Another seasonally appropriate salad. This is a good main-course in itself. The lentils pack good protein and the spelt berries are easily digestible and nice and toothsome (if thats not a word your granny would use..?).
Although spelt contains gluten, it’s easy on the digestion. The main thing that affects people about wheat and gluten these days is that they are extremely modified and refined. Spelt or wheat berries eaten in their whole form are simple to assimilate as their molecular structure is similarly uncomplicated. The kind processed wheat you find around in most things has been so highly tampered with it presents a very complicated molecular structure, which has its ramifications when you attempt to digest this.
If you pressure cook the lentils and spelt berries they would only take 20 mins altogether, but I prefer to cook them in regular pans as they can tend to get a bit mushy the other way. Still, if time is of the essence the whole thing can be done in half and hour. Watch out for slicing the pumpkin. Its tough to cut into and then suddenly they give way and send the knife flying down. Be careful thats all I say; from experience here.
Roasted pumpkin is so simple and one of my favourite things. Cut it into larger pieces than you might think It cooks fast and if they’re too small you end up with pumpkin chips which are nice as well. If you want chips. This way you have crispy outside and soft and creamy inside. Notice the baking mats. These avoid a lot of tray-scrubbing.
Salad dressing can be varied to suit your tastes. We also like to do a yoghurt-tahini style dressing on this one. Herbs can also be messed with, but dill is always a winner here. Basically, combine any grain and bean, add a bit of oil, some kind of vinegar, a veg, fresh herb and some element of fat (nuts, avocado, tahini..) you can’t really go wrong. We like suggestive recipes here. This is not so much a recipe, more a kind of suggestion for kitchen inspirations..
- ¾ cup green lentil (soaked overnight)
- ½ cup spelt berries (soaked overnight)
- 1 beetroot
- ½ a small pumpkin
- 6 tbs olive oil
- large handful of chopped dill, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup cashew nuts (soaked overnight if you have time)
- ¼ cup toasted pine nuts (optional)
- juice of 1 lemon
- 2 tbs cider vinegar
- 1 tbs white miso
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- 1. drain and rinse your lentils and spelt into separate saucepans. If you like throw a carrot and ac stick of celery and bay leaf in with the lentils. It will give more flavour. Remove and discard when you're done. Top up the pans with a few cups of water, bring to the boil and semi-cover on a low simmer.
- 2. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Wrap the beetroot in foil and chop the pumpkin (peeled if you like, but not necessary). Toss the pumpkin in 2 tbs olive oil and salt and pepper.
- 3. Bake on a tray for 30-40 minutes for the pumpkin. 1 hr for the beetroot. Unwrap, cool, then peel and chop it.
- 4. Drain the lentils after 30 minutes. Check the spelt at 45, but it may take an hour, It will always have a slight bite to it. Empty into a bowl together with pumpkin and beetroot.
- 5. Add 2 more tbs olive oil, the cider vinegar, dill and salt and pepper. Mix to combine.
- 6. To make the dressing bled the rest of the olive oil with the miso, lemon juice, cashew nuts, mustard and ⅓ cup water in a blender of food processor. Season well and drizzle over salad. Garnish with more dill and toasted pine nuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.
- healthy, simple and tasty. Fresh flavours and seasonal too..