Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry

Did you know that this week was Potato Week? No? Me neither, at least not until a tip-off just a couple of days ago.Potato WeekIt seems “Potato Week” is an event organized by the National Potato Council, set up to support the British potato industry, and aims to encourage and protect potato sales!

It sounds a little crazy, but then maybe they do have cause for concern. I certainly don’t cook with the humble white potato very much and tend to favour sweet potatoes.  Many consider the sweet potato to be healthier than its white counterpart, but on closer inspection that’s not necessarily the case. While the sweet potato does have greater quantities of certain vitamins and minerals, the same is true of the white potato with other nutrients, like folate which it’s particularly rich in.

From a cook’s perspective, they are both pretty great ingredients and can be used in so many different dishes.

Given it’s Potato Week I decided to push myself out of my orange-coloured box and make something with white potatoes!

Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry

Potatoes to me aren’t hugely flavourful on their own so I thought I’d amp up their taste with some Indian spice, and bulk up the meal with my favourite quick-cooking legume, lentils, and peas, just because.

Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry

You probably have everything you need for this meal on hand, which is a nice bonus when it’s cold and wet outside and the prospect of walking to the shops isn’t too appealing….

Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry

I served this dish with these tasty Red Lentil/Yellow Split Pea “Tortillas” from the wonderful Vegan Richa. They’re so easy to make, soft and a little fluffy but again there’s no flour involved! Just soaked legumes blended up with water and a little garlic and spice. I’ll definitely be making these again. I actually used red lentils and yellow split peas although the original recipe calls for yellow mung beans.

If you don’t want to make these then this dish is tasty all on its own, or serve it with brown rice and/or a vegetable side-dish. I think some non-dairy yogurt or maybe a little chutney would be a yummy addition too.

Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry

Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry:

1/2C Puy lentils (green or brown would be fine too but Puy hold their shape a little better)
1C Vegetable broth/water
3/4C Peas (I used frozen)
1 1/2C Peeled potatoes, diced into 1” chunks
1/2T Coconut oil
1/2 Onion, diced
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1” Ginger, minced
1/2t Curry powder
1/2t Ground cumin
1/2t Turmeric
1T Lemon juice
1T Tamari
Chopped fresh coriander/cilantro to serve (optional)

Bring lentils and broth to boil in a small pan, allow to simmer for approx 25 minutes, covered, until all the liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat, add peas and re-cover, to allow the heat to cook the peas through.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes for approx 15 minutes, until just soft. Drain and set aside.

Sauté onion in coconut oil for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, ginger and spices and continue to cook for another couple of minutes, stirring, to toast the spices. Add the potatoes, lentils and peas and give a good stir to coat everything in the spice mixture. Finally add lemon and tamari, stir again to combine.

Sprinkle with fresh coriander to serve.

Serves 3-4 (depending on sides)


I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly link party, Wellness Weekends.

Lemony Lentil, Potato & Pea Curry

What are your thoughts on white potatoes? How do you like to eat them?

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E is for…


I know my A-Z series is pantry ingredients not fresh fruit and vegetables, but I decided edamame count as I buy the frozen packaged kind Smile . My blog, my rules!

I love edamame but always forget to use them…probably because they’re in my freezer and not as visible as the veg in my fridge’s crisper drawer. But, I had lunch at the Japanese noodle restaurant chain Wagamama a few days ago where one of the sides on offer is simply a bowl of salted, steamed edamame and it reignited my passion for these little green beans.


I can’t seem to find them still in their pods unfortunately but they’re more convenient for a variety of recipes in their podded form anyway. I’ve used them in a few recipes on the blog so far- My Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté, 10-minute Raw Peanut Noodles, and my favourite Cauliflower Fried “Rice” with Grilled Tofu. I’m still mad about dips so thought I’d make something similar to my Broad Bean + Roasted Garlic Dip but using edamame.

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts

I opted to fancy up this lunch staple a little with the addition of a second spread for my toasts- tofu ricotta. The slightly salty, tangy ricotta is a lovely contrast to the sweet edamame-pea dip, but if you’re pushed for time then the latter is still very yummy on its own.

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts:

1C Frozen edamame
1C Frozen peas
1Clove of garlic, minced
1T + 1t Olive oil
1/2T Tahini
1T Lemon juice
1/8t Salt
1 1/2T Fresh mint leaves

Steam the peas and edamame for approx 3 minutes then plunge into cold water to stop cooking and retain bright green colour. Set aside in a bowl.

Heat the teaspoon of olive oil in a small pan over medium and when hot add minced garlic. Cook, stirring for a minute just to take the raw garlic edge off. Add garlic to edamame and peas and add remaining olive oil, tahini, lemon juice and salt. Using an immersion blender blitz the mixture until you have a fairly smooth purée. You can also use a food processor for this. Finally add the chopped mint and pulse through.

Tofu Ricotta (For Soy-free use Cashew ricotta)

(Adapted from Veganomicon)

1/2 400g/14oz pkg Firm tofu
1 1/2T Lemon juice
2T Nutritional yeast
1/4t Salt
1t Olive Oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1/4t Dried basil (optional)

Using your hands crumble up tofu and squish between your fingers until you have a ricotta-like texture. Stir through remaining ingredients and taste for salt.

Spread toast with a generous layer of the tofu ricotta, followed by a good dollop of the edamame-pea dip. Serve alongside a big salad for lunch or make crostini with the spreads and serve as appetizers.

Edamame-Pea Dip + Tofu Ricotta Toasts

A few more edamame recipes to try:

If you’ve still got peaches where you are try these Portland Porch Lettuce Wraps which use edamame pesto, from Isa at the PPK.

These Vegan Sushi Rolls with Sticky Walnuts and Edamame also look fantastic.

You could thrown them in a veg-loaded hummus wrap.

Or, if you’re in the mood for something a little more wacky…how about these Teriyaki glazed Brown Rice and Edamame Burgers?

Vegan MoFo Banner

Radish, White Bean + Avocado Quinoa Salad

Poor radishes are definitely an under used vegetable in my kitchen. I’ve tended to think of them as Peter Rabbit food and un-enthusiastically eaten the few puny things I pulled out of the ground when I tried to grow them last year.  Seeing this beautiful bunch though, I immediately knew I needed to rethink my opinion on these baby roots, and certainly show them more respect than I had previously. Aren’t they pretty with their bright pink and little white tips? Especially when they’re still in a bunch with their leaves on.

Bunch of Radishes

It was one of those evenings when all ambitions to be good with meal-planning have gone out the window,  I’m sure familiar to everyone reading (or else you’re much more organized then me….). 7pm has rolled around already and you’ve done nothing about dinner preparations. Actually, I had already decided that I wanted something with white beans, soaked them overnight, set them to simmer earlier in the day…only to forget about them and end up with a pot of burned beans! Canned beans are perfect for such emergency situations!

I put on some quinoa to cook while I chopped up my radishes, washed and dried the radish tops, drained and rinsed the canned beans, quickly cooked up a few frozen green peas and whisked together a simple dressing. I spread out the quinoa to cool a little while finishing up watering the garden, picking up some fresh dill en route, then back to my kitchen where I mixed everything together, sliced some avocado for topping and voilà! A beautiful, no-fuss dinner was served.

Radish, White Bean + Avocado Quinoa Salad

Radish, White Bean + Avocado Quinoa Salad

(Inspired by A Couple Cooks)

For the salad:

1/2C Quinoa, uncooked OR 1 1/2 C Cooked quino
1/2 Can white beans, drained and rinsed OR 3/4C Cooked beans
1C Sliced radishes
1/2C Frozen peas (optional)
4-5 Sprigs of dill, roughly chopped

For the dressing:

1-2 Shallots, thinly sliced
1/2T Apple cider vinegar
1/2t Dijon mustard
1/2t Agave nectar
2T Lemon juice
1T Olive oil
Salt and Pepper

To serve:

Radish tops, julienned OR mild salad greens e.g. watercress/pea shoots
1 Medium Avocado, sliced thick

If you need to cook your quinoa, rinse well and drain. Place in a pot with 1C water and a large pinch of salt, bring to the boil and let simmer 10-15minutes, tightly covered, until water is all evaporated. When done leave to sit for a few minutes covered until completely dry. To cool, spread it out onto a plate or a flat dish while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Cook frozen peas if using, boil 2-3 minutes then rinse with cold water to keep them fresh. Set aside.

While quinoa is cooking/cooling put the sliced shallots in a little bowl with the apple cider vinegar for 10 minutes (this soaking them takes a little of the bite out of them). Whisk together remaining dressing ingredients.

In a large bowl mix together, quinoa, white beans, peas, dill and radishes. Pour over dressing, including shallots and their soaking vinegar and toss to combine. Season well with salt and pepper. Serve on a bed of salad greens and top with sliced avocado.

Serves 2

Radish, White Bean + Avocado Quinoa Salad

This kind of grain, bean, vegetable type of salad is ideal for quick meals and something I often make a larger quantity of and store in the fridge for lunches throughout the week. Add the avocado and salad greens fresh when serving.

How do you eat your radishes, if you like them?

Tempeh Pasta alla Carbonara

Pasta alla carbonara, the classic Italian dish, typically combines spaghetti with fried pancetta or bacon and a sauce made with eggs, cheese and cream. Decidedly non-vegan fare, but here of course done vegan-style!

Nuts show their magic once again in this velvety, animal-product free sauce (with tahini and cashew butter), and salty, crispy tempeh stands in brilliantly for the pancetta.

Ricki Heller is to thank for this recipe. Ricki writes the blog Diet, Dessert and Dogs, home to a phenomenal number of fantastic vegan kitchen creations-“sugar-free, gluten-free, allergy-friendly”.

I’ve made a lot of her recipes:  Grain-free coconut flour biscuits, Edamame seaweed saladLemony baked cheesecake, Warm chickpea + artichoke salad, Chocolate almond mousse, Fruity cabbage salad, Almond + curry sauce, Quinoa chickpea olive + prune tagine, Carob + date pancakes….just to name a few, and I can’t name any failures!

Tempeh Pasta Carbonara, close-up

My Granny was eating with us the evening I made this pasta and knowing that she doesn’t usually eat a lot I just gave her a small amount, but she was nabbing bits of the tempeh bacon from the serving dish and said how much she enjoyed it. I’ll make a vegan out of her yet…!

Tempeh Pasta Carbonara

There are a few components to the recipe but it really doesn’t take that long to come together so don’t be put off by the ingredients list and instructions.

Tempeh Pasta Carbonara

(Minimally adapted from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs)

For the Tempeh Bacon:

1/2 8oz/225g pkg Tempeh, very thinly sliced and diced into bite-size pieces.
1 1/2 T Tamari
1T Lemon juice
1/8 t Liquid smoke OR 1/4t smoked paprika
1 Clove garlic, minced
1T Olive oil
3-4 Drops liquid stevia OR 2-3t Agave/Maple syrup
1/4C + 1 T Water

For the Sauce:

1T Cashew butter
1/2T White miso
1/2T Tahini
1/8t Dijon mustard
1/8t Turmeric
Salt + Pepper
1/2C Almond milk, unsweetened
1/2C Vegetable broth
1T Arrowroot + 2-3T Hot Water

1/2C Green peas (fresh or frozen)

Enough Pasta for 2-3, any variety (I did 150g/1 heaping cup Brown Rice Fusilli which was enough for 3 modest servings)

1-2T Chopped Parsley

Prepare the tempeh bacon: Slice tempeh up, mix remaining ingredients in a large frying pan over medium heat and add tempeh.

Let simmer gently for approx 5 minutes until sauce begins to evaporate. Flip pieces over carefully and leave to brown for another 5 minutes. Flip tempeh one more time and cook the other side until brown and crispy. Turn off heat and set pan aside.

Prepare the pasta according to package instructions, in last couple of minutes of cooking time add your peas so they cook through. Drain, reserving 1/4 C pasta water.

While pasta is cooking prepare sauce:

In a medium pan over low heat whisk together ingredients on list up to and including salt and pepper. Gradually add milk and broth, whisking all the while to avoid lumps and produce a smooth sauce.

In a small bowl dissolve the arrowroot in the hot water. Gradually add this mixture to the sauce pan, keep whisking as it will thicken up pretty quickly. Continue to cook for a further minute until thick and creamy.

Add pasta, peas and tempeh pieces to the sauce pot, stir sauce through, cover and warm through for approx 5 minutes. If it looks a little dry add the reserved pasta water and continue to heat until warm and everything is nicely coated in the sauce.

Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.

Serves 2-3

Have you veganized any seemingly very un-vegan recipes?

What are your favourite Ricki recipes? If you’re unfamiliar with Diet, Dessert, and Dogs get over there now!

Roasted New Potato, Asparagus + Chickpea Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

I’ve been seeing tropical fruits like avocados and mangoes, as well as an array of exotic vegetables all over the blog world recently.  But, instead of bemoaning their non-existence over here I shall celebrate the beautiful local produce we do have in this part of the world! New potatoes, fresh peas, asparagus and herbs all do particularly well in the UK.

Potato salad is of course a classic summer dish but typically relegated to a side. As this meal was all about showcasing our lovely vegetables I opted to turn it into a main. Along with the vegetables, chickpeas add some protein power and a zippy lemon basil vinaigrette brings it all together.

Roasted New Potato, Asparagus + Chickpea Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Pre-Dressed Salad

New potatoes, before roasting

New potatoes ready to roast- Steamed new potatoes are also delicious and would be a nice alternative to roasted, especially if you’re serving this as a cold salad.

Roasted New Potato, Asparagus + Chickpea Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

Warm New Potato, Asparagus + Chickpea Salad w/Lemon Basil Vinaigrette:

Inspired by Maple Spice

650g New potatoes, halved
1-2T Olive oil
Coarse Sea salt (I like Maldon) + Pepper
1 1/2C Cooked chickpeas/ 1 Can, drained + rinsed
1 Bundle (approx 350g/1lb) asparagus, tough ends snapped off
2T Water
1C Green peas (frozen are fine)
2 Shallots, chopped finely


1t Dijon mustard
2T Lemon juice
2T Extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 C Fresh Basil, chopped coarsely or chiffonaded
salt + pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 180C/350F

On a large baking tray toss new potatoes with olive oil, and a good sprinkle of coarse sea salt and pepper. Roast for 25-30mins stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Edges should be crispy and golden. [ or alternatively steam new potatoes approx 15mins]

Meanwhile, prepare dressing, whisk together mustard and lemon juice and then slowly trickle in olive oil and keep whisking until emulsified. Stir through the basil and refrigerate until ready to use.

Warm a large pan over medium heat with another drizzle of oil. Toss in asparagus along with 2T water, cover and cook for 4 minutes until bright green. Add peas, cover pan again and cook a further couple of minutes. If your peas are fresh add another couple of tablespoons of water to steam.

When cooked, stir in chickpeas to warm through along with the minced shallots, just to take the sharp edge off them (you can also leave them raw if you like a bit of bite).

Spread roasted new potatoes into a large serving dish in a layer then pour over the asparagus, chickpea, pea sauté.  Finish with black pepper and extra basil leaves.

Either toss salad with dressing or serve on side for individuals to dress their own plates.

Serves 4

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog-hop Healthy Vegan Fridays

Roasted New Potato, Asparagus + Chickpea Salad with Lemon Basil Vinaigrette

What are your favourite local fruits and vegetables at this time of year?