I don't know about you, but I have very special feelings associated with Good Friday. I have always been a very spiritual person and for me this has to be one of the most emotional days of the year . . . a mix of sadness combined with feelings of gratitude and thanksgiving. I like to keep food simple on Good Friday. We usually start with hot cross buns for breakfast and then the rest of the day we have basically a vegetarian diet. I like to have a soup for supper, like this delicious Lentil Soup and for lunch this year we are having homemade Falafel.
Lentils are not something I ever had when I was growing up but I have discovered as an adult, I really love them! (Even if they don't always love me! 'nuff said! Lentils can sometimes be very hard on my diverticulitis!)
This is a very simple soup and uses things I always have in my larder and refrigerator. Onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, dried lentils, vegetable stock (I like Marigold powder) and a variety of spices. The end result tastes anything but simple. I like to serve it with a simply crusty roll, whole wheat of course!
*Lentil Soup*serves 6
1 pound lentils,picked through and rinsed
Remove about half of the soup and blitz with a stick blender. Return to the soup pot and heat through. Serve hot with crusty bread.
Chickpeas are something else which I never ever had when I was a child. Also called garbanzo beans, these are something which also plays havoc with my diverticulitis . . . however I find that if I use the dried ones, and soak them overnight and grind them in the food processor like this recipe requires, then I can tolerate them quite well!
Another Vegetarian dish, Falafel are deep fried spicy chickpea balls, that are traditionally served with hummus or tahini for dipping, or with a tasty garlic sauce sort of like mayonnaise. (I buy mine ready made at the shops in the middle eastern section.) I love them tucked into warm pita bread with salad . . . cucumber slices, tomatoes, lettuce. These are fabulous and homemade are even better. Do plan ahead as you need to soak the peas overnight!
*Falafel from Scratch*Makes about 3 dozen
The Lentils and Chickpeas I used today come from Crazy Jack Organic. Their fabulous Green lentils are known for their full flavour and all round delicious goodness. Just like the red lentil cousin, they are superb for using in soups and stews. No need to soak, just rinse and add to your soup or stew. They are also good simply cooked and added to salads, or sprouted!
(Sprouted green lentils and brown rice cooked in the rice cooker.)
Crazy Jack Organic Chickpeas aare grown by passionate organic farmers under the warm mediterranean sun. Dried Chickpeas make a great storecupboard staple. All they need is an overnight soak in cold water and then a boiling for 40 minutes to an hour and you have tender chickpeas that taste way better than anything you might find in a tin.
Crazy Jack Organic are purveyors of fine organic foods sourced from from all over the world. As well as their lovely lentils and chickpeas they also offer grains and cereals, other pulses, herbs and spices, dried fruits, nuts and seeds and syrups. I love, LOVE their pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and dried apricots. That's what I use in my homemade granola along with their coconut. Yum! Do check out their website for more information as well as recipes. They are available at most shops and independant health food shops.
We've also been enjoying snacking on these delicious Japanese Sanchi Tamari Rice Crackers! I love that they are baked to perfection and not fried! Flavoured with Tamari Soy sauce they go down a real treat with me. They also have no preservatives, artificial colours of flavours added. I love that! You can buy them on Amazon, and at select health food shops.