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Driven by a passion that borders on obsession that developed in me at a very young age I always knew I was going to be a chef.

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Chef Veera

Sweet Potato & Moroccan Lentil

Earthy, Sweet, Tangy and Delicious!

 

Roasted sweet potato rounds topped with well spiced lentils and spinach are a perfect balance of earthy and sweet. This dish can be served as a hearty appetizer, side dish or an entrée.

 

You can make this a simple and fast meal by purchasing precooked lentils, or BE BRAVE and cook your lentils from scratch, it only takes a little longer. Add a few bay leaves but please don’t add salt. Cooking lentils with salt makes them tough, so add salt to taste afterwards instead.

 

The secret to this recipe is the added tanginess and creaminess from the Lemon Tahini sauce, a standard in my kitchen, because it is so versatile (drizzle over veggies, chicken or chickpeas for a burst of flavor). That, combined with the subtle and unusual sweetness of the Pomegranate vinegar reduction are essential to the ultimate flavor of this hearty, filling, delicious and healthy dish.

 

This vegan dish is a great addition to your repertoire – even the meat-eaters at your table will be thrilled to get seconds!

 

Happy Cooking!

 

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Sweet Potato Rounds with Moroccan Lentils

 

 

Ingredients

 

4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed

4 tablespoons Moroccan Spice oil (divided) *

Salt to taste

1 cup dried brown lentils or pardina lentils, rinsed

4 cups water

2-3 bay leaves

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 small yellow onion, diced

4-6 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes, drained

1 teaspoon ground ginger

½ teaspoon Smoked Paprika *

1 teaspoon Harissa paste (or more to taste)

½ teaspoon kosher salt

4 cups firmly packed spinach leaves

6 tablespoons Pomegranate vinegar *

2 tablespoons Runamok Maple syrup *

Fresh cilantro for garnish

Lemon Tahini Sauce for drizzling.

 

Lemon Tahini Sauce

1/3 cup tahini

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)

1 tablespoon Lemon EVOO *

1 teaspoon Runamok Maple Syrup *

2 tablespoons water

Salt to taste

 

 

Preparation

 

Heat oven to 425 degrees

Cut potatoes into 1/3 inch round slices. Toss in a bowl with 2 tablespoons of Moroccan Spice oil, and salt to taste. Lay the rounds in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 40-45 minutes, turning each piece over halfway through until both sides are lightly browned and crisp on the edges.

 

Meanwhile, rinse the lentils in cool water 2-3 times. Then place in a pan and add 4 cups of water and 2-3 bay leaves. Bring to a boil, and then simmer approximately 20 minutes. Drain well and remove bay leaves. (Alternatively, use 2 ½ cups pre-cooked store-bought lentils)

 

In a small pan, heat the pomegranate vinegar with the maple syrup on medium heat until reduced by half. Put aside for later.

 

Heat 2 tablespoons of Moroccan Spice oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and add the cumin seeds cooking until they sputter (about 1-2 minutes). Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally for 5-8 minutes till tender and translucent. Add the tomatoes and cook another 3-4 minutes.

 

Decrease the heat to low and add the lentils, ginger, paprika, harissa, and kosher salt. Then stir in the spinach and stir occasionally until spinach has wilted (add ¼ cup of water little at a time to prevent sticking if needed).

 

Add 2 tablespoons of pomegranate mixture, taste and adjust salt and pepper as needed.

 

Make the Lemon Tahini Sauce by whisking the tahini, lemon juice, EVOO and maple syrup together in a bowl. Add salt to taste. Drizzle water to create a creamy dressing. Keep at room temperature.

 

Serve the lentil mixture piled over the potato rounds. Drizzle with Lemon Tahini sauce, a little more Pomegranate reduction, and garnish with cilantro

 

 

 

 

Serves 4

Total Time: 50-80 minutes (depending on whether you cook lentils from scratch or use pre-cooked lentils)

 

 

 

Notes

* The Moroccan Spice oil with its flavors of cumin, cinnamon, cardamom and more adds tremendous flavor to both the potatoes and the lentils mixture. You can substitute with a plain high temperature cooking oil and flavor it with the same spices. Just remember to remove the whole spices from the oil before proceeding with the recipe. The Smoked Paprika adds depth and smokiness to the dish.

 

The Pomegranate vinegar and Runamok Maple Syrup create a sweet and tangy reduction that adds remarkable contrast to the earthiness of the lentils. Use a good quality pomegranate molasses instead.

 

The Lemon EVOO adds a nice smooth citrus flavor that balances the sourness of the lemon juice well.

 

In all cases, feel free to substitute with other high-quality ingredients – their quality will certainly impact the ultimate flavor of the dish. Most Oil & Vinegar stores carry the Runamok Maple syrups.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Entrée, Appetizer, Snacks & Sides, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Lemon EVOO, Smoked Paprika, Pomegranate Vinegar, Runamok Maple Syrup, Moroccan Spice Oil, Grapeseed Oil, Lentils, Sweet Potato, Lemon Tahini Sauce, Pomegranate Reduction, Harissa, Middle Eastern Flavors, Hearty Appetizer, Vegan Main Dish, Pre Cooked Lentils

 

 

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