A creamy bowl of savoury oats porridge with red lentils to make a high-protein vegan breakfast. This healthy vegan breakfast will keep you satiated for longer.
Beyond the excitement of touching the Canadian ground for the first time — some three years ago — the apprehension of an ominous winter soon dawned upon us at the first sight of snow, after merely two weeks. In our empty basement apartment, equipped with just a fridge and cooker, no furniture, no bed, no mattress, no curtains, borderline panic-stricken, we had to act. The rumours of the hostile Canadian weather left no room for leisurely snow gazing into the tapestry of winter wonderland through the window. Though disoriented, thoughts and instinct inferred into prioritisation. Stocking up on food was top of the list.
My fruitless preliminary research for vegan eateries in the area ticked us into our only option: cooking and eating from home, as we would gradually get us settled. Pantry staples, in bulk if possible, would evidently not only save us multiple trips to the grocery store, but would also stretch our dollars. In times like these, a good home-cooked meal does bring well needed comfort and warmth to the stomach. Rice and lentils were our first choice followed by oats, beans, a selection of basic spices, a few frozen items and some fresh fruits and vegetables. Lentils are particularly convenient as they require no soaking (or little, depending on the recipe) and cook quite fast as compared to other pulses.
Having been raised on pulses, these dry seeds need no introduction to me. If pulses are all new to you, they are leguminous crops that are harvested solely for the dry seed. Dried beans, lentils and peas make up for the most commonly known and consumed types of pulses.
Mauritian cuisine features lentils and beans in a variety of dishes that are savoured by most, well beyond the veggie eater only. A typical bowl of lentil soup or dal very often are part of dinner, rounding it off for a satiating meal.
If not for their delicious appeal, there are more than one reason lentils should make it to your table regularly and not merely because the United Nations declared 2016 International Year of Pulses #IYP2016. For their numerous and invaluable health benefits, to shun from these inexpensive seeds and denying them a rightful shelf in the pantry would be a crime.
Rich in dietary fiber which helps lower cholesterol, they are also an ideal source of low-fat protein. Their low glycemic index contributes in regulating blood sugar; pulses should undoutedly be part of any diabetes sufferer’s diet. With a high content of iron and zinc, lentils and beans are also prized for being gluten-free. A lot of gluten-free flours on the market nowadays are bean and lentil flour – gram (besan) and chickpea being probably among the most popular.
No wonder around the world, pulses are being celebrated and been brought up to another level in the food supply.
Including lentils or pulses as part of breakfast is probably not very common in Western cuisine. In Eastern cuisine however, dals and lentil preparations like dosas and idlis do find their way in many breakfast recipes. Adding a portion of lentils in the first meal of the day makes a healthy high-protein vegan breakfast that will keep you satiated for longer.
Watch the quick video for how to make Red Lentils & Oats Porridge.
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Red Lentils & Oats Porridge
High-Protein Vegan Breakfast Recipe
Ingredients (serves 2)
1/2 cup red lentils
1 cup rolled oats (I used thick/jumbo rolled oats)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon coriander powder
4 – 5 curry leaves (dried, frozen or fresh)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or leaves 2 – 3 sprigs of fresh thyme)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (more to taste)
2 – 3 tablespoons frozen peas (defrosted)
Salt to taste
Rinse the lentils in cold water and drain a few times until the water runs clear. Add lentils to a saucepan and fill with one and half cups of water. Cover and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes or until lentils are soft. If the water is boiling over, place the lid so that the saucepan is partly uncovered. Check on the lentils in case the water is drying out.
Most of the water should be absorbed.
Clear a small section of the saucepan from the lentils, and add the turmeric, coriander powder and curry leaves. When the spices hit the hot pan, they will instantly release more flavour. Lightly roast the spices for about 10 seconds, then mix with the lentils. Add a little water then add the rolled oats and two and a half cups of water.
Stir and let this cook until the oats have absorbed most of the water. Depending on the type of oats, this should take 5 to 8 minutes. Add more water if required, depending on how creamy you like the oats.
Add the nutritional yeast, peas, dried thyme and salt to taste.
Turn off heat and serve warm.
Not that I count calories but here are the basic nutritional fact of this Red Lentils & Oats Porridge per serving:
Calories: 272 | Carbs: 46g | Fat: 4g | Protein: 14g
Some more lentil recipes from the blog:
- 1/2 cup red lentils
- 1 cup rolled oats (I used thick/jumbo rolled oats)
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
- 1 teaspoon coriander powder
- 4 - 5 curry leaves (dried, frozen or fresh)
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (or leaves 2 - 3 sprigs of fresh thyme)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (more to taste)
- 2 - 3 tablespoons frozen peas (defrosted)
- Salt to taste
To make this gluten-free, use gluten-free certified oats.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 272 Total Fat: 4g Carbohydrates: 46g Protein: 14g
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If you would like to help raise awareness about pulses, here’s an infographic provided by the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) available for you to pin or download the pdf version.
Infographic credit: fao.org