Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Japanese Sweet Potato Dhal, Tricolor Quinoa with Parsnip, Multigrain English Muffin Open Sandwich (No Added Fat)

My wife and daughter returned from a nice trip to the Tennessee and Western North Carolina mountains and I had dinner almost ready when they arrived. I prepared some meals for a client yesterday including parsnip with mixed quinoa and a dhal (lentil soup) with sweet potato, both of which I loved and wanted to make for my family. Here is what I did:

  • 3/4 cup red split lentils
  • 3 times as much (i.e., 2 1/4 cups) water
  • 2 Japanese (white, but other kinds are fine if white-fleshed can't be found) sweet potatoes, skin removed
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/8 t turmeric
  • 1/2 t ground cumin seed
  • 1/2 t salt (or to taste)
  • 1T fresh ginger
  • (optional) 1/2 jalapeno (or to taste)
  • 1T fresh lime or lemon juice (I used Meyer lemon juice)

  1. Yesterday for my client, I had simmered red split lentils for 25m stovetop and blended with a cooked squash. Instead, today, I thought I'd cook lentils and sweet potato. I was about to cook the sweet potato in the pressure cooker and cook the lentils stovetop, then blend, but realized that I could save time and energy by combining. I was in a rush to pick up my wife and daughter so didn't carefully think it out (or I'd have cut the sweet potato into chunks and used less cooking time), but simply put the water, lentils, and sweet potato into my Instant Pot pressure cooker and cooked on high pressure for 20 minutes.
  2. I knew that the lentils would be quite done; the sweet potato was also quite well cooked. I put all of the Instant Pot contents into my Vitamix blender.
  3. I added to the blender the rest of the ingredients and blended to a puree.
I served the lentil soup (dhal) along with a whole grain English muffin with tomato, avocado, and olive. I also made quinoa as I usually do (1 part quinoa to 2 parts water, along with a vegan bouillon cube, brought to a boil for 3 or so minutes then left off heat, covered, for about 10 minutes till the water was absorbed and the quinoa got the characteristic spiral shape), but I also cut a parsnip into small 1/4" cubes and added them to the beginning of the cooking.


I love this thick and slightly sweet dhal! I don't know if others have tried making a sweet potato or squash dhal. It was quite thick. I didn't include jalapeno, but it would have been quite interesting with the sweet flavor. I love the sweetness and texture that the parsnip adds to the quinoa!

Ideas for the future

I would love to try this dhal with jalapeno. I liked the thickness, but it could be thinned with more water.

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