Imagine yourself walking through the streets of a country who’s cuisine and culture are totally foreign.
- Maybe it’s a Vietnamese market with dozens of kinds of rice; one varietal used to make smooth rice paper, another grained starchier rice is wrapped in banana leaf and steamed with pork and salted peanuts, a third is a long grain rice cooked in coconut milk for basic, but hearty street food.
- Maybe it’s an Indian market where you notice gram and lentils cooked in ways you never imagined; soaked overnight and then quickly puffed in super-heated sand, or half cooked before being pasted and rolled into thin sheets and baked?
- Maybe it’s a Peruvian market which has corn & potatoes, puffed, fried, boiled, stewed and fermented into a purple sweet tea.
In all these cases, it shows the cultural significance given to cooking creatively to keep meals interesting and varied.
This same theory of cooking creatively and thinking “out of the box” should be applied to any specialized diet, whether its SCD, Paleo, KETO etc.
How to Cook Creatively on the SCD
For example, there is a tendency to think of lentils and beans as just legumes to be soaked and boiled before eating…but there are a variety of different ways they could be used.
This recipe for Lentil Falafels shows one of the simplest, easiest, and tastiest ways to cook lentils differently. You can use any type of lentil or bean in this recipe. I just like red lentils since they provide an interesting color and soak the quickest.
Red Lentil Falafel Patties
Red Lentils dry 2 cups
Medium Onion rough chopped 1.5 each
Garlic peeled 8 cloves
Cumin toasted & ground 2 tbsp
Parsley 1 bunch
Cider Vinegar 3/4 cup
Olive oil 3/4 cup
Salt 3 tablespoons
Method of Preparation
- Soak Red lentils for 6 hours or overnight until they double in size.
- Prep the remaining ingredients if not already prepped. They don’t have to look nice since they are all going to be ground into a paste.
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor and grind until the lentils are pulsed into small bits resembling cous cous.
Chef’s Notes: Don’t fret too much about the texture at this point. If the lentils are soaked well they will still cook to tenderness even if not ground entirely.
- Preheat the oven to 375.
Chef’s Notes: I have chosen to demo an oven version of this dish since that is much easier and safer, but I personally find frying these to be tastier. If you are comfortable frying I would give you two big thumbs up.
- Apply a light coat of oil in a muffin tin with an oil soaked paper towel and preheat the tin in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Chef’s Notes: If this step it omitted, the falafel can sometimes stick to the muffin tins and be harder to remove. It also makes for a much easier clean up if the falafel are removed cleanly!
- Quickly fill the muffin tins nearly to the top of with the falafel batter and place them in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm on top. Remove them from the oven at this point and let them cool before popping them out of the muffin tins.
Visual Cues: Make sure you test to see if the top center of the falafel have solidified. If they are mushy or wet at all don’t take it out! If you do, the lentils won’t cook properly and will still be mushy and raw tasting when they cool down.
Chef’s Notes: I would always use a knife to cut around the edges of the muffin tin to help remove the falafel.
If you would like to read more of Travis’s recipes, here are a couple to check out: