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Vegan Fesanjan And Adas Polo

vegan fesenjan + adas polo (persian pomegranate and walnut stew with jewelled rice) // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #recipe

vegan fesenjan + adas polo (persian pomegranate and walnut stew with jewelled rice) // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #recipe
A week ago, a quote by Yoko Ono caught my eye:

“Try to say nothing negative about yourself for three days, for forty-five days, for three months. See what happens to your life.”

I paused and thought about it. I didn’t remember the last time I went a day without reprimanding myself, and just two weeks before, Lewis made an effort to point out every time I said something negative about myself. I said things about myself that I would never say to or about anyone else: that I was stupid for making a mistake, or call myself “fat” on days I didn’t hit the gym but chose, instead, to lounge on the couch with my dinner. It made me realize how unkind I was to myself, and seeing Yoko Ono’s words in print was a big wake-up call. I shared the quote on Instagram, and someone’s comment, “I honestly don’t think I could do it,” made me realize that I wasn’t the only one who struggled be kind to myself. Why is it easy for us to be kind to others, but not to ourselves?

vegan fesenjan + adas polo (persian pomegranate and walnut stew with jewelled rice) // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #recipe
Curious about how long I could keep this self-love challenge going, I decided to give it a try this week. The results? I have been mostly successful in undertaking this challenge. The first few days, however, were the hardest, and I surprised myself with the number of times I caught myself thinking or saying something negative about myself. Eventually, I learned to think twice: is this something I would say to a friend? If not, then I probably shouldn’t be saying it to myself. Once I was consistently more positive about myself, I noticed a huge change in my mood. I no longer felt surrounded by a cloud of negative energy—I was optimistic, cheerful, and motivated to be my happiest. I began to notice little things that made me smile, like hearing the birds chirp on the way to work and enjoying the warmth from a ray of sunshine. Being in a good mood made it easier to ignore the little things that normally would have annoyed me, and each day was more enjoyable because of it.

With that said, I’d like to challenge all of you to take on this self-love project, too. What do you love the most about yourself? What is the biggest struggle you face in loving and accepting yourself?

Give it a go, and then treat yourself to this rich, flavourful meal: fesenjan, a pomegranate and walnut stew, and adas polo, a simple but gorgeous rice dish. Both dishes are Persian, and I paired the two together for dinner this week. I first tried these dishes at a Persian restaurant in Toronto and loved them so much that I decided right then and there to recreate them at home. Fesenjan is made by combining ground walnuts with pomegranate molasses, and while many recipes call for chicken or lamb, I decided to use mushrooms and carrots in this vegan version. The stew is sweet, a little bit sour, and a whole lot of delicious. I loved having it with adas polo, a rice dish scented with saffron and bejewelled with raisins, dried dates, and lentils. I know it isn’t the most appetizing looking meal, but I promise that what it lacks in looks, it makes up for in taste by tenfold: it’s sexy and the depth of flavour is unreal.

vegan fesenjan + adas polo (persian pomegranate and walnut stew with jewelled rice) // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #recipevegan fesenjan + adas polo (persian pomegranate and walnut stew with jewelled rice) // gratitude and greens // #vegan #plantbased #recipe

VEGAN FESENJAN + ADAS POLO
Serves 4-5.

ADAS POLO
INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 3/4 cup green lentils, soaked for at least an hour
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup raisins
  • 10 dried medjool dates, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon saffron
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1-3 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sea salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Rinse the brown rice and place in a separate pot. Add 2 1/4 cups water and simmer for 40-45 minutes.
2. Pour the lentils into a small pot with the bay leaf and a generous pinch of salt. Add enough water to cover them by an inch and bring the water to a boil. Once the water reaches a boil, reduce the heat and allow the lentils to simmer for 25 minutes. Keep your eye on the lentils and add water as or if needed.
3. While the lentils and rice are cooking, melt a few tablespoons of coconut oil in a pan or pot large enough for four cups of cooked rice. Sauté the onions until they begin to become translucent. Season the onions with cumin and turmeric. Add the dried fruit and lentils, and continue to stir for another few minutes.
4. Whisk and dissolve the saffron in either melted coconut oil or three tablespoons of warm water. Pour the liquid saffron mixture over the rice and stir to combine. Add the cinnamon and stir again. If the rice appears to be dry, add another tablespoon of coconut oil.
5. Season with sea salt. Once the rice is ready, cover with a lid and set aside while you prepare the fesenjan.

FESENJAN
INGREDIENTS

  • 4 cups walnuts
  • 1 1/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cup shiitake or portobello mushrooms
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • sea salt, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS
1. In a large pan, toast the walnuts on medium-low heat, stirring occasionally to prevent burning. Once the walnuts have toasted, remove them from the pan and allow them to cool. Place the walnuts in a food processor and blend until finely ground.
2. Melt the coconut oil in a pot on medium heat. Sauté the onions until fragrant and translucent. Add the mushrooms, carrots, and walnuts. Sauté for another five minutes before adding the water, pomegranate molasses, and saffron. Stir to mix well, and allow the mixture to simmer and thicken on low heat. Stir every now and then to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for around 40 minutes, until you see a layer of oil appear on the surface.
3. Season with salt and serve with adas polo.

Wishing you much love and happy kitchen adventures,
Gen.

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19 Comments

  1. Dixya @ Food, Pleasure, and Health
    June 8, 2015

    what a powerful quote there. i do go through these struggles esp right now bcause i havent been working out much and im always making negative comments about my body. i am so glad that it worked out for ya!!! and this meal looks wonderful. I have to try fesanjan soon.

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      June 14, 2015

      Thanks Dixya! I hope you found time to exercise and that you’re feeling a bit more body positive today. It’s easy to fall into the negativity trap and the same thing happens to me when I don’t get to hit the gym as often as I want to. xo

      Reply
  2. Rachael@AvocadoADayNutrition
    June 8, 2015

    What a beautiful quote, I hadn’t heard it before. I think I may join you in this challenge. Goodness knows I’ve been hard on myself and my achievements after a slower than normal month with my business. Writing the quote down in my planner now as a reminder :)

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      June 14, 2015

      The quote is so powerful and is definitely one of the few that have stuck with me. I think about it everyday now that I’ve taken on the challenge! xo

      Reply
  3. Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine
    June 8, 2015

    I can’t believe you just posted this recipe! So uncommon, yet I just has a huge discussion about Fesanjan with my mom’s friend (whole is married to a man from the middle east) and she told me how wonderful this dish is, authentic and homemade!
    So of course me, I’ve been thinking up my version (with the real chicken though) to try out because it looks and sounds so fantastic! Ah! Such a weird connection ;)
    Anyway, your challenge sounds like a wonderful idea! Something to think about and try for sure! It could really be so great for so many people!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      June 14, 2015

      That is such a coincidence!!! Like, a crazy coincidence. You have to try it sometime, it’s absolutely delicious! Let me know how it goes… :) xo

      Reply
  4. Kimberly
    June 8, 2015

    Wow … I am in love with your self-love challenge! Knowing myself, it would be a huge struggle for me too! I commend you for trying!

    I am so intrigued by this dish as well … I’ve never had fesanjan or adas polo, but I want to now!

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      June 14, 2015

      Thanks Kimberley! I hadn’t had fesenjan and adas polo up til a few weeks ago and I just fell in love with it when I tried it. The challenge is hard, but I feel a lot happier and much more emotionally healthy. Give it a go- I believe in you! xo

      Reply
  5. Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together
    June 8, 2015

    As women, sometimes I wonder if it is engrained in us to not love ourselves, which is sad. I actually requested this book from the library, Unworthy, which talks about how to learn to love yourself and get rid of the self-loathing (which I definitely need).

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      June 14, 2015

      I think society definitely conditions us to think a certain way. Everything that is marketed towards women hones in on the idea that women aren’t good enough and need something else (cosmetics, clothes, etc) to make them even better, which is awful. Will definitely check that book out! xo

      Reply
  6. Josefine
    June 8, 2015

    What an absolutely wonderful idea not saying anything stupid about your self for three days. We tend to be so self self-destructiveall the time and I suffer from self-hate. I am definitely going to try that one day :)
    Also this dish looks super delicious! Yum

    Reply
    • genevieve y
      June 14, 2015

      Give the challenge a try and let me know how it goes! xo

      Reply
  7. Arman @ thebigmansworld
    June 8, 2015

    the half Persian in me is dancing right now ;)

    I refuse you to say anything negative about yourself until we hang out in NY. then I shall insult you.

    Reply
  8. Rebecca
    June 10, 2015

    Have you seen this Dove Ad? http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/03/16/dove-one-beautiful-thought_n_6880918.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

    It seems like negative self talk (at least for women) is something of a societal norm. I’m glad you’re trying to change this for yourself–and sharing about it. It’s a great reminder and inspiration.

    And this dish–absolutely going to make it soon. These are my flavors!!

    Reply
  9. Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits
    June 11, 2015

    I love so many things about this self-love challenge. This reminds me of an exercise I did a few weeks ago. I can get pretty negative about my blog sometimes, so I decided one day to just write all those thoughts in my blog journal to get everything out. Then, I focused on all the things that I’m thankful about on my blog. Just seeing how much my blog has grown in the past year, on paper, made me feel much more positive about my work. I definitely need to do this for other aspects of my life, too!

    Reply
  10. Anna
    June 12, 2015

    looks absolutely delicious yummy

    https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

    Reply
  11. Strawberry And Rhubarb Baked Oatmeal + Finding Joy In Small Things | gratitude and greens
    June 14, 2015

    […] << a new self-love challenge + vegan fesenjan and adas polo […]

    Reply
  12. Chioggia Beet Salad With Pomegranate, Arugula, and Quinoa
    April 11, 2016

    […] with it; it’s a little bit sweet, a little bit sour, and a whole lot of sticky. Other than this fesenjan recipe I shared last year, I’ve only used pomegranate syrup to marinade vegetables for roasting and […]

    Reply
  13. Sanaz
    January 7, 2017

    Hi Gen,

    thanks so much for the idea of turning persian dishes into vegan versions. I loved your insight on this and the quote about Yoko Ono.

    Regarding the Adas Polo, try to add some tarragon into the rice while cooking, and add some walnuts and fried onions on top ;) next time and definitely let me know what you think about it.

    Regards
    Sanaz

    Reply

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