October 27, 2011

Tempeh with beluga lentils


I am on a deadline today. Had you been a fly on my ceiling, observing my day, you would've thought I was truly busy with very small tasks - like polishing the kitchen sink, folding and refolding laundry, carefully examining my growing tomatoes and herbs, and browsing ideas for my next sewing project. All important tasks, of course, but what about the deadline? Yes. Admittedly I was procrastinating to a point where it seemed impossible to procrastinate any further. Oh wait. It was time to break for lunch.

I had beluga lentils. Those shiny black little pearls that look like caviar. I had tempeh too, my number one choice of protein these days. And combined with spices like pink peppercorns, mustard seeds and sumac, these two simple ingredients made the most enjoyable meal that almost made me forgot I had a deadline to meet. Perhaps one more thing before I head back to meet my deadline. Share this recipe with you. And maybe clean up in the kitchen.

Tempeh with beluga lentils
(serves 2)

1 cup (230g) beluga lentils
 2 cups (500ml) water
1 packet (300g) tempeh, sliced
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 tablespoon yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon pink peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon ground sumac
pinch of sea salt
1/4 lemon, juiced
fresh coriander, to serve, optional

1. Rinse the lentils and put in a saucepan. Pour in the water and bring to boil. Let simmer for 20-30 minutes or until just tender. Stir with a spoon every now and then. 

2. Heat the coconut oil in a frying pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they start popping, add the sliced tempeh. Season with peppercorns, sumac and a bit of salt and cook on both sides for 2-3 minutes. 

3. Drizzle the lemon juice in the lentils and serve with fried tempeh. Add chopped fresh coriander, if wished.