Here is a simple vegan meal.
French lentils (small, blue -- about one and half to two cups raw)
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
4 tomatoes, two chopped, two sliced in sections.
1/4 cup of pine nuts
lemon juice (one lemon)
white wine vinegar (optional)
coarse salt, fresh ground black pepper
1. Bring cup or two of lentils to boil, let simmer for about 15 minutes (until almost done, but not quite.) Rinse under cold water and drain. Let stand.
2. Wilt the chopped vegetables and one of the crushed garlic cloves in olive oil, in a sauce pan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
3. Prepare couscous for four (use olive oil rather than the butter recipes often call for).
4. Add the lentils to the wilted /not-quite-browned vegetables, simmer, covered for a few minutes
5. Trim brussels sprouts, wash and add to cold water, that nearly covers, in a pot. Bring to boil then simmer for a few minutes, until just done, but not soft. Drain and toss in olive oil, lemon, salt and black pepper.
6. Wash and spin the watercress and add to the sliced tomato, for a salad. Make a dressing out of 3 to 4 parts olive oil, 1 part lemon juice or wine vinegar or a mixture of the two, salt and pepper to taste, a pinch of dry mustard and a crushed clove of garlic. Shake in a small bottle (you can keep this on hand to use whenever needed).
7. Gently brown (but do not burn -- they burn easily) the pine nuts in olive oil in a small pan. Add to salad.
8. Dress salad to taste.
Your meal consists of the lentils and vegetables, heated together over the couscous, with brussels sprouts and watercress and tomato salad on the side.
Photo: 'One Year of Vegan Eats' by Amber Karnes/Flickr