Delicious Lentil Recipe with Carrots from Justine Murphy.
The mymuybueno Cookbook presents ‘160 refined sugar-free recipes for everyday eating in your busy life’ (including the lentils with carrots that I am sharing the recipe for). Written by Justine Murphy (Meze Publishing, 2020) it positions itself as both a lifestyle guide and a selection of recipes that range from drinks to desserts. It is beautifully photographed by Clare Winfield and Pernilla Danielsson. Murphy’s husband and two children appear frequently with her in the happy family photographs The author sets out the details of her history in a substantial introduction, particularly the role that food has played in helping her heal from trauma. The book is a very personal project and is dedicated in part to ‘anyone who has been through the hardest of times, to believe and know that through hard work, passion and a dream, anything is possible.’
Murphy lives in Mallorca where she runs a deli called Mymuybueno. Muy Bueno means ‘very good’ in Spanish and she has linked this with the English ‘my’ to reflect her roots and the personal service guests will enjoy at the deli in Palma. Those who have visited the deli will enjoy finding some of the dishes they have enjoyed in the book. Whereas the deli is gluten dairy and refined-sugar free, the book restricts itself to being refined-sugar free. There are quite a number of meat, chicken and fish recipes but plenty to keep vegetarians cooking happily. Murphy’s book travels the globe, picking a melange of recipes from various cuisine cultures. There is Thai green curry, oxtail stew, paella, sushi and samosas. There are miso mushrooms and roast potatoes, Victoria sponge and dulce de leche cheesecake.
Being mad for broccoli in my family, I began with a simple recipe from The mymuybueno cookbook. For years I have been enjoying Ottolenghi’s famous grilled broccoli with chilli and garlic recipe so I happily followed Murphy’s method which takes the basics and adds a personal touch. The addition of shaved parmesan cheese and a heftier hand with the garlic adds a sweetness to the vegetables as the grated garlic becomes almost caramelised while roasted at a high heat. It is not a dish to eat before going out on a date; it is pungently garlicky and has a pleasant level of heat from the chilli. What a great way to eat your greens. My family loved it. We eat oodles of the broccoli each week. I will certainly be returning to this recipe. In fact, we enjoyed it so much I have made it twice already.
Another successful dish was the lentils with maple and cumin roasted carrots. I must admit that before lockdown I had never bought a tin of lentils, they are so easy to cook from dry so I always do. However, faced with empty shelves at the time, I bought a tin. It has sat neglected in the cupboard for the past two months, so I was pleased to find a recipe that called for just such a tin.
Maple syrup pairs well with carrots although I used less than called for in the recipe because, while it is not refined sugar, maple syrup is still very sweet. I have to declare that I am as sugar-free in my cooking as I can be, so usually omit all sources of sugar completely or reduce the amount.
I roast a lot of carrots but have not paired it with lentils before. We all enjoyed the sautéed red onions in the lentils as well as the caper dressing which really added an interesting extra level of flavour and zing with a lot of lemon juice and zest.
Keeping to the carrot theme, I made a pot of carrot and coriander soup. There was a time some years ago when I made this soup so often, that I eventually retired it. Eating a bowl of Murphy’s soup I had a pleasant reminder of just how good this combination is. It is a quick and easy soup to make and I like Murphy’s addition of a grating of nutmeg.
A warm salad with roasted carrots and lentils
- 300 grams carrots peeled and quartered lengthways
- 2 tsp cumin seeds
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 2 cloves garlic peeled and sliced
- 1 small red onion thinly sliced
- 400 grams tinned brown lentils drained and rinsed
- 20 grams fresh coriander leaves chopped
- 20 grams fresh mint leaves chopped
- For garlic and caper dressing
- 1 clove garlic peeled and grated
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- 2 tsp capers drained
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 pinch flaked sea salt
- 1 grind black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200 C
Add the carrots and the cumin seeds to a large roasting tin. I like to line the tin with parchment paper so that nothing sticks to the bottom of the tin.
Drizzle over the olive oil
Roast for 20 minutes until the carrots are starting to caramelise.
Brush each piece of carrot with the maple syrup and roast for a further 5 minutes
While the carrots are roasting, heat the sunflower oil in a frying pan and add the red onion until nearly softened.
Now add the garlic. I like to add the garlic to onions once the onions are nearly cooked as garlic burns easily.
Add the lentils and allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring to combine.
Pour the lentil and onion mixture onto your serving platter
To make the garlic and caper dressing, stir all the ingredients together
Once the carrots are cooked, add them to the lentils
Add the coriander and mint and toss gently to combine
Season to taste
Drizzle the dressing over the warm salad
Add extra herbs and black pepper to your liking
Finally, I made baked beans for Sunday brunch. I served them with eggs poached on top as if making shakshuka. It was delicious, the whole family polished them off happily. It is very easy to make especially as it is better made the day before so no early rush to the kitchen on a weekend morning. Once tried, forever spoilt, as to be honest these are so much better than that famous brand I have been serving up for breakfast for more years than I care to remember.
The mymuybueno cookbook provides a good selection of dishes that are appropriately simple for the home cook and this book would be useful for people who are looking for a range of dishes to serve to the family. Experienced cooks will recognise many dishes they already have in their repertoire. The standout chapter is the one on cheesecakes. There are some wonderful looking versions for the vegan baker. Much soaking of cashew nuts and opening of tins of coconut milk is involved to create the perfect vegan dessert. Many are served in the Mymuybueno deli and now you can make them in your own kitchen. If I had a vegan guest over any of these cakes would make a great dessert. I especially like the look of raspberry jam cheesecake or the impressive 5 layered celebration cheesecake. Or pecan pie or blueberry tart. The mymuybueno cookbook may be free of refined sugar, but it is not short on treats.
The mymuybueno cookbook is available from Amazon for £20.99