top of page

Montana in Carnival

Last February, we celebrated Carnival in Montana by enjoying colorful, easy, and delicious lentil dishes. Our inspiration came from the vibrant costumes, flowers, and music color. These dishes are not your typical grandma's recipes; they are our own creations. We hope you enjoy them.


Cumbia: Colombian Carnival Salad

This vibrant salad is inspired by Barranquilla's Carnival, blending colorful ingredients and contrasting flavors.


INGREDIENTS for the salad

2 cups of Kombucha squash, cut into 1-inch unpeeled cubes

2 cups of cored red cabbage cut into chunks

1 red bell pepper, diced in 1-inch pieces

1 medium red onion, cut into chunks

1/3 cup Olive oil

2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1-14.5 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed


INGREDIENTS for the dressing


1/3 Extra-virgin olive oil

¼ cup rice vinegar

½ teaspoon Kosher Salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 TBSP minced shallot

1 TBSP maple syrup

1 TBSP Dijon Mustard


1/3 cup chopped cilantro, garnish.



1.              Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper, or use two smaller ones, one for each squash and cabbage.

2.              Preheat oven to 425.

3.              Slice the kabocha squash into even slices, and then cut it into 1-inch cubes.

4.              Core and slice the red cabbage into chunks. Scatter in the second half of the sheet pan or on the second one.

5.              Drizzle both with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.

6.              Roast the cabbage and the squash for 25-30 minutes until the squash is golden on the bottom and the cabbage is charred on the top.

7.              While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing. Place all the ingredients in a mason jar, save for the cilantro. Shake until it emulsifies.

8.              Combine the squash and cabbage in a large bowl when they are out of the oven. Add the chickpeas and drizzle the dressing.

9.              Pile the vegetables in a large serving bowl or platter, drizzle with the other half of the dressing, and garnish with the chopped cilantro.

Merengue- Dominican Carnaval

We present a colorful dish hailing from the land of merengue and Johnny Ventura. Our dish is prepared with Montana-grown Black Kabuli chickpeas, which have an earthy flavor and can hold the depth of spices and coconut, unlike their beige counterparts. We drew inspiration from the numerous exotic ingredients brought to the Dominican Republic from Africa and designed this unique recipe with Carnival in mind. We hope that this dish brings you the authentic taste of the Caribbean and that you enjoy it with your loved ones.

Serves 6

Ingredients for the Chickpea Stew

For the sofrito

1/3 cup of chopped sweet onion

1/3 cup of chopped Roma tomatoes

1/3 cup red bell pepper, chopped

2 TBSP Olive Oil

2 garlic cloves, minced and chopped.

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons Kosher Salt

For the Stew

4 cups pre-cooked black chickpeas, follow package instructions

3 cups of kale, (lacinato/Tuscan) chopped1 can coconut milk (do not use light)

4 cups of roasted garnet yams, peeled and cubed

Glaze for the Yams

¼ cup of olive oil

1.5 TBSP of honey

1 teaspoon of smoked paprika


1.     Turn oven to 425.

2.     Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.     Peel and cut the yams into 1-inch cubes.

4.     Combine all the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine.

5.     Pour the glaze over the yams.

6.     Dish into the sheet pan and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through.

7.     While the yams are roasting, make the stew.

8.     To a 4-quart pot add 2 TBSP of Olive Oil.

9.     When the oil is hot, add the sofrito ingredients except for the garlic, and sauté for about 5 minutes in medium heat. Add the garlic.

10.  Once the garlic is fragrant, about 20 seconds, add the kale and cook until it softens.

11.  Stir in the chickpeas and stir to combine.

12.  Cook for about 20 minutes so all the flavors marry, and the coconut milk reduces.

13.  Remove from the burner and add the roasted yams.

14.  Serve in a bowl and top with cilantro.

15.  Enjoy in good company and with the rhythm of a merengue or two.



YANZU: Afro-Peruvian Carnival

In Peru, leftover rice and canary beans pancakes are often served in portions topped with meat or eggs. We've created our version in Montana using quinoa, the Andean power grain, and crimson lentils grown in our state's Golden Triangle. We've added chili Amarillo paste to provide a unique flavor. Rather than making individual patties, we've opted for one large cake that can be cut into wedges. To give the final touch to this superb dish, we top the Tacu-Tacu with a fried egg and salsa criolla. This version of vegetarian Tacu-Tacu is a delicious and healthy meal.


Ingredients for the Salsa Criolla

1 small red onion (thinly sliced)

1 TBSP olive oil

1 ¼ teaspoons of aji Amarillo paste or 3 teaspoons of hot sauce, like Tabasco

1 TBSP distilled white vinegar

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

¼ teaspoon kosher salt½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste

Ingredients for the Lentil-Quinoa Tacu Tacu

1 TBSP Olive Oil

¼ cup of chopped onion

1 garlic tooth, crushed

½ cup of chopped tomatoes

¼ cup of chopped cilantro

1 ½ teaspoons of Kosher Salt

1 TBSP of Aji Amarillo paste

1 cup red lentils

½ cup of quinoa


  1. For salsa criolla, combine sliced onion with cold water to cover. Let it sit for 10 minutes, drain, and toss it with cilantro, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon aji amarillo paste.

  2. Pour one tablespoon of olive oil into a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium. Stir in chopped onion and garlic; sauté until lightly browned. Stir in kosher salt and aji amarillo paste.

  3. Add the lentils and quinoa into the pan and stir the ingredients to combine.

  4. Add 2.5 cups of water and stir to combine and cover.

  5. Cook for 15 minutes and stir the mixture.

  6. Cover again and cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until the lentils have disintegrated and the quinoa is fully cooked.

  7. Remove from the heat and allow to cool off.

  8. Place in a bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour.

  9. Beat the egg and pour it into the mixture, ensuring it is coated. This will help keep the mixture whole when you invert it later in the recipe.

  10. Set the same skillet over medium and pour 1 tablespoon olive oil. Once oil is shimmering, add the mixture and use a spatula to pack it down lightly.

  11. Cook until deeply browned on the bottom, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat, invert a plate on top of the skillet, and carefully flip the mixture onto a plate, browned side up. Set the skillet back over medium, pour one tablespoon of olive oil, and slide the mixture back into the skillet. Cook until browned, 5 minutes more.

  12.  Remove from heat, invert the plate on the skillet, and flip.

  13. Top with salsa criolla; serve hot with lime wedges.

  14. Enjoy in good company.

SAMBA- Brazilian Carnaval

We are fascinated by the vibrant music and dance of Brazil's Carnival season. Come and join us as we hit the streets of Copacabana, donning colorful costumes that match the ingredients of our salad. Our costume colors include reds, oranges, yellows, greens, and blacks. The red represents watermelon, originating from Africa, and the orange stands for the Brazilian squash known as mango, which we substitute with kabocha here in Montana. The white shreds in the salad are fresh coconut, while the black ones are Montana-grown beluga lentils. We also use tamarind concentrate mixed with honey to brush the squash and create a sweet and sour salad dressing, a common ingredient in Brazilian cuisine.

Serves 4

Ingredients for the Salad

4 cups kabocha squash, cut in 1-inch cubes

4 cups watermelon, cut into 1-inch cubes

1 cup cooked beluga lentils (as per package instructions)

4 cups arugula

1 cup cucumber, sliced in thin wheels

¼ cup grated coconut


For the Glaze

1 TBSP tamarind concentrate

1 TBSP honey

1/3 cup of Olive Oil

Ingredients for the Tamarind Dressing

¼ cup rice vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

1 TBSP honey

2 TBSP tamarind Concentrate

1 TBSP chopped scallions

½ teaspoon of salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper



1.     Turn oven to 425.

2.     Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.

3.     Slice the kabocha squash into even slices and cut into 1-inch cubes.

4.     Combine the glaze ingredients in a small bowl and combine.

5.     Pour the glaze over the squash.

6.     Dish into the sheet pan and cook for about 25-30 minutes, turning halfway through.

7.     While the vegetables are roasting, make the dressing.

8.     Place all dressing ingredients in a jar and shake until it emulsifies.

9.     When the squash is out of the oven and has cooled, mix all of the salad ingredients in a large bowl except the coconut.

10.  Add the amount of salad dressing you appreciate and toss. DO NOT ADD ALL OF THE DRESSING AS IT IS VERY DOMINANT DUE TO THE TAMARIND.

11.  Serve in a large bowl and sprinkle with shredded coconut.

12.  Like always, enjoy in good company.






24 views0 comments


bottom of page