May has been such a fun month so far, trying new recipes from Dreena Burton’s new book “Plant Powered Families”. I don’t have kids, but I still think this book is awesome and I wish it was around when I was a teen, desperately trying to figure out what I could eat and still feel “normal”.
This awesome book features all sorts of family friendly meals sans the onion and hold the garlic. I also appreciated Dreena’s down to earth advice on how to help kids (“weegans” as she calls them… how cute is that??) through social situations where the family’s dietary choices may come into question and also the reality that they might at some point, accidentally have a bite of cheese at a party. Introducing new foods can be a challenge too, but Dreena also addresses that along with picky eaters. This book is just so full of helpful information, the recipes might just be a really really awesome bonus. Another thing I love about this book is that there is a photo to go with almost every recipe. How many cookbooks have we gotton and wished it had more pictures? I love this feature, no doubt kids who enjoy helping plan meals will love this feature too.
Here are a few of my own pictures of recipes I’ve enjoyed already from Plant Powered Families:
I love breakfast, any time of day. The breakfast recipes generally have variations and as you can see… I like chocolate.
Made the polenta croutons for this salad too. Man oh man are they good!
Sometimes you just crave a burger… and this one was so yummy!
This was so delicious and I finally got the tofu to turn out like at the restaurant.
There’s sweet potato in both the cake and the frosting! Score! So amazing.
And now the recipe I get to share with all of you. It was really hard to choose a recipe because I really loved everything I’ve made, but this one hit a special spot with me. I love hummus, but I’ve never been able to get it to be the right texture and smooth and creamy as in the store. Homemade tastes really yummy, but it’s always way thicker than I would prefer and I can never seem to get it thin enough. This hummus… perfect. Because Lentils thicken up the next day, this was just thin enough the first day to be used as a very thick salad dressing. This is so good, you could eat it with a spoon, but it’s still really delicious with veggies. I’m all for anything that gets me to eat more broccoli… I did try some of Dreena’s suggestions, such as adding cumin and I did use smoked paprika instead of regular (and a bit more than she called for). I’m a bit obsessed with smoked paprika these days… Anyway, this hummus, super amazing and I love that because lentils cook fast, and don’t require the same kind of forethought as chickpeas (soaking and such), you can go from wanting hummus to having completely freshly made hummus with freshly made lentils in about an hour. I haven’t tried all the recipes in the book and I’m sure I will love them all, but I am confident that this recipe will continue to be one of my favorites. Enjoy!
Red Lentil Hummus
Makes about 3 cups
I’ve been known to use kidney beans, white beans, and black beans in hummus, and this recipe gets even more experimental with the incorporation of red lentils. They have a very mellow flavor, and this dip, while unassuming at first, becomes quite irresistible after a bite or two!
1 cup dried red lentils, rinsed (see note)
2 cups water
1–2 medium-large cloves garlic (see note)
3½ –4 tablespoons tahini
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/2–1 teaspoon lemon zest (see note)
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
Place lentils and water in a large saucepan. Bring toa boil, then reduce heat to very low. Cover and let cook until all the water is absorbed and the lentils are fully softened, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 1/2 hour or longer. In a food processor, add the cooked lentils, garlic, tahini, sea salt, coriander, lemon zest, paprika, vinegar, and lemon juice. Puree until smooth. Add more garlic or salt to taste. This mixture is much looser than a traditional hummus. When refrigerated, it thickens considerably. So, you can enjoy it a little thinner, or wait until it is chilled. Serve with whole grain pitas or tortillas.
You can make the lentils a day or two in advance, and then refrigerate until ready to use. They will already be chilled for this dip, and therefore the puree will be thicker.
Adjust garlic to taste. I use one clove when serving for the family, but you can use more for adults.
Lemon Zest Note
While zest may seem like an unusual addition here, it truly adds some lovely flavor.
Try adding 1/2 teaspoon of cumin to this puree for extra spice. You can bump up the garlic quotient for adults, and also try adding a punch of heat with hot sauce. If you want to add fresh herbs like cilantro, basil, or parsley, wait until the dip is cooled and then puree through.