Build A Meal 2 – Three-Course Veggieful

Okay, there’s quite a bit of chopping going into this meal, but it’s worth the taste of tons of fresh vegetables.

Appetizer/Soup

Tomato Vegetable Soup

Main Course

Creamy Asparagus Penne

Salad/Side

Masoor Dhal Salad

Dessert (pick one)

Let’s go with the simple and healthy here… fruit salad.  You want to be a little bit unhealthy?  Add a dollop of whipped cream or ice cream or mascarpone cheese creamed with a little honey and lemon zest.

OR

For something quick and warm, try out my Sweet Pastry Bites.

Carrot Lentil Tahini Soup

Ingredients

1 tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

4 to 5 large carrots, diced

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes

1 1/2 cups red lentils (masoor dhal)

1 quart vegetable stock or water

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

2 tbsp tahini (sesame) paste

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Saute onions, celery and carrots in oil until just starting to soften.  Add lentils, spices, herbs and vegetable stock.  Mix well and bring to a boil.  Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, until the lentils are soft and the carrots cooked through (about 30 minutes).

2.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the cilantro and tahini paste.  Puree using an immersion blender or, in batches, in a blender.

3.  Return to heat.  Adjust seasonings.  Bring to a simmer.  Serve hot, garnished with some more fresh cilantro.

Masoor Dhal Salad

Ingredients

1 cup whole masoor dhal (red lentils)

2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced

1/2 cup cucumber, seeded and diced

4 scallions, both white and green parts, diced (feel free to swap out for finely chopped red onion for stronger flavor)

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Salt & pepper to taste

Directions

1.  Cook masoor dhal in water until just done.  Do not overcook as the dhal will become mushy.  Drain and set aside to cool.

2.  In a large bowl, mix the tomatoes, cucumber, scallions, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice and salt & pepper.  Allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring a few times.

3.  When the masoor dhal is cool, combine with the veggie mixture.  Serve at room temperature, or refrigerate and serve cold.