Daily Archives: May 9, 2010

Crispy Lentil Balls

Okay almost everything deep fried is delicious. There are a few exceptions to this rule: snickers, oreos, twinkies, cheesecake. But most things deep fried are delicious and this includes vegan food. There are many negatives to deep frying: it can take a long time, its awful for your body, and its messy. I hardly ever deep fry anything because of this. Things that are typically deep fried I prefer to pan fry or bake in the oven. I think its okay to have every once in a while to have as a treat.

Crispy Lentil Balls

Adapted from the Essential Vegetarian Cookbook

  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 2 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 4 slices pepper jack rice cheese
  • 1 cup mixed baby greens
  • 1 cup polenta

1. Place the lentils in a medium pan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low; cover and simmer for ten minutes or until the lentils are tender. Drain and rinse well under cold water.

2. Combine half the lentils in a food processor with garlic and mixed baby greens. Process for ten seconds or until the mixture is pulpy. Transfer for a large bowl and add the remaining lentils, cumin, breadcrumbs, and cheese.

3. Using your hands, roll level tabslepooons mof mixture into balls and toss lightly in polenta.

4. Heat the oil in a heavy based pan. Gently lower small batches of the balls into moderately hot oil. Cook for one minutes or until golden brown and crisp. Carefully remove from the oil with tongs or a slotted spoon and rain on paper towels. Repeat the process with the remaining balls.

They turned out crispy and delicious, but I couldn’t too many of them. I loved the mixture of the pureed of lentils with whole lentils.

Advertisements

Noodle Soup Failure

Yesterday after an exciting trip to 99 Ranch Market, Andrew and I made another version of the spicy noodle soup that I made for him last week. Andrew felt that the soup should be heartier so he suggested we add potatoes. Well, I love potatoes so how could I resist? I forgot that potatoes add a lot of extra starch to broth and can change the entire consistency of a dish.

Everything was  going really well. The carrots and potatoes were looking delicious. I added the vegetable broth and seasonings. The broth tasted amazing. It wasn’t as spicy as last time, but had a certain depth of flavor. While the carrots and potatoes were cooking I chopped the brocolli and the baby bok choy. After about twenty minutes the potatoes and carrots were pretty much done cooking. I can’t believe how the potatoes absorbed the flavor. They tasted so good!

Here is where things went wrong. My soup wasn’t quite simmering when I added the brocolli, baby bok choy, and somen noodles. I increased the heat, but something was still off and the noodles weren’t cooking right. I think in the end, I had not accounted for the fact that the potatoes would absorb a lot of the cooking liquid and my liquid was not simmering hard enough to add the noodles. The noodles turned out gummy and clumped together. They had a raw flour taste that turned my stomach and I think in the end is what caused some serious indigestion for me.

The whole soup was off. Andrew ate it but I could tell he didn’t enjoy it that much and he felt the noodles tasted strange too. The potatoes made the broth thick and starchy. It was lacking the clarity of the broth from the other day.

In the end, I majorly messed up on when I added the noodles. Next time if I want something heartier I will skip the potatoes, add tofu or tempeh instead or maybe some cashews. I added cashews to my soup and they tasted very good with the broth.