Archive for the ‘Ethnic cuisine’ Category

My friend Shobha is from India and she is also a fabulous cook. She frequently makes a delicious, spicy lentil soup, and if she comes to town, she will sometimes bring me a big container of it. I love it! The other day I was craving that lentil soup, and unable to reach Shobha for the recipe, so I looked up a few recipes online and came up with a soup that turned out great. I used red lentils I found in the bulk food section of Whole Foods, some select fresh veggies, and a bunch of spices. Oh–and don’t forget the fresh cilantro. It really brightens the soup.
Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

1 cup red or yellow lentils
2 carrots, sliced
1 tomato
3 cloves garlic, diced
½ small onion, chopped (small chop)
1 jalapeno pepper, diced (if you don’t like spicy food, you can omit the jalapeno)
1 tsp. grated fresh ginger
2 ½ cups low sodium vegetable broth
2 cups water
1 tsp. curry
1 tbsp hot curry
1 tsp. cumin seeds
½ tsp. garam masala (optional)
½ tsp. red pepper flakes
Olive oil
Salt & pepper
2 handfuls of fresh cilantro

1)    In a large pot, add 1 tbsp. of olive oil, chopped onion and sliced carrots. Saute a few minutes.

2)    Add all spices, except fresh cilantro and stir.

3)    Add garlic, fresh ginger, and jalapeno and stir. Add lentils and stir.

4)    Add vegetable broth and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes.

5)    Pour into bowls and top with fresh cilantro leaves.

Makes 3 servings. Serve with crusty bread, garlic naan, or basmati rice.

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Okay, I know St. Patrick’s Day is over, but is the celebration? Of course not! Where I live, there are St. Patrick’s Day festivals going on for a couple of weeks after St. Patty’s Day. With that in mind, I thought I would share with you the recipe for the dish I made on March 17, because it’s a great dish to make to celebrate all things Irish.

Vegetarian Cottage Pie

Vegetarian Irish Cottage Pie

Vegetarian Irish Cottage Pie

I made this dish for St. Patrick’s Day and am happy to report it turned out great and also made good leftovers. Easily make it vegan by leaving out the egg.

1 package Light Life Smart Ground Originals Veggie Crumbles (12 oz.)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
4 cups cabbage, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
1 cup vegetarian broth
Olive oil
3 russet potatoes, peeled
2 tbsp. Smart Balance
About ½ cup skim milk
1 organic, cage free egg, well beaten (optional)
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. thyme
1 tbsp. parsley
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & Pepper

1)    Sprinkle olive oil over carrots and place on greased cookie sheet in 425 degree preheated oven. Roast for about 10 minutes.

2)    Boil water in large sauce pan and add peeled and chopped russet potatoes. Boil until fork tender, about 10 minutes.  Drain and mash with potato masher. Add skim milk and smart balance, salt and pepper.

3)    Meanwhile, in medium saucepan on medium-high heat, add olive oil and chopped onion.  Saute about 5 minutes.

4)    Add Veggie crumbles and sauté another 5 minutes. Then add cabbage and sauté 5 minutes more.

5)    Add roasted carrots, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, parsley, nutmeg and pepper to veggie crumble mixture.

6)    Spray nonstick cooking spray in large casserole dish. Add veggie crumble mixture to the bottom of the casserole.

7)    Mix beaten egg in with mashed potatoes. Spread mashed potato mixture over the top of the veggie crumble mixture.

8)    Bake at 375 degrees for about 35 minutes. Potatoes should be lightly browned.

 Makes 6-7 servings.

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Mococcan Stew with Couscous

Mococcan Stew with Couscous

Sometimes you want something a little bit spicy, a little bit different. If you are in that kind-of mood, then this recipe is for you. The cumin gives it a delicious smoky flavor and hot curry provides an exotic twist.  Not only is this dish fabulous to taste, it also contains ingredients proven to provide health benefits, like swiss chard and sweet potato.

Serve it with a wine that is bright and fruity, with a light floral bouquet. A nice sauvignon blanc would go well.

Moroccan Stew

½ carrot, sliced thin
½ medium onion, sliced thin
4 large Swiss Chard fronds, torn or cut into strips
½ sweet potato, based in the microwave and cut into medium-sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, diced
½ of a 15 oz. can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup golden raisins
2 or more tbsp. olive oil
1 cup vegetable broth
¼ cup water

1 ½ tsp. coriander
1 ½ tsp. cumin
1 tbsp. hot curry powder
1 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. Cilantro
Dash of nutmeg
1 tbsp. honey
Salt and pepper

1. In large saucepan, heat 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add onion and sauté a few minutes. Add carrots and sauté a few more minutes. Add garlic, Swiss chard and sweet potato and sauté a few minutes.

2. Add all spices except honey. Saute a few minutes. Stir in chicpeas and raisins.

3. Add vegetable broth and water and simmer about 5 minutes on medium heat. Add honey and stir. Simmer about 5 more minutes.

4. Serve with couscous or Basmati rice and garlic naan.

Serves Two

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