Nora Okros, Hungarian photographer + foodie
Q: What is something new that you recommend us trying in the kitchen, that many of us might not try?
A: I would suggest to try aquafaba (the cooking liquid of chickpeas or other legumes like beans). It is a quite easy and cheap way to replace egg whites in your baking and it can make a huge difference.
Q: What ingredients do you think are underused at home when we cook?
A: We gotten used to using refined sugar and have forgotten about natural sweeteners like dates. They contain a significant amount of vitamins, fiber and essential minerals like iron or potassium. Perfect for making yummy raw vegan treats as well.
Q: Any food secret you swear by?
A: Soak your legumes overnight before cooking. It not only helps reducing the cooking process, but also helps your digestion. Use fresh herbs while cooking, it will take your meal to a whole new level.
3 ⁄4 cup dry green lentils, cooked
2 medium carrots, grated
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 cup walnuts
¼ cup sesame seeds
3 tbsp flour (more if needed)
1 tbsp flax meal
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp sage
Pinch of nutmeg and ground cinnamon
Salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
Coconut oil for cooking
Add lentils into a medium pot along with 2.5 cups of water, salt and a pinch of baking soda. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium. Simmer for about 20 minutes, uncovered. Once the lentils are fork tender, drain and mash with a potato masher/fork until it is a smooth pasta. Set aside. In a large frying pan over medium heat, heat oil. Reduce the heat to low and put all your spices to the oil. It helps to bring out all the flavour. (Make sure to not burn the spices.) Add the chopped onion, garlic to the pan and sauté until soft. Add the grated carrots. Put your nuts into a food processor and process until it is crumbly. Once the grated carrots are cooked, add the nuts and let the mixture cool. Transfer the lentils, the nut mixture into a mixing bowl, add the flax meal, flour and the chopped parsley. Taste and adjust flavors as needed.* Scoop out rounded tbsp amounts and form 15-16 balls. Heat a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and cook the balls until golden brown. *The mixture should be fairly moist and sticky. If it too sticky, add more flour, if it is dry add a tbsp of water or more if needed.