender, you might want to add a touch of water, but only a touch!  You don't want the mixture to get too thin).

Place "ice cream" on  top of the crust and evenly distribute.   Slice and serve! 

Nuts, dates & raisin mixture

Making the pie crust...

Making the "Ice Cream"....


You can freeze any leftovers, just take it out of the freezer for about 15 minutes before serving so it can soften up.  I suggest cutting it into slices and freezing it that way.  That way you can just pull out individual slices as you want them and you won't have to defrost the whole thing each time.

Enjoy!  I know you will!!  :)

Monday, April 2, 2012

Hearty Lentil Stew

I wanted to make some lentil soup this weekend since I haven't had it in a while.  I think it's sort of a vegetarian/vegan staple, right?  The weather was cold and rainy here yesterday, so it was the perfect day for a nice warm bowl!  I thought about making it a bit thicker and more "comfort food-like", so I threw together this recipe for lentil stew.   

Hearty Lentil Stew
1 tbsp water
1 cup onion, chopped
3-4 small celery stalks, chopped
3-4 small carrots, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 small potatoes, chopped into small chunks
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
2 cups lentils
               4 cups vegetable broth

Heat 1 tbsp of water over medium heat in stock pot (I used a 4.5 quart pot).  

Saute onions, celery, carrots and garlic for about 5 minutes.  Add potatoes, salt & pepper and saute for about a minute more.  

Add lentils and vegetable broth and bring to a boil.  

Lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 30-45 minutes, or until lentils are cooked and liquid is mostly absorbed.  

*Optional - mash a bit with potato masher to thicken things up*  

Wholesome Ingredients
Sauteing the veggies
Simmering pot

This turned out very tasty and I really enjoyed the thickness of it.  I had a big bowl with one of my bread machine hard rolls.   

It really was the perfect comfort food for a dreary, rainy night!  I can't wait to have some leftovers for lunch.  :)