Curry-spiced red lentils and oats with spinach, raisins, and walnuts

Spicy, savoury, with a touch of sweetness, this is a great way to add greens to your breakfast.

Ingredients

For the lentils and oats
1 1/3 cup water
1 ‘sprig’ dried kombu (about 1″)
1/4 cup red lentils
1/4 cup rolled, large flake oats
2T scallions, minced (reserve 2″ – 3″ green for garnish)
1/2T curry powder
1/4t dried, ground turmeric (or to taste — I add 1/2t)
Coarse sea salt and black pepper to taste

For the spinach
1T water
1 cup packed spinach, minced
1/4t coarse sea salt
1T nutritional yeast
Coarse sea salt to taste

For the garnish
1T chopped walnuts
2T raisins (thompson or sultana are equally good)
3-4 grape tomatoes, quartered
Scallion green sliced on a angle (as noted above)

Optional: Switch out the oats for amaranth for something more nutrient dense (reduce the water to 1 cup if you do, and add the amaranth about 10 minutes in). You can save yourself time (and a pan) by adding the spinach and raisins to the oats for the last 5 minutes, but your presentation won’t be as nice. You can also add some flavour by toasting the oats and curry spices in the frying pan before adding them. Replace the walnuts with a tablespoon cashew butter (added to the oats at the end) for a creamier texture.

Method

Bring the water to a boil in a small pan with a lid. Add the red lentils and kombu. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Add the oats, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes. Remove the kombu. Add the scallion, curry powder and turmeric. Stir to combine. Simmer another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand to cool.

Single-serve banana walnut breakfast cake

A lightly sweet, airy breakfast cake with no added oil, sugar, gluten, or salt.

Ingredients

3T sweet sorghum flour
1T brown rice flour
1/2T cornstarch
1/2T tapioca flour
1//4t heaping baking powder
1 medium, very ripe banana (about 3/4 cup)
1/2t pure vanilla extract
2T unsweetened soy milk
1T chopped walnuts, 1t reserved for garnish
1t milled flax seed
Stevia to taste

Optional: Use shelled sunflower seeds in place of walnuts. You can use a tablespoons or so coconut sugar in place of the stevia but adjust the baking time accordingly. You can use other plant milks, but this will also affect the crumb and bake time.

Method

Mix the flours, cornstarch and baking powder. Puree the banana, vanilla, and walnuts until relatively smooth. Add the soy milk to the banana and puree.

Whisk the wet with the dry to form a smooth batter. Add the flax seed and stir to combine. Sweeten to taste with the stevia (it should be sweet to the taste). Pour the batter into a ramekin. Let rest while you preheat the oven to 450F.

When the oven is ready, bake for 15 minutes on the middle rack at 450F. Sprinkle with reserved walnuts, reduce heat to 350F, and bake another 15 – 20 minutes or so. Ovens vary; use a toothpick to determine when the cake is done.

Remove from heat. Cover with a clean tea towel and let cool. When cool, run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen and carefully remove from the ramekin. Enjoy fresh or wrap in plastic wrap to enjoy later.

Freshly baked garlic, herb bagels

Although it’s the extreme dry heat of a professional oven that makes the absolute best bagels, it’s possible to make a good bagel at home. Many bagels made at corner shops are made with egg wash, honey, or other ingredients. Commercial bagels are often made with micro-ingredients, such as l-cysteine, and they lack the satisfying chew of a freshly baked bagel. This recipe makes half a dozen, but easily shrinks or doubles.

Ingredients

3 cups whole wheat bread flour
A pinch coarse sea salt
1 1/2 – 2 cups warm water
1 1/2T yeast
1/2T green herbs (I use herbes de Provence)
1/2t garlic powder
2 liter water
1T baking soda
1T blackstrap molasses
2T unsweetened plant milk

Optional: There are a lot of variations for bagels. You can braid the dough for something more European. You can make them smaller with a larger hole and sprinkle them sesame seeds for a bagel in the Montreal style. You can also flavour your bagels as you like (e.g., with onion or cinnamon and raising, etc.), but be careful of interrupting the yeast.

For a plain bagel, leave out the garlic and herbs. Unbleached, all purpose flour will give you a bit more fluff (but you made need less water). You can also sprinkle sesame seeds and other toppings toward the end of the baking. You can also change the sweetener, but be careful about changing the pH balance of the water too much — it’s partly what makes the bagel chewy.

Method

Note, to get the fluffiest, chewiest bagels you can, it’s helpful to have a baking stone for this recipe. If you don’t have one, sprinkle a lightly oiled baking sheet with 1/2T coarse yellow corn meal instead. Or, if you have baking paper rated to 450F, use that. You want a hot, dry oven.

It’s also best if you have a pan large enough to boil them all at once. The longer the bagels sit between the boiling and the baking, the longer they lose their heat and the fluff that goes with it. If you have to do the boiling in batches, remove each to a clean, dry cutting board sprinkled with a little corn meal while you do the remainder.

Start by mixing the flour and salt. Mix the water and yeast according to its instructions. Add the wet to the dry and mix until a smooth dough forms. Add additional water as necessary 1 tablespoon at a time. Knead for about 10 minutes. Let the dough rise covered with a warm, moist tea towel for 2 hours, punching down periodically. Roll out on a floured board. Fold in the garlic powder and herbs. Knead for a minute or so.

When the dough is ready, break into 6 equal parts. If you want large, sandwiched sized bagels, break the dough into 4 parts. Roll the dough out to a long thing tube, about 6″ long and 1 1/2″ in diameter, between your palms.

Once rolled, connect both ends of the tube securely into a bagel shape. The size of the hole varies by style. I make mine about 1 1/2″, and I twirl it on my index finger. Repeat until all your bagels are ready. Cover and let rise another 30 minutes or so. Don’t let them over-rise.

In a large pan, bring the water to a light boil. Preheat your oven to 500F (or 450F if your oven doesn’t reach 500F). Add the baking soda and molasses to the water and return to a light boil. Add the bagels, simmering them in the mixture for about 1 minute, turning over and boiling another 30 seconds or so. Remove the bagels from the water with a slotted spoon.

Add your bagels to your baking stone or sheet. Bake for 10 – 15 minutes until they are starting to brown lightly (depending on the temperature and whether you use a stone, a baking sheet, etc.). Ovens vary; use the colour and texture of your bagel as a guide.

When the bagels are starting to lightly brown, brush each with a little plant milk. Sprinkle any additional toppings at this point. Bake for another 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes to an hour before serving. Or, let cool completely and then package up for later.