There is an absolute bounty of apples available in Lake Country right now. Ambrosia (a British Columbia original and my personal favourite), Golden Delicious, Mutsu (this one is on my ‘to try’ list), Spartan… It’s like a who’s who of the apple world. I took the photo below at the local grocer yesterday. The staff there must wonder who the crazy broad is who takes all the pictures of the fruits and vegetables. I’m like the produce paparazzi!
The experience of biting into a crisp, fresh-from-the-tree apple is eminently superior to that of an imported (and probably mushy and mealy) one that’s been sitting in storage for who knows how long. Who’s with me? I have an insatiable sweet tooth – baked goods, frozen confections, candy… it’s all fair game – but I can honestly say that I enjoy a quality apple just as much if not more than the aforementioned less-healthy options (
with the possible exception of donuts).
While apples are delicious eaten uncooked, and are obviously amazing when used in baking (you can just imagine how mental I go over apple fritters), they can also be super tasty when used in combination with savoury ingredients. The Granny Smiths I use in this slaw give it an added crunch and their tartness is the perfect compliment to the miso-lime dressing. The recipe here uses apples in a completely different savoury application – a breakfast lentil bowl!
I know, the idea of eating lentils before noon might seem a little bizarro (at least in this part of the world), but simmered with coconut milk, spices, apples and golden raisins, they make for a yummy and satisfying breakfast that keeps you feeling full for hours! In many ways lentils function just like old-fashioned oats, really, except they’re higher in protein! Can’t go wrong with that.
The precipitation that Vancouver is known for this time of year seems to have followed us to Lake Country. I mentioned this unpleasant reality a few posts back and it still hasn’t let up! What gives?! I woke up this morning to yet more rain hammering the roof of the RV, which actually sounds nice but doesn’t exactly make me want to get out of bed and do anything remotely productive. And it definitely doesn’t make me want anything cold for breakfast! I had the idea for this lentil bowl earlier in the week and given the soggy weather figured today was an appropriate enough day to make it. I ate my lentil bowl with a few cups of black coffee and some quality CBC Radio programming playing in the background, and was completely content to spend the rest of the day hunkered down in the RV. It’s good I conserved energy today because tomorrow I have a mini pumpkin to carve and some candy to eat!
Note: I found this recipe to be sweet enough with adding sugar, but if you want some added sweetness you can serve it with a touch of brown sugar.
Recipe: Fragrant Breakfast Lentil Bowl with Apples, Golden Raisins and Indian Spices
Makes 2 servings or one large bowl!
- 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed
- 3/4 cup light coconut milk
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 apple, peeled and grated
- 1/4 cup golden raisins
- 1/4 cup cashews
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
- 1 pod star anise
- Pinch of salt
- Brown sugar (optional) and almond or soy milk to serve
Place lentils, coconut milk, water, spices and pinch of salt in a medium saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce heat to low and stir in grated apple and raisins. Allow to simmer partially covered for 20 minutes, stirring periodically, or until lentils are tender. Remove from heat, discard of star anise pod, and transfer to serving bowls. Top with cashews, brown sugar (if using) and almond or soy milk. Eat!