The Montana Lentil Table-July 26, 2022
Updated: Aug 29, 2022
Last year, after a pandemic hiatus, the Montana Lentil Table resumed its community dinners. With almost double the attendees than those in 2019, we all thought it was due to people itching to get outdoors and congregating. But that theory was also proved wrong this year. We climbed from 85 participants in 2021 to 100 at Eagle Mount's July dinner and 155 at August's Bodhi Farms event.
Montana loves the Lentil Table Community dinners; we can't blame it for such AMOR!
We wish to share some of our recipes and Lentil Fans photographs in this blog.
Eagle Mount- July 26, 2022
It was one of those spectacular summer evenings in Montana when the sun sets late over an uneven horizon edged by mountain peaks when we gathered around the lentil table and welcomed Danielle Antelope of FAST Blackfeet.
We listened to Danielle as she told us stories about her grandmother, her growing up in the reservations, and the lessons she learned about community, food sovereignty, and reliance through masters and teachers in her life.
Today, Danielle is the Executive Director of FAST Blackfeet, a nonprofit organization founded by a group of involved citizens dedicated to improving food security, providing nutrition education, and reclaiming & building food sovereignty within the Blackfeet Nation. For more information, please visit https://www.fastblackfeet.org.
Pumpkin Tamales with Allspice Mix
Pico de Gallo
Bison with Hominy & Cranberries
Lentil Quinoa Toss with Butternut Squash & Strawberries
Recipes Coming Very Soon
Pumpkin Tamales- These delicious pumpkin tamales are a vessel for our Bison Picadillo. We used all ingredients indigenous to the New World.
Makes 60 Tamales
6 cups of Maseca for tamales
2- 28 ounce cans of organic pumpkin puree
3 TBSP of Spice mix (recipe below)
2 teaspoons of Baking powder
1 TBSP of Kosher salt
1 cup of melted coconut oil
3 cups of warm water
Husks for rolling the tamales- submerged in warm water for at least half an hour or until they are pliable and easy to move.
Add Maseca, spice mix, baking powder, and salt into a large bowl. Mix to blend all ingredients.
Integrate the pumpkin pure, coconut oil, and knead for about 2 minutes.
Slowly pour the warm water and combine. Add one cup at a time and stop when the consistency is firm enough to spread. Add more water if needed.
Take a husk and place it teepee style on a cutting board. If it is too wet, pat it dry with a paper towel.
To fold the tamale, take a large spoon or a 2-ounce scooper and make a small ball. Flatten the ball in the middle of the husk. If you add meat or cheese, do so in the middle of the spread.
Fold the tamale by closing inward on the left side, followed by the right side. Fold the upward corner so that only the most expansive corner remains open.
Place the tamale, opened end facing up, inside a steamer.
Warm the water, so it steams and does not boil. If water gets inside the tamale, it will make them sticky.
Steam for 30 to 40 minutes.
Unroll and top with our bison picadillo (recipe follows)
Recipe for Spice Mix
4 TBSP ground cumin
2 TBSP ground Allspice
2 TBSP smoked Paprika
2 TBSP Kosher Salt
Place all ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Close the lid and shake it up. Make sure to shake each time before using.
Bison Picadillo- Our bison was purchased through the Montana Wagyu Cattle Company. It is 95% bison with a 5% Wagyu ground beef for added fat. It comes in 5 lb. tubes, but you can divide the recipe easily.
5 lbs. ground bison
1 medium sweet onion, chopped, about 1 cup
4 medium garlic cloves, mashed
2 TSP Spice Mix ( recipe above)
1 14-ounce can of roasted diced tomatoes with juices
1 28-ounce can of organic hominy, drained
1 cup of dried cranberries
1 cup of chopped cilantro
2 TBSP Olive Oil
In a large Dutch oven, add olive oil. When oil is warm, add onions and spice mix and saute for a couple of minutes. Add garlic and spice mixture.
Brown bison for about 5 minutes. It will cook very fast as there is very little fat. Add the tomatoes and simmer for about 5-7 minutes. When the liquid evaporates, add the hominy and stir to combine. Add the cranberries and allow them to soften for about five minutes.
Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro.
If you made the tamales, top them with the picadillo and serve the rest in a bowl.
Enjoy good company.
Lentil and Quinoa Toss with Butternut Squash and Strawberries
This unique blend is an inspiration I had after watching a documentary on Montana's indigenous population featuring Danielle Antelope of FAST Blackfeet.
1 cup of Timeless Food organic Pardinia lentils, rinsed
1 cup organic Andean quinoa
2 cups organic butternut squash, cubed into 1-inch pieces, roasted
2 cups of fresh strawberries, quartered
1 cup of fresh mint, chopped
1/2 cup of fresh dill
1/4 cup of maple syrup
1/3 cup of lime juice
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
Salt and Pepper to taste
Turn the oven to 400 degrees—coat butternut squash with 1 TBSP of olive oil. Place in a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and roast until al dente. Remove and allow to cool off while you cook the rest of the ingredients.
Cook lentils and quinoa as per package instructions. Remove from heat and place in a large bowl, and allow to cool off.
While everything is cooling off, make the dressing.
Once all the ingredients have cooled off, it may take 2-3 hours, or you can speed up by placing them in the fridge, mixing them all in a bowl, and adding the dressing just before serving.