There are those days when I just feel… meh. Those days when you get up and peek out of the window just to see another dark gray sky bringing persistent rain over here. I don’t know about you but sometimes a start like this sets the tone for the rest of the day.
An exciting, invigorating lunch can often be the cure to a day that got off on such a less than optimal foot. A bowl of this “Couscous Lentil Pilaf with Hazelnut Blood Orange Dip” can do wonders. Just look at these colors! So much life, so much energy! I also like to refer to this as my “love yourself, no matter what” recipe.
What is it? It’s a mix of all the best: couscous and lentils as a good source of protein, roasted veggies such as eggplant and zucchini as low calorie provides of essential nutrition, and grapes and pomegranate for an extra vitamin boost. Here, I added a couple of onion rings as a nice savory extra to stimulate my tastebuds.
Honestly, the real star of this recipe is the dip: Delicious hazelnuts are blended together with fresh blood orange juice and spices. If this doesn’t lift your spirits, I don’t know what will!
The recipe is fairly easy to make. Most of the ingredients can actually be prepared in advance and the dish tastes well eaten both warm and cold. Do you like this sort of comfort food? What kind of food does wonders to you and turns your day around?
- 1 cup (200 g) lentils of choice (puy, beluga or red works well)
- 1 cup (170 g) couscous (for glutenfree use millet couscous)
- 1 cup (130 g) hazelnuts
- 1½ cups (360 ml) blood orange juice freshly squeezed
- 1 clove garlic (optional)
- pinch salt
- splash tabasco or hot sauce to taste
- 1 eggplant cut into rounds
- 1 zucchini cut into stripes or slices
- curry to taste
- salt, pepper to taste
- 2 Tbs olive oil divided for roasting and frying
- 1 pomegranate seeded and discard
- 1 lb (500 g) red grapes seedless
- fresh parsley to garnish
- 1 onion cut into rings
- splash soy sauce or tamari (for glutenfree)
- pinch curry and splash soy milk or other non dairy milk
- Roast the hazelnuts in a skillet for around 8 to 10 minutes, then let cool for 5 minutes.
- In a blender or food processor bring together the nuts, juice, salt, tabasco, garlic, process until very smooth.
- Turn and marinate the onion in the non dairy milk, soy sauce or tamari. Season with a pinch of curry.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a skillet and fry the onion for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Cook the lentils according the manufacturer's directions.
- Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
- Cut your veggies, spread with a little oil, season with curry, salt and pepper. Put the veggies on the cooking grate (without any parchment paper!) bake for 20 minutes.
- Finally cook the couscous according the manufacturer's directions.
- Divide the couscous, lentils, fruits, veggies together into bowls enjoy with a good amount of blood orange hazelnut, dip, garnish with fresh parsley if desired. Enjoy!