Friday Night Bites: Avocado-Lentil-Quinoa Bowls

What does a vegan mom eat at the end of a busy week? A big bowl of goodness.

By Friday night I am all cooked out. This is a new favorite of mine. It started last week when I had leftover lentils from taco night so I made extra lentils this week on purpose!

Baby green lentils
Sunflower seeds (toasting is a nice feature, but not necessary)
Balsamic vinegar, a drizzle

Use as much of each ingredient as makes sense in your bowl. Pile up the quinoa and lentils. Top with slices or chunks of avocado. Toss sunflower seeds on top and top with balsamic. Enjoy!

Lentil Taco Bowls


We love piling lots of stuff up in a bowl for taco night. I use the same seasoning for all of my taco variations including tempeh and walnut taco “meat.”

To make this dinner a breeze to prepare, I make the lentils in the morning. We’re in the kitchen anyway!

And it is getting darker earlier now so the photos are not so bright. Hopefully you can see the deliciousness anyway!

Serves 3

1 cup brown rice
1/2 small onion
1 garlic clove
3 tablespoons water
1 cup cooked lentils (green or brown)
1/2 teaspoon each cumin, paprika, chili powder
1/2 cup corn
Shredded Lettuce
Guacamole (For the three of us, I use 2 avocados, 1/2 small onion, diced, a big handful of cilantro, the juice of a lime and salt to taste)
Salt, to taste

Get the rice going. Heat the corn up. Shred the lettuce.

Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Sauté in water until soft. Add the cooked lentils and spices. Season with salt to taste.

Make the guacamole.

Set up an assembly line of bowls. Place the rice in the bottom. Add some corn. Top with the lentil mixture, then lettuce, and then a big dollop of guacamole. Enjoy!

Blue Plate Special #42: Baked Mustard Tofu with Warm Lentil Salad


This is a total rip off of a Barefoot Contessa meal. I saw her make it one day on the telly and wrote down all of the ingredients*. I thought, I can do that same lentil salad but substitute tofu for the “protein.” How easy is that…to veganize!

makes 3 to 4 plates

Baked Mustard Tofu
1 box extra firm tofu
1 cup panko
1 big handful fresh parsley, about 1/2 cup
2 teaspoons lemon zest, about 1/2 a small lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
S and P
Dijon mustard (I love grainy Dijon)

Press the tofu for as long as you have time for. Preheat the oven to 350.

Cut the tofu into any shape you like – – triangles, squares, rectangles – – 8 pieces all together.

Chop the parsley and then mix with the panko, lemon zest, olive oil, and a dash of salt and pepper. Combine well with a fork.

Spread mustard on the top of each piece of tofu. Top generously with the panko mixture. (There will be a little left over.) Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the panko starts to brown, but not too much longer or the tofu will get overcooked.

Warm Lentil Salad
1 cup cooked French lentils (1/2 cup dried lentils makes a little more than 1 cup)
1 carrot
1 leek
1 clove of garlic
S and P
Olive oil

Mustard Vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (again, grainy)
1 teaspoon vinegar (sherry, white wine, white balsamic all would be great)
S and P, to taste

Make the lentils. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together and set aside.

Dice the carrots. Clean and slice up the leek (cut in half, half again and then thinly slice the short way.) Mince the garlic.

Pour a bit of olive oil in a pan with sides. Not too much but enough to sauté the vegetables. Add the garlic and cook until just fragrant. Add the carrots and leeks and cook until softening, but still al dente. Season with salt and pepper.

Add the cooked lentils into the vegetables and then the mustard vinaigrette. This should be done when the lentils are hot so they can absorb the flavors. Toss well. Note: this salad can be made ahead of time and warmed up when ready to serve. It is also great on its own!

Plate it up and enjoy!

* I always like to link back to the original inspiration for my recipes but I can’t find this in any of the Barefoot Contessa or Food Network archives.

Warm Beluga Lentil, Green Pea & Shallot Salad


I had a lot of leftover Beluga lentils from our caviar party on Sunday. One cup of dried lentils makes almost three cups cooked! So I came up with salad. I think the peas are the perfect compliment to the little tiny lentils.

1 1/2 cups cooked Beluga lentils
6 small shallots
2 cups frozen green peas, thawed
Olive oil
S and P, to taste
The juice of 1/2 a lemon

Cook the lentils until al dente. Cover and set aside.

Thinly slice the shallots. Heat olive oil in a pan and cook until soft and fragrant. Season with salt.

Let the peas defrost. Add the lentils and peas to the shallots and toss. Add the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper. Taste and adjust. Enjoy!

Beluga Lentil Caviar with Candle 79’s Creme Fraiche



This is one of the best things I make! I love that the name of these lentils is Beluga and so I created this “caviar” dish with the standard sides: toasts, chopped red onions, capers, and creme fraiche.

Beluga lentils, cooked
Red onion, minced
Creme fraiche

Cook the lentils. Brush the bread with olive oil and place under the broiler for 3 to 5 minutes. Mince the onions, drain the capers.

The creme fraiche is made from 1 cup raw cashews, 1 lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 tablespoons water and pinch salt.

To serve, set up each ingredient in it’s own bowl/plate so everyone can create their own masterpiece. Enjoy!