lentil chard pilaf with maple glazed tofu

This delicious pilaf was devoured the other night by a tough table of city kids used to lots of chemical flavors, fillers and colours, so if this hearty earthy dish can please the mcfood lovers I know I am on to something with this combination of smoky sweet flavours.

Start by boiling 2 cups of water and quickly cook 1 cup of black lentils straight up (no seasoning), once cooked (15-20 minutes) set aside. I had 3 cups of cooked brown rice in the fridge so this is a great dish if you have leftovers if not get a rice pot on too!

In a deep cast iron pan dice and fry 1/2 a yellow onion, 2 large carrots, 3 toes of garlic, and 2 celery stocks in olive oil. When the onions are just brown, add 2 cups of boiling water and season with S+P about 1 tbsp of chili blend (I used my tequila sunrise which includes cumin, but if you use a chilli blend without make sure you add it in), cumin, and a few splashes of braggs. let this all bubble away on medium heat for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile cube up 1/2 a package of firm organic tofu and fry it off to a nice golden brown in organic canola oil. Season with S+P, dry lemon rind, and a dusting of chamela giri gara masala blend. When the tofu is golden on most sides and is nearing completion toss in about 3/4 cup of sunflower seeds and give them a quick toast.Once the tofu and seeds are nicely brown on all sided add a glug of maple syrup to the pan and give it all a quick toss. remove from heat and continue to toss and give it a squirt of sesame oil, and another sprinkle of sea salt then set aside.

Back to the big pan, add cooked rice and lentils to the reduced veggies and stock. Season with some sesame oil, lemon juice and a pinch of anise.

Chop 3-4 large leafy stocks of red chard into 1 cm strips (remove stock and save for another time), dice up 3 green onions finely. Add the veggies to the top of you deep pan, shut off heat to the burner (but keep the pan in place) and cover and steam for 3 minutes. Finally add the tofu and seeds to the pan,  toss everything and serve!

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