How did you first begin your cooking journey?
Maybe it’s always been a part of your life because a parent or grandparent taught you beyond cookbook knowledge so you could harness that skill early on.
Maybe you taught yourself. Or a class you took or a person you met inspired you to make your own meals. Or you got sick of the bland sandwiches your mom packed for school lunches.
I started cooking when I went vegetarian, so I was about fourteen. Seems like ages ago. It would be another year or two before I actually made anything decent. So many mistakes, and failed dishes, and missed ingredients.
Needless to say, I got better—much better.
I really believe anyone can cook; they just have to learn, and that takes practice. Even if you fail the first nine attempts, you just might succeed on the tenth. Keep persisting. Learn from your mistakes, and do better next time.
What’s that saying? The only real failure is giving up.
Chickpea and Sweet Potato Masalavegan, gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, corn-free, grain-free (if serving without rice), refined sugar-free
1 can chickpeas, washed and drained
1 medium sweet potato, cubed
1/2 cup masoor dal, washed and drained
1 medium tomato, chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2.5 – 3 cups gf, cf, and yeast-free vegetable stock
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ginger
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Coconut oil, for the pan
Heat oil over medium-low heat. Cook onion with a bit of salt until soft and golden—about 15 minutes. Add garlic and spices and cook until fragrant—about 30 seconds.
Stir in sweet potato to coat with the spices. Gradually pour in the vegetable stock and increase the heat to bring the liquid to a simmer. Add lentils and tomato and stir. Reduce heat and cover.
Cook until lentils are almost done—about 15 minutes. Add chickpeas and cover and cook again for about 15 minutes.
Uncover and continue to cook until liquid is reduced—10-15 minutes. Season to taste. Serve hot with brown rice and a side salad. (I used kale!)