Category Archives: Vegetarian & Vegan

Giant Couscous, Tomato & Rocket Salad

This Giant Couscous, Tomato & Rocket Salad is fresh, light and summery and makes the perfect salad as part of a BBQ or a tasty lunch.

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Like a lot of people, I tend to eat a lot of salads in the summer, especially for lunch. After a while, I start to get a little bored of the standard  involving variations of lettuce, cucumber and tomato. That is why I came up with this Mediterranean inspired alternative.

I really love tomatoes marinated in olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and salt. I sometimes just mix these together to add to a normal salad because it makes the tomatoes even tastier and acts as a dressing at the same time. If you can leave them to sit for at least ten minutes, the flavours will really develop. Another reason for marinating the tomatoes is it acts as the dressing in the final salad which I was looking for as I think that couscous can sometimes be quite dry. The olive oil in the marinade also helps keep the couscous from clumping together in the way that couscous likes to do!

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I sometimes find that salads aren’t as filling as you would like because they don’t tend to include any carbohydrate. So I wanted to include something that would give the salad some substance so it would keep you fuller for longer, but also not something too unhealthy. Couscous is a great because it is low in calories but really helps bulk up a dish. I use normal couscous a lot, but wanted to use giant couscous in this recipe so it really stood out as one of the main ingredients. It is slightly softer than normal couscous really absorbed some of the marinade.

I would class the salad as being relatively healthy. The only aspect which is higher in calories is the olive oil which you can always reduce, as long as you reduce the balsamic vinegar as well. This would mean the salad may be slightly drier, but still tasty.

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Serves 2

100g giant cous cous
1 tsp concentrated chicken stock

230g plum tomatoes
1 large pepper
4 tbsp olive oil (plus ½ tsp)
3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
Black pepper to taste
1 tsp garlic, crushed
10 basil leaves, shredded

A couple of handfuls of rocket
A few shavings of Parmesan

  1. De-seed and cut the pepper into large slices. Cook them in the oven on 200ºC for 15-20 mins until they have softened and coloured slightly. When cool enough, dice the peppers
  2. Cook the giant couscous as per the packet’s instructions with the addition of the concentrated chicken stock
  3. Cut each tomato in half and add to a bowl along with the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper, garlic and basil. Stir and leave to marinate

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  1. Once the couscous has cooked, drain and toss with ½ tsp olive oil and using a fork, stir through. Leave to cool slightly
  2. When all ingredients have cooled so they are warm, add the couscous to a bowl along with a couple of generous handfuls of rocket, the peppers and the tomatoes with their olive oil mixture
  3. When ready to serve, garnish with a few shavings of Parmesan

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Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry

What this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry lacks in beauty it makes up for in taste! Deliciously comforting curry packed with loads of vegetables makes this a tasty and healthy all in one dinner.

This recipe is so flexible and really lends itself to being adapted to what vegetables you like and how spicy you like it. It is a perfect meal to make when you have a few vegetables left over in your fridge that may not be at their peak freshness but you want to use them in a dish. You can use whatever vegetables you like, but for me the staples are potatoes, courgettes and cauliflower. My Mum used to make this for us and those were the vegetables she always used.

Although these are the staple vegetables for me, you can add any number of other vegetables that you like. Peppers and green beans are vegetables I almost always have in the house so I like to add these. I’ve also added in fresh tomatoes just because I have had them to hand. You could add sweet potato if you fancy it or spinach right at the end of cooking. It really is so flexible not only with the vegetables you can use, but also because the quantities of each are also really flexible. 

The first time I made this curry for Mr Curly I wasn’t completely sure how it would go down. He very much likes his meat so a vegetarian meal was almost unheard of to him! He said he really liked it but chicken would make it that little bit better. If you are cooking this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry for meat lovers, you can easily add some diced chicken in after you have added the vegetables. 

Mr Curly and I are now trying to eat less meat so I won’t be adding chicken to this going forward! Instead, I updated this recipe by adding some split red lentils. Lentils are not something I have eaten or cooked with previously. So they were an ingredient I wanted to use more this year. They work so well in this curry because not only do they help bulk out the dish and make it more filling; they also help thicken the curry too! 

This Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry is not only vegetarian but vegan and gluten free too! I love dishes like this that naturally cater to a lot of people’s diets. Just make sure that you check your curry paste to check it meets your dietary needs first. 

Another great thing about this recipe is you make a big batch and freeze it. I freeze it in dinner sized portions for a quick week night dinner; but also individual lunch sized portions which are perfect for me to defrost and take in to heat at work.

I always serve this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry with mango chutney because I think it is one of the most delicious condiments ever made! As you have the potatoes, you don’t necessarily need rice. I do like to serve it with some poppadoms to dip into the delicious and comforting  soft vegetables in the curry.

Updated January 2019

5 from 3 votes
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Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry

What this Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry lacks in beauty it makes up for in taste! Deliciously comforting curry packed with loads of vegetables makes this a tasty and healthy all in one dinner.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian, British
Keyword Vegetarian, Vegetable Curry, Lentils
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 296 kcal
Author Curly

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 4 tbsp curry paste
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 500 g potates peeled and cut into chunks
  • 400 g courgette sliced
  • 1 cauliflower cut into florets
  • 1 large pepper cut into chunks
  • 250 g green beans
  • 2 x 400 tins chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 800 ml vegetable stock
  • 250 g split red lentils rinsed in cold water
  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • chopped fresh coriander

Instructions

  1. Add the oil to a large pan over a medium heat. Once the oil has warmed, add the onion and garlic and allow to sweat for a couple of minutes stirring occasionally to make sure it doesn't burn
  2. Add the curry paste and stir to coat the onions

  3. Add all of the vegetables and stir again to coat them in the curry paste. Add the tomato puree, tinned tomatoes, vegetable stock, lentils, salt and pepper

  4. Let the stock come to the boil and then reduce the temperature to medium and allow to gently bubble away covered with a lid

  5. Stir the soup every 20 minutes or so to make sure the curry isn't sticking to the bottom of the pan.  If it is sticking or becoming too thick before the vegetables and lentils are cooked, add some water

  6. Cook for around 2 hours or until  all of the vegetables and lentils are soft and the stock has reduced and thickened

  7. Serve sprinkled with coriander

Recipe Notes

Add up to 500ml more water throughout the cooking process if needed.

Nutritional information is given as a guide only.

Nutrition Facts
Vegetable & Red Lentil Curry
Amount Per Serving
Calories 296 Calories from Fat 27
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 3g 5%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Sodium 1384mg 58%
Potassium 723mg 21%
Total Carbohydrates 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 5g 20%
Sugars 9g
Protein 4g 8%
Vitamin A 55%
Vitamin C 96.9%
Calcium 8.4%
Iron 9.6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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