the taste space

Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce

Posted in Mains (Vegetarian) by janet @ the taste space on October 27, 2011

I follow a lot of food blogs. When I started to use Google Reader, maybe only 6 months ago or so, somehow I effortlessly started reading more and more food blogs. My last count was 232 subscriptions (eek!).

I read blogs for many different reasons: to be inspired by the recipes or techniques; to learn more about ingredients or different ethnic cuisines; and lately to open my culinary repertoire into vegan (and raw) cooking.

Some blogs post tried-and-true recipes, and maybe it is just my poor luck, but sometimes I get lackluster results from other bloggers. It might seem like I have been ragging on her alot recently, I actually adore Angela’s positive message on Oh She Glows.  I just haven’t had too much luck with her recipes.  I find her overnight oats a bit too liquidy for me, her split pea and spinach soup and white bean pesto dip underflavoured and more recently, her tahini-avocado chickpea salad also lacked spunk. Nothing that I couldn’t fix myself, but you just know you will have to continually assess the dish at every step.

Like a mouse drawn blindly to cheese, I am still tempted by her recipes. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt, because I know we share some similar tastes. While I haven’t tried her version, I also adore the Creamy Broccoli Dal from Vegan Yum Yum. I just have to do a lot of tweaking to follow her recipes.

With this in mind, I assessed her Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl with caution, despite the many positive reviews in the comments. It looked like a wonderful clean-your-fridge recipe, but I knew I wanted to load it up with vegetables. I scaled back the lentils and swapped the spelt berries for bulgur. I doubled the vegetables, used leek instead of onion, added in 2 red bell peppers, some snow peas, tomato and spinach.  Because I adore lemon, I increased the lemon flavour by adding in the zest from the lemons as well. With less grains and beans, but more vegetables, I kept the same amount of dressing. Finally, an adapted OSG’s recipe worthy to share!

Here, a zippy creamy sauce is simmered with the vegetable medley that is speckled with lentils. The black lentils hold their shape well, as do the French du Puy lentils, which would also work great here. Green lentils would also work ok. I was lucky to have a leftover leek waiting in the fridge, but onions or shallots could also be used.  For the vegetables, pick your favourites but I liked that the fresh tomatoes, with their juices, deglazed the pan nicely.  Serve with your choice of grain, mixed into the skillet or served on the side.


This is my submission to Ricki’s Wellness Weekend and to this week’s Healthy Vegan Friday.

Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce

1/2 cup dried lentils, rinsed (I used small black beluga lentils but green ones would work well too)
1/2 cup uncooked coarse bulgur
1/4 cup tahini
3 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
zest from 2 lemons
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt + freshly ground black pepper, or to taste
2 tbsp water, or as needed
1 tbsp coconut oil
3 cups chopped leek, white and green parts (1 large leek)
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 cups chopped red bell pepper (2 red peppers)
1 cup chopped snow peas
1 cup chopped tomato (2 small Roma tomatoes)
3 cups spinach, destemmed and roughly chopped

1. Separately, cook lentils and bulgur according to directions. Rinsed lentils can be simmered for 25 minutes, if using small black beluga lentils or French du Puy. Green lentils require 45 minutes. Coarse bulgur is added to twice its volume of boiling water and steams for 20 minutes as the water is absorbed. This can be done in advance if desired. Drain the lentils and set aside lentils and bulgur to cool.

2. Next, prepare the lemon-tahini dressing by adding tahini, garlic, lemon juice and zest, nutritional yeast, olive oil, salt and water to a food processor. Blend until smooth.

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over low-medium heat, add your coconut oil and sauté the chopped leek for a few minutes. Add the minced garlic for a few minutes, being careful not to burn. Now add in the chopped red pepper and snow peas and stir. A few minutes later, deglaze the pan while adding the tomatoes with their juice and sauté for another 7-8 minutes.

4. Stir in the chopped spinach, cover and cook until it turns a bright green and tender. Stir in the lemon-tahini dressing, the cooked lentils, and simmer on low for another few minutes. Serve with bulgur on the side, or mix into the dish as well. Season with salt and pepper to taste and garnish with lemon wedges and zest.

Serves 4-6.

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15 Responses

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  1. Priya said, on October 27, 2011 at 1:59 PM

    Lovely platter, nutritious and super filling platter..

  2. Joanne said, on October 27, 2011 at 8:54 PM

    There are certain bloggers whose recipes I KNOW I can trust (yours obviously being one of them) and others are just totally hit or miss. I’ve really loved everything I’ve made from Angela’s blog except her pumpkin pie overnight oats….but I have texture issues. This is one big dish of veggies that I know I would adore! That lemon-tahini sauce sounds ridiculously addictive.

  3. [...] Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl: Rechristened as Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce [...]

  4. Angela @ Vegangela.com said, on October 30, 2011 at 8:24 AM

    This looks awesome – bookmarked!

  5. Stefani said, on November 1, 2011 at 2:28 PM

    I had planned to make OSG’s recipe, but then stumbled upon your blog above…. I made this last night, based on your few tweaks, plus a few of my own to delicious success! Thanks. :)

  6. Ashley said, on November 3, 2011 at 2:03 PM

    232 subscriptions!! Holy. I think I have about 30 and that’s hard enough to keep up with. This looks like an amazing meal and I’m glad you had some success with an OSG recipe with some tweaking. :)

  7. Tracy said, on November 18, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    I’ve just discovered your blog and your recipes look amazing and your photos are beautiful! I may be a new reader here, but I’m a tried-and-true reader of Oh She Glows and the Daily Garnish. I was very much enjoying reading your posts until I got to the critique of Angela Liddon’s recipes. I was honestly surprised by the fact that you were critical of another blogger and THEN passed along their original recipe–with or without your own tweaks this seems hypocritical and mean-spirited. It doesn’t bother me that you shared the recipe or that you made changes, it was just the unnecessary digs that made me pause. I look forward to reading your blog in the future and to trying your recipes, but I won’t continue to read it if this is how you treat other bloggers. I just can’t support that.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on November 18, 2011 at 5:34 PM

      Hey Tracy, Thanks for the feedback. This was definitely not meant to be a mean-spirited post, just a lesson that we all don’t have the same tastes. Is my taste better? Probably only to me. Trust me, I love Angela’s blog and the flavours presented in her recipes. But I just haven’t had much luck with her recipes, despite drooling over the photos. Tons of other people have had successes, so I attribute it to different tastes. I may prefer meals with a bit more punch and thus I tried to change the recipe so that I would enjoy it more, based on my likes. Trust me, I liked this recipe and would like to help others find recipes that work well, instead of flops (saving you time and money).

      If someone tried my recipes and didn’t like them, I’d love to hear what they thought could make it better. Just as I appreciate your feedback on the style of my written post. Perhaps it came across as too harsh on Angela, when really it was a lesson for me to not be as strict a recipe-follower. Follow my own gut for my own favourite flavours. :)

  8. [...] me anytime” category. Definitely comfort food.  I have mentioned this delightful dal a few times, but have yet to share the recipe because we didn’t have any photos. Since we usually make [...]

  9. Tara said, on February 26, 2013 at 8:26 PM

    I just made this for dinner…and wow. What an amazing combination of flavours! I struggled not to eat half of the recipe in one sitting. I absolutely love your blog Janet – every recipe I have made of yours has become a new favourite.

    • janet @ the taste space said, on February 26, 2013 at 8:52 PM

      Thanks, Tara! Comments like yours totally make my day. It thrills me when others enjoy the recipes as much as I did… and thus reminding me I should make it again. :)

  10. [...] Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce [...]

  11. […] Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce […]

  12. […] so far have been her Creamy Mushroom Tomato Pasta, Millet Bowl with a Mushroom Gravy and Kale, Warm Lentil, Bulgur and Vegetable Skillet with a Lemon-Tahini Sauce, Garlic-Roasted Chickpeas in a Lemon-Dill Dressing, Blueberry Vanilla Chia Jam, and Peanut Butter […]


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