It's been too long! Caught up in the daily details of running TLB, it was hard to find the time to write the blog. In many ways, the business has changed - I no longer offer retail sales and my product is only available in wholesale food service now, which I understand has been a disappointment for many of you.
That being the case, it seemed incongruent to update the blog and Facebook page as if there were stories and experiences that someone would want to read about in that "social", conversational way. This made the blog seem like a self-indulgence, rather than a resource, which I always wanted it to be.
Recently, though, I've taken on a project, unrelated to TLB, but "foodie", nonetheless, that I decided I'd like to share with you, our food-loving friends. Many years ago, disenchanted with the daily grind of restaurant prep and execution of recipes I had been making and eating for years, I made the decision to go vegetarian. It was so exciting to learn how to cook all over again, without the benefit of simple, go-to flavor enhancers like butter, cream, BACON. A new world had opened up to this young culinarian and I was hooked.
After 3 years, I went vegan, just to make it a little more of a challenge - and to keep it interesting. At the time, I was working at Whole Foods Market as their Community Relations Specialist and found it was easy to be vegetarian or vegan because we were in an all-natural, vegan, special diet paradise, but I struggled when I left to accept a position with another company, and eventually went back to my omnivore ways.
As time passed, I remembered how good, whole and healthy I felt when I wasn't eating animal products, and after practicing yoga and receiving my RYT 200, I started to soak up all I could learn about Ayurveda. With this new information, I was inspired to adopt my vegetarian/vegan lifestyle again and am enjoying the art of cooking at home, which had become a very dull and unenjoyable task.
On Sunday, into my kitchen I went. The fridge was stocked with tons of fresh produce, the pantry filled with vegan friendly staples, and I watched Scandal on Netflix (I KNOW! - Guys, bear with me -THAT is my guiltiest indulgence right now). Instagramming as I went, some friends asked for recipes and I really don't have anywhere else to put them, so - we'll put them here.
I hope you'll overlook the "un-TLB-ness" of it all, and just enjoy the journey as I transition back to vegan, missing Haloumi cheese with every step. Don't hold me to any standards yet - I might cave, temporarily fall of the wagon and succumb to a Taco Tuesday, or something, but I'm giving it my best effort.
I hope you'll enjoy one of the recipes I created on Sunday. I made some adaptations from a recipe that was created by a friend of mine, Marna, who's an amazing chef in her own rite.
Quick plug for a product that appears in this recipe - Street Eatzz 313 Foodie Sauce and Street Eatzz Smoke Sauce. Check them out at http://streeteatzz.com/
Do yourself a favor and get some! And, don't attempt this recipe without the Smoke sauce - it just won't be the same. The "Smoke", as it's often referred to, rounds out the acidity and the spiciness of the curry. It really does pull the whole dish together.
Curried Lentils with Sweet Potatoes & Spinach.
1 sweet potato, medium dice
1 Tb. canola oil
1 Tb. garlic, minced
3 Tb. canola oil
1 Tb. fresh ginger, grated
1 onion, small dice
2 Tb. curry powder
2 Tb. garam Masala
1 qt. vegetable stock
2 c. French Green Lentils
1 bay leaf
½ c. fresh salsa, drained
5 oz. baby spinach
¼ c. Street Eatzz Smoke Sauce
1 Tb. apple cider vinegar
sea salt to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a half sheet pan with cooking spray.
Toss the sweet potatoes with 1 Tb. of canola oil and place the cubed sweet potatoes on the sheet tray. Roast until caramelized, stirring occasionally. When the potatoes are finished roasting, remove them from the oven and set aside.
While the potatoes are in the oven, heat a large saucepan and add the oil and heat until the oil shimmers. Saute the garlic, ginger, and onion. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Return the pan to the heat and deglaze the pan with some of the vegetable stock. Use a wooden spoon to release the fond from the bottom of the pan (that’s where the flavor is!). Use a whisk to incorporate the curry powder, and garam masala and then add the rest of the stock.
Add the lentils and the bay leaf and bring to a boil.
Once the lentils and stock come to a boil, reduce the heat to medium/medium-low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook until the stock has been absorbed into the lentils and the lentils are plump, about 20 minutes.
Remove from the stove and place the lentils in a large mixing bowl. Remove the bay leaf.
Use this saucepan to wilt the spinach: spray the bottom of the pan with cooking spray. Return to the stove and add the spinach. Wilt. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Combine the lentils with the Street Eatzz Smoke Sauce and apple cider vinegar. Add the sweet potatoes, onion and garlic mixture, spinach, salsa. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt.
This dish can be enjoyed by itself or you can serve it with basmati rice.
Stacy Sloan; Chef & Founder of Three Little Birds