lentil empanadas

there are a few good things about this blog… not just the obvious getting to eat a lot of good food. but also the fact that it forces me to be active. because (confession time!) i’m often very lazy… and the more lazy i get, the more lazy i get (very smart sentence, i know, thank you). truth is: after work, i often can’t muster the energy to do much else than kick of my shoes, throw myself on the couch and stay there until i’m too tired to do even that and schlepp myself to bed… sometimes i’m even too lazy to make myself a cup of tea, let alone get up again and get the remote control (yes, that bad). i tend to be a couch potato (there, i spilled the beans). and of course, the bad conscience isn’t waiting, soon after such a wasted evening… honestly, isn’t life too short for bad tv (though i enjoy it immenesely at times) and fast food? you can see me nodding heavily now. life definitely is too short for such nights – at least if you plan to make them a rule. i don’t know about you (and if you’re a glossy fox, you probably never heard of such nights, let alone let them into your home, na-ah), but i definitely have this ‘hang out’ gene, that makes me extremely robust towards relaxation. i enjoyyy it! like, i can’t get enough of it. and once i start, it’s hard to ever get anything done again. so, actually, it’s better not to even start, for me.
this blog is a blessing to me, because it keeps me on my toes. because – especially since i’m alone and not responsible for anyone anymore after i come home – it’s a constant trade-off: kick off shoes, dominate couch and not do anything at all? versus throw kettle on, turn the oven on, chop some vegs and at least create something edible (looking) for the blog? the latter option mostly wins (except for that extremely rare events when i’m really just blissfully happy with nothing but a pair of slouchy track pants and bad tv). my motive to get up and create and cook is you. yes, you! because not to have posts with yummy food ready in the pipeline, it has started to make me nervous… the more people read fork and flower, the more i want it to be goooood content, good food, inspiration for your hard days’ life! i don’t want to let you guys down! so i go the extra mile, i chop, i roast, i fry, i spice, and blend… i get the table linen out, i style my dish, i am looking for the right ray of light and the perfect angle for my shot. i am active – in order to create a good meal, in order to get a good picture, in order to be able to write a nice story around it. and it’s not entirely altruistic (of course, readers come first, but there’s also another element): what’s good for fork and flower is also good for me. because i’m not turning into a lonely nutter without any hobbies (okay, lonely nutter, maybe, but at least i’ve got a hobbie and some results on hand that make me proud, and feel like the time spent doing it weasn’t really invain…).
so what i’ve learned through this humble blog here is: go out, create, be active! do something, anything. stop planning and start doing! get off pinterest and start a project! stop talking about your dreams, be active about them. and don’t stop. because it’s so rewarding, for yourself. it helps you to grow. and it gives life a meaning. even if your ‘really big dreams’ (in my life, that would be something like a really nice, big home with a lot of guest rooms, and maybe a world tour, to see things of the world, and marry rich, of course, laugh) won’t necessarily come true, like, ever – you’ve still got some things to show off, to be proud of, that document that you did something valuable with your time. one day, baby, we’ll be old – and we’ll better have some stories to tell. so we shouldn’t just ‘hang out’ – or we’ll never achieve this. don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with the odd night in! we all need our ‘dead time’ – be it only to let our shiny new chanel nail polishes dry… i know that, and it’s vital (at least for us girls…). all i’m saying is: try to make more. push yourself! do something you’ve always wanted to do. start a blog. sew your own underwear! play chess! sing, dance, jump, run, work out, do yoga, recycle, draw, play. anything, if it helps you to stay hungry, stay foolish. mayabe volunteer in an old age pension. do something that makes you happy, that fills your time with meaning. you’ll see it’s a blessing. for you – and maybe for others, too.
how the hell am i now making the link to those really good but not so pretty empanadas? duh.
lentil empanadas

1 cup cooked lentils (i cooked them with carrots, onions and celery stalks)
1 large sweet potato, finely diced
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 piece ginger, minced
1 piece chile, finely chopped
2 tbsp. indian curry powder
1 tbsp. masala
1 tbsp. turmeric (curcuma) powder
1 cup fresh cilantro (coriander) leaves, finely chopped
2 tbsp. ghee
1 cup vegetable broth
1 pack puff pastry
1 egg white
preheat the oven to 220 degrees f / 400 degrees c. heat the ghee in a large pan. start by toasting the spices (curry powder, masala, turmeric) together with the onion, chile, ginger and garlic. sweat for good measure. then add the sweet potato and cook for 3-4 minutes. stir in the vegetable broth, then cook some more. after a couple of minutes, add the cooked lentils and the cilantro. cook until most of the liquid is evaporated, and the sweet potatoes are tender but not completely soft. turn off the heat and put aside to cool to room temperature. after that, roll out the puff pastry and cut it into 7cmx7cm squares. place 2 tablespoons of the lentil-sweet potato mixture in the middle of each pastry square. now bring the edges together and press firm (if they won’t stick, try using egg wash – half egg white, half cold water). brush with egg wash. place on a baking sheet lined with parchmenet paper. bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden-brown. serve warm or cold. 
note: it would definitely be yum to serve this with a dollop of cilantro spiced yogurt, or a sweet chili sauce with lime… but what can i say? i was just too bloody lazy… (irony of the situation = nice twist for you).

and also: are all empanadas doomed to look ugly? does anyone know how an empanada, from the inside, can look its best on a picture? i heavily doubt there is any major insight on that matter, but you never know… people are crazy. there might be an empanada-obsessed photographer out there. i’m pushing my luck.

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