Mamma mia, 2016, you sure made one hell of an exit! (Standard New Year reflection post to follow – do not fear!)
Anyway, let’s talk about what we’re really here for… We all know, it’s FOOD. We’re on day five of 2017, and Veganuary is well under way now. If you’d like to find out more or are thinking of joining in, it isn’t too late. Follow the link to the Veganuary website, where you’ll find a ton of information on trying out veganism for January, and a million helpful things on adjusting your diet if it so interests you!
Over Christmas, I backslid a bit. Most of what I ate was vegan, but I wasn’t as strict as I have been, and I ate a fair amount of (definitely non-vegan) chocolate. So Veganuary has given me a little bit of a kick up the arse to go back to being more conscious about what I’m eating. My body has thanked me for it too, because – as you probably know by now – dairy hates me passionately. We’ve been cooking a lot more since Christmas, which has been wonderful. I’m starting to feel that horrible Christmas bloat disappear now.
This evening, I made a seriously quick and easy gluten free tomato and lentil pasta. It was so yummy, and I made a big batch to stick it in the fridge/freezer for lunches and last minute dinners. I’m in the middle of a bit of a love affair with lentils at the moment. They’re such a good source of protein for anyone on a vegetarian or vegan diet, especially if you (like me) can’t stand most of the fake meats on the market. They take on the flavour of whatever sauce they’re cooked in pretty well, so they’re fantastic at making a dish feel more substantial, whilst packing in good amounts of protein, dietary fibre, vitamin B6, iron and magnesium. When I first cut meat out of my diet, I couldn’t stand lentils in anything. Now, I’m pretty sure it’s because I didn’t cook them properly so I ended up eating hard, red pellets. If you’re unsure about them, keep trying. They’re too good to miss out on.
Tomato and Lentil Pasta
- 300g brown rice penne pasta
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 bell pepper (pick a colour, any colour), finely chopped
- 400g tin chopped tomatoes
- 400g tin green lentils
- Italian herbs
- Heat 1 tbsp. vegetable oil in a pan on a medium heat. Add the onion and pepper and cook until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further two minutes.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water for 10-12 minutes.
- While the pasta is cooking, add the tomatoes to the onion and pepper. Drain the lentils and add to the tomato sauce. Continue to cook over a medium heat for a further 5 minutes. Add Italian herbs and season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Drain the pasta and add to the sauce. Enjoy!
Anyone giving Veganuary a go, I’d love to hear from you about how it’s going so far! Starting out is tough, so let me know if you have any questions.