I’m not a vegan but I do need to offer something delicious to my friends who are, so I’ve come up with a few fail-safe recipes that totally deliver on flavour and nutrition. This dish of cauliflower and green beans with protein-packed lentils in a spiced coconut sauce can be on the table in less than an hour and you’ll probably want to make it even without vegan guests!
- 1 small or half a large cauliflower broken into small florets
- 250g green beans, topped, tailed and cut into three pieces
- 2 sticks of celery, chopped
- 2 tbsps light olive oil
- 30g brown lentils
- 1 x 160ml tin or carton of coconut cream
- 2cm piece of fresh ginger, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- Stick of lemongrass, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 2 tbsps ground coriander
- 1 tbsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsps fresh coriander, chopped
- 1 fresh lime
- Basmati rice to serve
- Cook the lentils in a saucepan in enough water to cover for 8 minutes until just tender.
- Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and cook gently until softened and caramelised. Add the chopped celery and stir for another few minutes.
- Blitz the lemongrass, garlic and ginger into a smooth paste. Add to the pan and cook through for a few more minutes.
- Add the spices and stir again. Season with salt and black pepper. Add the cauliflower and stir.
- Pour in the coconut cream, the lentils and the cooking water. Add a little extra water if needed to just cover the vegetables. Simmer gently for 10 minutes – keep the cauliflower slightly undercooked. Check the seasoning – add a little more salt or spice as you like. Add the chopped green beans, stir and lightly cook for a couple of minutes so that they retain their crunch and bright colour.
- Add the fresh coriander, stir and finish with a squeeze of lime juice. Serve with basmati rice.
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