Lentil and Cauliflower Dahl

For over a year now I have been following the 5:2 diet and although I have the odd slack week here and there I’ve generally fully incorporated it into my life. It’s something I actually get enjoyment out of (maybe don’t ask me to confirm this at 4pm on a fasting day!!) and if the research is to be believed it’s something that my body benefits from in a number of ways.

On my 500 calorie days I have opted for the tactic of skipping both breakfast and dinner (the midday meal) and just having one 500 calorie meal towards the end of the day, once I have gotten in from work. I know this isn’t the best option for many people, but for me, whilst I am busy at work, I find it much easier to go out without food than when I am home in the evening.

One possible downside of the 5:2 diet that I have noticed is that, if you’re not organised, fasting days are not conducive to cooking and it is easy to fall into the trap of living on shop-bought pre-calorie- counted food. This can often be boring and potentially not very healthy but very rarely do I feel like taking the time to figure out how many calories are in 7g of curry powder! Thankfully I did make the effort a couple of weeks ago because now I have an easy, nutritious, cheap and tasty meal that comes in just under 500 calories for my fasting days.

Dahl has always been a favourite of mine, it’s the mac and cheese of Indian food; comforting and warming. This recipe is pretty simplistic, obviously I had to cut it back to the basics in order to keep the calories low but trust me it tastes great!

Lentil and Cauliflower Dahl

This makes enough for one portion

Total calorie count = 492 calories

Ingredients

5g coconut oil (39 calories)

100g white onion (40 calories)

3 cloves / 9g garlic (13 calories)

1 stock cube (24 calories)

100g cauliflower (25 calories) – you can swap the cauliflower for 100g of almost any veg just make sure it comes under or around 30 calories with a quick Google search

7g (about 2 tsp) curry powder (22 calories)

60g raw red lentils (162 calories)

To Serve

Wholemeal Pitta (167 calories) and Fresh Coriander if you’re feeling extravagant (negligible calories…no one got fat off a few coriander leaves!)

IMG_0528 (1)

Method

  1. Add the coconut oil to a medium sized pan and melt over a medium heat
  2. Chop your onion and finely slice your garlic and add to the pan to soften
  3. Cut the cauliflower into fairly small florets and make the stock up with boiling water according to the packet instructions
  4. Once the onions are soft and translucent add the spice mix and fry for 2 minutes
  5. Add the lentils and cauliflower and coat in the spices and fry for a further 1 minute
  6. Add all of your stock (it should be about 500mls) and return to a simmer
  7. Leave it to bubble away, stirring occasionally and topping it up with water if it looks too dry
  8. After about 15 or 20 minutes the lentils should have totally softened to the point where they are no longer distinguishable little circles and more of a smooth mush
  9. Serve in a bowl (it will be quite liquidy) with a toasted pitta and a sprinkling of coriander leaves.
Advertisements

Duane’s Aubergine Saag

Last night I was lucky enough to have a friend cook me tea, he made a trio of vegetarian curries and rice (despite not being a veggie himself) and they were all delicious! So I thought why not pinch one of his recipes and include it on here.

20150325_205014

This spinach and aubergine curry was particularly tasty and the way the aubergine soaks up all the flavours makes it a really creamy and smooth curry with just hint of spice.

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of ghee (to make this vegan use a flavourless oil)

1 teaspoon of garam masala

1 teaspoon of turmeric

1 red chilli

3 cloves of garlic

A pinch each of cumin and ginger

1 large white onion

2 aubergines – diced into about 2cm cubes

1 large tin of spinach (check the World Food section in the supermarket)

½ a tin of coconut milk

Method

Melt down a couple of tablespoons of ghee in a large pan (preferably one that has a lid/something you can use as a lid). Or if you are using oil instead heat the oil.

Add the garam masala, turmeric, red chilli and garlic (finely chopped ) and a pinch of cumin and ginger.

Finely 20150325_204804chop the onion and fry together with the spices on a low heat until softened.

Add the two diced aubergines and fry off for a couple of minutes, before adding the spinach, the coconut milk and a splash of water.

Season with salt and pepper and turn up the heat up for a few minutes

Once everything is starting to bubble; ‘whack the lid on’, turn the heat right down and leave it to simmer for an hour or so

 

Thanks to Duane for this recipe; all credit/criticism to him please 🙂