I have zero ambition to become a vegetarian. Don’t get me wrong – I adore animals and if forced to single-handedly provide meat I would most certainly base my menus on seeds and plants. But, to be honest, I really love quality sea food, nice peace of steak or some fine charcuterie.
Nevertheless, I like the concept of meatless, even vegan Mondays. We generally consume too many animal products while at the same time farmer markets offer a wide range of beautiful vegetables. No doubt they deserve to shine on our table at least once in a while.
Some people I know refuse to even try any vegetable, potatoes aside. Allegedly, they are tasteless and dull. I strongly believe those poor creatures just didn’t find the style of preparation they would love yet. For instance, I simply adore green beans in salad or gratinated. But traditional recipe for a stew with sour cream never found a way to my heart. Or tp my plate.
If you’re looking for your next favorite meatless lunch let me suggest a combination of oven roasted root vegetables, black Beluga lentils and some nice green salad such as baby spinach.
Roasted vegetables are great hot right from the oven, but perfectly nice cooled down, too. So, don’t worry about making too much of it. Suggested amounts are for 4-6 people.
1kg orange carrots
250g yellow carrots
1,5 kg parsnips
4 small purple onions
sprig of rosemary
salt and pepper
500g black lentils
400g fresh green salad such as baby spinach or lambs lettuce
Juice of 1 lemon or apple vinegar
Wash, peel and cut root vegetables in quarters, then put in a large pot of salted boiling water and cook for about 5 to 10 minutes. You can skip this part, but partially precooked vegetables tend to bake and caramelize better.
Drain thoroughly and while still hot season with olive oil and juice of one orange. Add onions cut in quarters, halved garlics and a sprig of fresh rosemary. Remove to a tin and arrange in single layer. Sprinkle with cumin seeds and dried thyme. Preheat the oven to190 degrees and bake for about 45 minutes or until caramelized to you taste.
Cook lentils in vegetable stock for about 20 minutes, drain and add a spoonful of olive oil. Any kind of lentils as a source of protein is great, but I always use black Beluga lentils because they taste great and also look beautiful.
Season the salad simply with olive oil and lemon juice. Or, as my family prefer, make the dressing with 1 spoonful honey, 1 spoonful grainy Dijon mustard, 1dl olive oil and 0,25 dl barrique apple vinegar. Put all ingredients in a little bottle and shake.