Tag Archives: recipes

Red Lentil Dahl

One of my favourite dishes to cook at this time of year is red lentil dahl — a warming, nutrient-packed dish that is perfect after a run. Dahl is a flavour-packed dish found in Nepali, Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi cuisine. It’s made from various types of lentils that are split and reduced to a mushy consistency and then have various spices and vegetables added in.

Lentils are one of those wonderful foods that are great to cook with, but can be kind of daunting at first. They’re packed full of protein, iron, dietary fibre, folate, B1 and various minerals. Served with rice, lentils make a complete protein (meaning together, they contains all of the essential amino acids required by humans dietary needs), which is convenient, because dahl is best served over basmati rice!

The following is a family recipe gifted to me by a close friend, and is Marathi in origin. I reduced the amount of oil called for (the original was four to five tablespoons), and as presented, it is of a medium spice, but can be made more or less hot by adjusting the chili powder accordingly.

Red Lentil Dahl
Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dry red lentils
  • 3 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch ginger, peeled and chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 2 tablespoons cooking oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Rinse lentils under cool water until water runs clear. Place water or broth into a large saucepan and bring to a boil before adding the rinsed lentils.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue to simmer the lentils until they resumble a thick paste.
  3. While the lentils are simmering, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the onion, garlic and ginger, sautéing until soft.
  4. Add the curry powder, red chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt and pepper to the onion mixture and continue to sauté for an additional two to three minutes.
  5. Add the diced tomatoes and continue to sauté for another three to five minutes.
  6. Add the contents of the frying pan to the lentil paste, stirring until thoroughly mixed.
  7. Cook the combined mixture for another 15 to 20 minutes until the mixture resembles a thick stew.
  8. Serve over basmati rice, with roti.

Chocolate blueberry energy bars

I’m pretty particular about my diet and the foods that I eat pre-, during and post-run. If at all possible, I prefer to make my own workout foods, which allows me to control not only the content, but also the quality of the ingredients that I’m using. This sounds like it could be a lot of work, but it’s really quite easy.

On days that I’m strapped for time, this can be as simple as downing a handful of dried dates (with agave, if I think of it) and heading out the door. I also really like the work of Brendan Brazier (professional Ironman triathlete and two-time Canadian 50km Ultra Marathon Champion) and the information he presents in  The Thrive Diet and Thrive Fitness. One of my favourite recipes to make for running is Brendan’s chocolate blueberry energy bars.

These bars are very simple to make and can be wrapped and frozen in the freezer for quick grab-and-go energy sources for longer runs. Because there are a lot of essential fats in the bars, they don’t freeze solid. Here is how to make them:

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried dates
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ blueberries
  • ¼ roasted carob powder (or cacao to make 100% raw)**
  • ¼ cup group flax seed**
  • ¼ cup help protein**
  • ¼ cup unhulled sesame seeds**
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • Sea salt to taste
  • ½ cup frozen blueberries

** Ingredients marked with the double asterisks can all be substituted for 1 cup of chocolate flavour Vega Complete Whole Food Optimizer.

Directions:

  1. In a food processor, process all ingredients, except the frozen blueberries.
  2. Remove the mixture from the food processor and put on a clean surface.
  3. Lay frozen blueberries on the surface and knead mixture into blueberries.
  4. Flatten mixture on the clean surface with your hands, forming it into a brick.
  5. Cut brick horizontally into small bars, as if you were cutting a loaf of bread. Allow the bars to dry out in the open for one hour.
  6. Individually wrap bars in plastic wrap and place extras in freezer for future use.

For those who work better with visuals, here is a video of Brendan making the bars: