I’m terrible at coming up with recipes from scratch. This blog is called The Copycat Cook for a reason.
I’m a perfectionist in the kitchen and when a dish doesn’t turn out as I expected, it’s a personal blow to my self-confidence. On rare occasions, I’ve thrown foot-stomping tantrums and shouted at failed dishes. Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this?
My husband, however, is great at troubleshooting and loves to experiment. He’ll throw anything in a pot and see what happens. Recently, he made a creamy gluten-free/vegan macaroni and cheese using Tofutti, Vegenaise, Sheese, vegan margarine, almond milk and miso. Sounds weird and gross, but it was yummy (albeit a highly processed fat bomb).
I decided to take a page from his book when I was craving hummus, but didn’t have the foresight to soak chickpeas overnight. I improvised using red lentils, which cook in a snap, and some carrot I had on hand.
And you know what? It was delicious. Very garlicky and quite similar to chickpea hummus, so it satisfied my craving. Lentils are low in fat and packed with fibre and minerals too – making this a filling, healthy snack.
How do you experiment in the kitchen? Do you throw caution to the wind?
Red Lentil and Carrot Dip
1 cup red lentils
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp tahini
1 bulb of garlic, roasted
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium-sized pot, bring the lentils and 2 cups of water to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until the lentils are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Toss in the grated carrot and stir.
Put the carrot and lentil mixture into your food processor and add the rest of the ingredients. Blend until smooth. If necessary, add more water to get the consistency you like. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.