Fork Spoon Knife is the personal blog of Asha where she chronicles her journeys in food through stories, recipes and photographs. She can also be found doodling and sharing her experiences as below.



"Me(al) Time" - A New Inspiration Series

Griddled Lentil Cake and Egg Salad

For as long as remember, I have not particularly enjoyed eating by myself. My family, except for the few short years that I lived with my grand-dad, was not given to family dinners. To circumvent this, I was rarely separated from books at meal time. I ate relatively slowly, savoring each page of the book as with each bite on the plate. The food was even more delicious because I didn't have to make them. I just sat the table and food arrived. Looking back, that was quite pampering.

All too soon, though, I grew up and started working in a different country and running my own house/kitchen. At the start I did neither particularly well. I worked a lot and ate at the desk, staring at constantly blinking screens, for the fear of missing that nebulous piece of streaming information that would make or break my career. So, I ate breakfast, lunch and often times dinner chewing without focusing on my food but rather on the spreadsheets before me. On days when I did manage to drag my sorry ass back home at a half decent hour, I was either too tired or too demotivated to cook just for myself. But, I still couldn't eat out or order in. Atleast, I have that shred of self-respect to hold on to.

I would make myself scrambled eggs or have cereal or some light Indian snack. Weekends when I was caught by myself at mealtime were the worst. The concept of cooking myself a full proper meal just did not appeal to me. Fast forwarding the years to the days when I was no longer in the corporate world, I still had not overcome that reluctance to cook ior myself.

GF Griddled Lentil Cake and Egg Salad

These days, things are a bit different. I still prefer cooking for more than just me but I have learnt to love and enjoy my time cooking for myself and eating with myself. I have come to look forward to that mini-break in the middle of the day when I can make myself something healthy and happy and gives me space to take a breather. A little me-time.

Yet, it was not until a reader from this post, requested more recipes cooking for one, did I take notice of this change in my mindset. Thinking more about it, I realised, my obstacle in cooking for one, all those years ago, was that the only recipes I knew were ones that you typically cook for more and then have leftovers. I don't like eating leftovers, neither do I like wasting them. Rock, hard place and all that. Now that I am much better versed in the art of creating new dishes, I don't run into those stumbling blocks.

Anyway, I figured, it was good time to share some recipes that designed for one, but can be easily scaled and celebrate the joy of dining solo. So, I am creating a new series of recipes, "Me(al) Time", that will be easy to execute, exciting to eat and simple enough to make on a weeknight or for a quick lunch, without skimping on being healthy as well as good for you. Okay, that is a mouthful but that is my promise. After all, in the places we live and the lives we lead, there are often times and some years of a lifetime that we find ourselves alone with a book but no less enthusiasm for the plate in front of us.

Lunching with self

The key to enjoying this process is to have a few simple recipes at the back of your mind that will create a strong base on which you can add, change, experiment and have fun. Before you move on more involved creations.

To kick it off, I am starting with one of my favorite ingredients, lentils! The punch of this recipe is the lentil cake cooked on a griddle or a pan. It is that dependable yet not boring structural base on which you let your whim and fancy build with ingredients that you have on hand. I love this lentil batter because you can make it thick like a pancake and use it as a biscuit base or spread it thinner and make fold like tacos or crepes. Topping the plate with a fresh egg not rounds out the plate but also add the fat component into the meal, as without it, it is a very lean dish. Also, while I prefer fried eggs with a runny yolk, if you are going for a taco style prep, a scrambled egg would work better.

Griddled Lentil Cake and Egg Salad
(For 1)

Griddled Lentil Cake and Egg Salad

1/2 cup mixed lentils, soaked in hot water for atleast two hours or overnight
1/2 cup chopped vegetables, raw (I used cucumbers and grated carrot) as salad ingredients
1-2 T cashew cream (recipe below)
a touch of sriracha sauce
An egg

Follow this method to make the lentil pancakes.

Spread the cashew cream generously on the browned side of the pancake/crepe. Drizzle the sriracha sauce Arrange the salad ingredients on top and Finish with a fried egg.

Cashew Cream

1 cup cashews, raw

Soak cashews in water for 3 hours or overnight. Drain out the water and blend the softened cashews into a very smooth paste. If you find it had to process the nuts, add a teaspoon or so of water at a time till you get the blade going.

Refrigerate immediately and it can be stored for more than a week.

1 comment:

  1. A lovely meal! I am not abig fan of eating by myself either, but I have no other choice, so I generally eat something simple and healthy (like Bircher Muesli) in fron of my computer...




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