A while back I arranged through my super kind FIL to book us a little holiday near the Sudwala Caves for this long weekend, and since day one my mind has been reeling, making menus and trying to be creative with little success. Unfortunately eating out is impractical since there usually isn’t much on the menu to modify outside of dry toast or cheese-less pizza, neither of which is healthiest of choices! So to be prepared for all things, I wrote it all down. What you see below is the “final cut” condensed list. I purposely threw away the other notes, because I ended up with 10 (!!) A4 pages filled top to bottom, along with countless other little scraps of paper and some scribblings in my work diary.
Obsessed? Yes. I can’t help it when an opportunity presents itself to think of food in transit, in situations and in memories. We plan to go spelunking in the caves (well, exploring), visiting a dinosaur park, and taking long walks around the estate. All in all such moments require sustenance. Nothing better than some wraps, hummus, carrot-beetballs and dal to tide one over so far from home!
Carrot and beetballs – modified based on FatFreeVegan’s awesome recipe – I added 1/2 a cup of shredded carrots and 1/2 a cup more of quinoa which let me come out at 25 delicious carrot-beet balls!
For our big meals I decided to make some dal, since it’s protein-packed and, thanks to my masses of zucchini, veggie-packed too!
Rainbow Dal (based loosely on a mishmash of Vegan Richa’s dal recipes)
- 1/2 medium onion, chopped finely
- 1 tsp ginger, chopped
- 3 cups shredded zucchini
- 3 medium beetroot, processed
- 1 medium carrot, processed
- 2 chopped tomatoes
- big handful of spinach, destemmed and chopped roughly
- 5 basil leaves, finely chopped
- 1 cup black lentils, washed and drained (choose a type that doesn’t require soaking to cut down on time)
- 3 cups water + extra to sauté
- 1 TBSP peanut butter
- 1 TBSP curry powder
- 1 TBSP onion powder
- Tumeric, white pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper
- 1-2 TBSP apple cider vinegar/balsamic/red wine vinegar
- In a big pot, water sauté the onion and ginger until translucent, then add the tomatoes and let them fry a bit for a few minutes. If you have hardcore spices like cumin you can also fry them up with the onion and ginger. I use tea to keep the ingredients from sticking to the pot, but you can easily use wine or some other liquid of your choice, including broth.
- Add 2 cups of zucchini, the beetroot and carrot, letting it cook a bit in some more tea/liquid if need be.
- Add the lentils and water to the pot and let it simmer for 40 minutes to an hour until they are soft. Be sure to check up on it and stir occasionally, adding liquid if need be, but sparingly.
- By the half hour mark, when the water level is reduced somewhat I add the curry, onion powder and spices to taste, and again towards the end. Don’t feel shy about adding lots of spice!
- About 10 minutes before everything is fully cooked add the last cup of zucchini, as well as the basil leaves, spinach, peanut butter and vinegar.
- All done! 😀
Nom! I’m so chuffed with this meal, since it reduces the amount of veggies I have to take with and prepare there to nil! (Other than salad and those sorts of things, of course). One can pair this with crackers, wraps, or wholewheat couscous – what cheer! 😀 You can also add in 2 or so tablespoons of chopped peanuts during the boiling process for some crunch, or right at the end, depending on your preferences.
The one sadness about going away on holiday is leaving certain family members behind, although luckily we have some kind soul who’s willing to come in and play with him once a day. Poor lamb! He’s already tried to crawl into our cooler box a few times (though that may just be for the utter fun of it).
He’s unfortunately going to be staying indoors while we’re gone (just til Monday morning!). I know people have different opinions about it all but cats,e specially when they don’t know where their humans are, can go missing or run over or get into a fight, and then there’s no guarantee of immediate medical intervention. My colleague’s cat went missing two weeks ago during the terrible storms and she got a call that he’s been found, on the other side of town, at her old house, skin and bones!! She’d already washed his blankets and packed them away with the idea that he was never coming back. We let the little monster of ours out during the day but unfortunately there are dangers in the evening and we make sure he gets plenty of love and entertainment when inside. He’s also uber lazy and comes to sleep on us, so there’s that. ❤