Recipe: Mujaddara

Mujaddara is a Lebanese dish, but I’ve also seen it associated with Jordan and Iran. I believe the origins are regional and predate today’s borders, but if you have more info please let me know in the comments below.

This recipe is simple,  savory, and an unsuspecting crowd pleaser. The caramelized onions are heaven and the vibrant spices bring the dish to life. Rick houses it.

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Ingredients

1 c lentils
1/2 c olive oil
1 t cumin seeds
1/2 t black peppercorns, cracked or whole
3-5 red onions
2 t sea salt
3/4 c brown basmati rice
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t cayenne
1″ cinnamon stick
3 c water
1-2 lemons
2 T pine nuts, toasted (optional)

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  1. Put lentils into a medium saucepan and cover them with about an inch of cold water. Bring it to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
  2. While the lentils cook, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat for a minute. Add cumin seeds and peppercorns, occasionally shaking the pan until the cumin seeds darken, about one minute.
  3. Sauté onions and 1/2 t sea salt, stirring often. The onions are done when they’re dark brown in color with slightly crispy edges. This will take about ten minutes.
  4. With a slotted spoon, move about half of the onions to a tea towel or paper towel-lined plate. These are for garnish.
  5. Add ground cumin, cayenne, and cinnamon stick and sauté about one minute.
  6. Add rice, stirring often until some grains start to brown. In quick succession, add the cooked lentils, water, and remaining sea salt and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover, and cook 30 minutes.
  7. Keeping the lid on, turn off the heat and allow the rice mixture to steam for about five minutes.
  8. If using, toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium-low heat about five minutes.
  9. Serve rice mixture with the reserved onions, a squeeze of lemon juice, and pine nuts, if using.

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Unlike the photo above, make a polished table presentation by filling a mold or small bowl with the dish and flipping it onto a plate.

Enjoy this mujaddara for lunch or dinner, as a side, or as a main course.

Serves four.

Adapted from Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions.

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Recipe: Pad Thai

 

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Ingredients

6 oz rice stick noodles
1/4 c maple syrup
1/4 c mirin
3 T ketchup
3 T soy sauce or tamari
1 1/2 T lime juice
1 T sambal oelek or sriracha
~15 oz baked tofu*
1/2 red onion, cut into 1/4″ slices
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 scallions, chopped
1 handful of baby carrots, shredded
1/4 c fresh cilantro, mint, or combo, chopped
1/2 c roasted peanuts, chopped

*Get hard, vacuum sealed tofu in the refrigerated section. Don’t get the crumbly stuff. This should require a knife!

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  1. Cook noodles according to package directions. Drain, rinse, and set aside.
  2. Whisk syrup, mirin, ketchup, soy sauce, lime juice, and sambal oelek together. Set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over high. Add tofu and stir-fry for four minutes.
  4. Add onion and garlic and stir-fry for one minute.
  5. Add noodles and sauce mixture and stir-fry until even coated.
  6. Add scallions and carrots and stir-fry until all ingredients are well combined and heated through.
  7. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in herbs and peanuts.

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Serves four.

Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

Recipe: “Chicken” Salad

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You might feel suspicious of this recipe at first, but it’s addicting. It’s been a staple in my diet for nine years and never ceases to satisfy.

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Ingredients

1/2 c vegan mayo, like this one
2 t lemon juice
1 T nutritional yeast
1/2 T maple syrup
1/4 t sea salt
1/4 t curry powder
1/4 t black pepper
~10 oz Hilary’s World’s Best Veggie Burger*, cooked and chopped
1/4 c seedless red grapes, halved
1 celery stalk, diced
2 T fresh parsley, chopped
whole wheat bread (optional)

*Please don’t skimp and buy a sketchy veggie burger. It doesn’t have to be Hilary’s (see ingredients via link), but it should have a recognizable ingredient list and ideally be organic.

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  1. Cook the veggie patties according to package instructions, then chop.
  2. Whisk together the mayo, lemon juice, yeast, syrup, sea salt, curry, and pepper and set aside.
  3. In a separate bowl, combine the patties, grapes, celery, onion, and parsley.
  4. Add mayo mixture to patty mixture and toss until evenly coated.
  5. Serve on toasted bread as a sandwich or over a bed of greens as a salad.

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This makes fabulous leftovers because the flavors really meld together in the fridge.

Serves four.

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Adapted from Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Magic Tofu Quiche

This quiche is magical because I spotted a local meat eater going back for seconds. It’s also gluten-free!

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“Buckwheat groats” is fun to photograph and fun to say.

IMG_2162Ingredients

Crust Ingredients
1 T ground flax
6 T water, divided
1 c almonds, ground into flour
1 c buckwheat groats, ground into flour
1 t dried parsley
1 t dried oregano
1/2 t sea salt
1 T coconut oil

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If you need an ego boost, make a homemade quiche crust.

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Filling Ingredients
14 oz block of firm tofu
1 T coconut oil
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
1/2 c fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/3 c oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1 c spinach
2 T nutritional yeast
1 t dried oregano
1 t sea salt
1 t black pepper
1/2 t red pepper flakes

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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and lightly oil a glass pie dish or quiche dish.
  2. Drain the block of tofu and wrap it in a few tea towels or paper towels. Place a couple of books on top of it to press out the water while you prepare the crust.
  3. Whisk flax and 3 T water in a small bowl and set aside.
  4. In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, buckwheat flour, parsley, oregano, and sea salt.
  5. Stir in the flax mixture and oil until mostly combined, then add the remaining 3 T of water. The dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
  6. Crumble the dough evenly over the base of the pie dish. Starting from the middle of the dish, press the mixture evenly into the dish, working your way outward and up the sides. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape.
  7. Bake the crust at 350 degrees F for 13 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to touch.
  8. Increase oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
  9. Break up the tofu block and put into food processor. Process until smooth and creamy. If it doesn’t get creamy, add a tiny splash of coconut milk to help it along.
  10. In a pan, add oil and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes.
  11. Add the mushrooms and a pinch of sea salt and cook until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about ten minutes.
  12. Stir in the basil, tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, oregano, sea salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes and cook until the spinach begins to wilt.
  13. Remove from heat and stir in the creamed tofu until thoroughly combined.
  14. Pour mixture into the crust, smoothing out until even.
  15. Bake uncovered for 30-35 minutes, until the quiche is golden and firm to the touch.
  16. Cool quiche for 20 minutes on a cooling rack before slicing and serving.

Quiche goes great alongside a simple salad for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

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Serves 4-6.

Adapted from Sun-dried Tomato, Mushroom, and Spinach Tofu Quiche.

 

 

 

 

 

Recipe: Bean and Mushroom “Meatballs”

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While this recipe doesn’t exactly trick Rick the meat eater, he likes these “meatballs” so much he requests them.

Ingredients

3 T olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms, rinsed, patted dry, and chopped
1 1/2 t sea salt, divided
1 t oregano
1/2 t black pepper plus a pinch
1 t chili flakes, divided plus extra for serving
1 can of white beans, drained, rinsed
juice of 1 lemon
3 T fresh parsley, chopped and divided plus extra for serving
1 1/4 c bread crumbs, split into 1 cup and 1/4 cup
5 stalks kale, removed from ribs, chopped
1 25 oz jar of marinara sauce
sub rolls or buns

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  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add 1 T olive oil and onion and cook for four minutes.
  3. Add 2/3 garlic and mushrooms, cook for another two minutes.
  4. Stir in oregano, pepper, 1/2 t chili flakes, and 1 t sea salt.
  5. Add white beans and lemon juice and stir. Let mixture cook for one more minute.
  6. Add the bean / mushroom mixture to a food processor, pulsing a few times until the mixture comes together.
  7. Pour in the 2 T parsley and 1 cup of bread crumbs and pulse a few more times until the mixture is well combined. Let the mixture sit for five minutes so the bread crumbs absorb some of the bean / mushroom mixture.
  8. Meanwhile, add 1/4 c bread crumbs, 1/2 t sea salt, 1/2 t chili flakes, 1 T parsley, and a pinch of pepper to a bowl.
  9. Scoop out “meatball” mixture with a melon baller and roll around in bread crumb mixture until coated. Place breaded “meatballs” on the prepared baking sheet, repeating until no mixture remains.
  10. Bake the “meatballs” for 50 minutes, flipping them over halfway through.
  11. While the “meatballs” are in the oven, prepare the kale.
  12. Heat remaining  2 T of olive oil over medium heat in the same skillet you cooked the “meatball” mixture. Add remaining garlic and salt and cook for one minute. Pour garlic oil over the chopped kale and stir until evenly coated. Set aside.
  13.  In the same skillet you cooked the garlic in , heat marinara sauce over low. When the “meatballs” are done, place them in the warm marinara sauce.
  14. Place kale in toasted buns and top with “meatballs”, fresh parsley, and chili flakes.

These “meatballs” make great leftovers and can also be served over pasta.

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Serves four.

Adapted from WHITE BEAN + MUSHROOM ‘MEATBALL’ SUBS (VEGAN).