Cook The Book of Whole Meals: Winter | Natural Gourmet Institute

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Cook The Book of Whole Meals: Winter

Posted March 4, 2016

Our Cook the Book of Whole Meals series continues with this season’s vegan winter menu featuring hearty lentils and yams alongside warming barley-rice pilaf, braised celery, and glazed apples for dessert.  For the next day’s lunch, we repurpose our soup and casserole into a creamy vegetable potage and a satisfying rice-lentil loaf served alongside sesame-scallion sauce.  Thanks again to Chef Olivia Roszkowski for generously bringing her plating magic to this retro meal.

Our plant-based approach is rich in essential nutrients like protein, fat, complex carbohydrates and plenty of fiber to keep the digestive system fit. Both menus can be made in under two hours with enough to feed four people over two meals. Inexpensive, quick, nourishing and delicious to eat – it doesn’t get much better than that.

Recipes adapted from NGI Founder Annemarie Colbin, PhD.’s seminal recipe and menu planning cookbook, The Book of Whole Meals (1979)

Dinner menu:
Lentil Soup
Yam Casserole
Celery Tarragon
Baked Apples Glacé

Next day’s lunch menu:
Cream of Vegetable Soup
Rice-Lentil Loaf
Scallion-Kuzu Sauce


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Lentil Soup

  • 2 cups lentils
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 med carrots, peeled, cut in ¼” coins
  • 1 bay
  • 2 Tablespoon barley miso (or any miso of your choosing)
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  1. Bring lentils to boil and skim and toss out the foam that surfaces.
  2. Sauté onion and carrot, add bay and add to lentils (30min)
  3. Discard bay leaves and add miso. Scoop out 2 cups of the thickest portion for lunch loaf.
  4. Puree half of what is remaining and portion among bowls. Top each bowl with parsley and serve.

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Yam Casserole

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 yams, wash, scrubbed and sliced or cubed
  • 2 parsnips, wash, scrubbed and sliced or cubed
  • 2 Tablespoon oil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 Tablespoon tahini
  • 1 Tablespoon shoyu/tamari
  • ½ cup water
  1. Preheat to 350°
  2. Sauté onion, add garlic, yams and parsnips – cook five min
  3. Add oregano
  4. Combine tahini, tamari and water, pour over veg in a lightly oiled oven proof dish.
  5. Bake 35-40 min


  • 2 c short grain brown
  • 1 cup barley
  • 5 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt
  • ½ cup sunflower seeds

Pressure cook everything on low pressure (OR simmer in a heavy bottomed 4-qt pot, for 1 ½ hours until tender)

Celery Tarragon

  • 1 bunch celery, cleaned, trimmed, cut into ½” pieces
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon shoyu/tamari
  • ½ teaspoon dried tarragon
  1. Combine water, shoyu/tamari and tarragon
  2. Place celery in 2-qt pot, pour in shoyu mixture, cover and cook for 10 min or until all liquid is absorbed.

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Apples Glace

  • 5 tart red apples, cored, sliced in 12” circles – acidulated
  • 1 Tablespoon oil
  • ¼ c water
  • Tablespoons maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla
  1. Sauté apples in oil on each side until beginning to brown.
  2. Pour over water, syrup and vanilla.
  3. Cook until sauce becomes syrupy. Serve immediately.


  • Cream of Vegetable soup
  • 1 cup leftover yam casserole
  • 1 cup leftover celery tarragon
  • 2-3 cups Water
  • Sea salt, to taste
  • 2 Tablespoon parsley, minced
  1. Combine veg in blender with water and puree to desired thickness. Transfer to 2-qt pot and bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer 5 minutes and season with salt to taste.
  3. Serve in individual bowls garnished with parsley.

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Rice-Lentil Loaf

  • 2 c cooked, thick lentil soup
  • 3 c cooked barley-rice
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  1. Heat oven to 375°
  2. Combine ingredients, mashing together to mix well.
  3. Pack mixture firmly into an oiled loaf pan. Bake for 45 min or until firm.
  4. Serve warm with scallion-kuzu sauce

Scallion-Kuzu Sauce

  • 1 Tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 3 Tablespoon shoyu/tamari, tt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • Kuzu slurry: 1 Tablespoon and 1 teaspoon kuzu dissolved in ¼ cup water
  • Garnish: 3 scallions, minced
  1. Bring oil, shoyu/tamari and ¾ cup water to a boil.
  2. Add kuzu slurry in a steady stream. Simmer for 1-2 minutes until mixture thickens.
  3. Add scallions and serve immediately.

Note: If too thick add 1 Tablespoon of water in ¼ teaspoon increments, if too thin, boil for 1-2 minutes to evaporate excess liquid.