Spiced Red Lentil Stew

This is another one of my favourite comforting one-pot meals. This stew is loaded with veggies and incredibly flavourful with all the added spices.
A few notes:
– of course you can add or substitute the veggies if you like. Sweet potato, turnip, beets and even some chopped greens would all be good.
– If you like spicy food and can handle the heat you can add a few dashes of your favourite hot sauce at the end.
– The amount of liquid I’ve mentioned in the recipe makes a thicker stew-like consistency, but if you prefer you can add more liquid to thin it out a bit and have it as a lovely soup instead!
– I use the less sweet variety of squashes like delicata or pink-banana for this stew. The addition of squash puree creates a creamy texture.


1 Cup Red Lentil (wash and soak for 24 hours or overnight)

2 Celery Stalks (finely chopped)
1 Large Carrot (finely diced)
1 Small Potato (finely diced)
1/2 Large Celeriac (finely diced)
1 Large Clove Garlic (crushed)
1 Cup Squash Puree

2 Tbsp. Coconut Oil (for vegan) or Ghee

2 Tsp. Ginger Powder
2 Tsp. Turmeric
1 Tsp. Coriander Seed
1 Tsp. Cumin
1/2 Tsp. Cardamom Powder
1/2 Tsp. Cinnamon powder

2 Cups Water

1/2-1 Tsp. Salt (start with less and add to taste)
Black Pepper (to taste)
1 Tbsp. Fresh lemon juice (or more as you like)
1/4 cup finely chopped coriander

1. Heat the oil to a large pot and sauté the chopped veggies (carrot, celery, potato, celeriac) and garlic for 2 minutes. Then add the spices and the squash puree and sauté for another 2 minutes until the spices are fragrant.

2. Rinse the soaked red lentil and add to the pot with salt and pepper.

3. Add the water and bring to a boil over high heat. Now lower the heat, cover the pot and simmer the stew over medium heat for at least one hour (the more the better but if you have soaked the lentils one hour would be enough). Stir the stew occasionally until the consistency is to your liking.

4. Taste and add more salt and pepper if needed. Add the fresh lemon juice.

5. Turn off the heat and add the finely chopped coriander.

Serve hot with a side of Basmati rice and green salad or thick stirred yogurt!

Serves 4-6.

Walnut Cardamom Cookies , Nan-e-Gerdooyi – نان گردویی


The recipe I’m sharing today is one of my all time favourite gluten-free cookies. These aromatic rosewater and cardamom-scented walnut cookies (nan-e-gerdooyi) are grain and dairy free and “relatively” healthy since there is not a lot of sugar in the recipe. They are nutty and rich with a slightly chewy texture. I usually make these at the same time I make my coconut macaroons (http://simplynaturalchick.com/lemony-coconut-macaroons/) or my almond cookies (recipe coming soon!) so that I’m not wasting any egg whites!

Some Notes:
1. It’s best to use freshly ground cardamom since the scent would be much stronger.
2. There are many ways you can chop the walnuts and each one yields to a slightly different texture. I have tried many ways and my favourite option is to “coarsely” grind the walnuts in the food processor. Make sure not to over process the walnuts which can cause the nuts to clump together and turn into walnut butter instead!
3. To get the best texture the sugar should be very fine, so you can either use icing sugar or what I do is to use raw cane sugar and give it a quick buzz in my high speed blender until it’s finely powdered.


5 Large Egg Yolks
150 Grams (approx. 3/4 cup) Fine Powdered Sugar (or icing sugar)
210 Grams (approx. 2 Cups) Walnuts (coarsely ground)
1 Tsp. Cardamom Powder
1 Tbsp. Rosewater

1. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper and preheat the oven to 325 F.
2. Cream the powdered sugar, cardamom, rosewater and egg yolks together. Beat until the mixture is cream colour and fluffy.
3. Fold in the ground walnuts into the egg yolk mixture using a spatula and combine well.
4. Let the dough rest for 15-30 minutes in the fridge. This makes the batter more sticky and easier to form.
5. Using two small spoons form small amount of batter into small balls and drop onto the baking sheet (spaced at least 1 inch apart). Don’t flatten the cookies, they will flatten a bit as they bake.
6. Bake for 10-15 minutes in the centre rack of the oven until golden brown. The exact time and temperature depends on your oven, so keep and eye on the cookies after the 7 minutes mark as they can burn easily.
7. Take them out of the oven and let the cookies cool in the baking sheet, don’t touch the cookie until they are cool or they will fall apart! Once cool to the touch, gently remove them from the sheet and place on a wire rack until completely cool.
Enjoy these wonderfully scented cookies with a cup of hot tea or coffee! 🙂

You can keep the cookies in an air-tight container (after completely cooled down) for up to a week – they are crispier when fresh and become softer over time!

Banana Oatmeal Breakfast Cookies


These oatmeal cookies are filling and packed with wholesome ingredients, making them perfect for breakfast.
My favourite add-in combinations are walnut/currant/raisin or carrot/walnut/coconut, but as mentioned in the recipe below, you can mix a few number of dried fruits, nuts and seeds that you like.



Oatmeal Mixture
2 Cups Gluten Free Rolled Oatmeal
1/2 Cup orange juice
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
Zest of One Orange

1/2 Cup Fine White Rice Flour
1/4 Cup Sorghum Flour
1/2 Cup Almond Flour
1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
1/2 Cup Palm Sugar
1 Tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1/2 Tsp. Salt
1 Tsp. Cinnamon
1/2 Tsp. Dried Ginger Powder
1/4 Tsp. Nutmeg Powder

2 Large Very Ripe Banana (mashed)
1/2 Cup Coconut oil (melted)
1/4 Cup Maple Syrup

Add-ins (choose 2 or 3)
1 Medium Carrot (shredded)
1/4 Cup Black Currant or Raisin
1/4 Cup Walnut (chopped)
1/4 Cup Shredded Coconut
1/4 Cup Pumpkin Seeds (or other types Seeds)
1/4 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
Or anything else you might like! Let your imagination and taste buds guide you 😉



1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Line a baking sheet with unbleached parchment paper.

2. Combine ingredients in the oatmeal mixture and set aside. This would soften the oatmeal a bit and will result in chewier cookies which I like. Plus the oatmeal will soak up the orange flavour.
3. Whisk together all the “dry” ingredients in a mixing bowl.
4. In a separate large mixing bowl combine all the “wet” ingredients.
5. Add the “dry” mix to the “wet” and mix until everything is well combined.
6. Add the oatmeal mixture to the wet/dry mix and combine well.
7. Fold in the optional add-ins and mix well. Let the cookie dough rest for about half an hour to let the oatmeal soak some of the moisture.
8. Scoop the cookie batter using an ice-cream scooper (or just use your hands or a large spoon) and flatten the cookies a bit (not too much, the cookies flatten a bit in the oven as they bake).
7. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden. Take out of the oven and let them cool on a wire rack.

Enjoy 🙂

Makes about 2 dozen cookies.

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