Friday, April 11, 2008

Red Lentil Dal

1 c. red lentils
3 c. water
1 t. ground tumeric
1 1/2 cumin seeds
1 t. coriander seeds
1/4 t. ground cardamom
1/8 t. each ground cinnamon, cloves, cayenne
1 T. vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
Salt to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 T. lemon juice
Vegetable stock
1/2 c. cilantro, coarsely chopped

The Cooking
Sort the lentils and pick out any foreign matter. Rinse well under cool water.
Put lentils in the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Skim off the foam. Add the tumeric.

Cover loosely, reduce the heat to low and cook for 45 to 60 minutes until the lentils are tender; they will separate into a soupy layer on top and thick layer underneath.

Heat a heavy-bottomed skillet over low to medium heat and roast hte cumin and coriander seeds for several minutes, stirring the pan often to keep them from burning. Grind the seeds in a mortar. Add the cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and cayenne, and grind again.

Set the skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and onion and saute until translucent. Sprinkly lightly with salt, cover tightly, reduce the heat to low, and cook for several minutes, until the onion is tender.

Add the spice mixture and black pepper an cook briefly. Stir in the cooked lentils. Turn the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until the mixture is hot and flavors are blended. Thin with several tablespoons of stock. Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Garnish with cilantro just before serving.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Tunnel of Love Bundt

Okay, so this is actually called "Cook's County Tunnel of Fudge Cake." But, I think Tunnel of Love is much better. This serves about 12-14 (or 2 if you are married to Dave Snyder). I got this from the Star Tribune website, after all everyone needs a good bundt recipe.

• 2 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped

• 1/2 c. boiling water

• 3/4 c. Dutch-processed cocoa powder, plus extra for pan

• 2 c. flour

• 2 c. walnuts or pecans, finely chopped

• 2 c. powdered sugar

• 1 tsp. salt

• 5 eggs, at room temperature

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 1 c. granulated sugar

• 3/4 c. packed light brown sugar

• 11/4 c. (2 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus extra for pan

For glaze:

• 4 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

• 1/2 c. heavy cream

• 2 tbsp. granulated sugar

• 2 tbsp. water


To prepare cake: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Generously butter a 12-cup Bundt pan and dust with cocoa powder, tapping out excess. Place bittersweet chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Add boiling water, whisk until smooth, cool to room temperature and reserve.

In a large bowl, whisk together cocoa, flour, walnuts (or pecans), powdered sugar and salt and reserve.

In a large measuring cup, whisk together eggs and vanilla extract and reserve.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat granulated sugar, brown sugar and butter until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low, add egg mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add chocolate mixture and mix until just combined, about 30 seconds. Add flour mixture and mix until just combined.

Scrape batter into prepared pan, smooth batter with a rubber spatula and bake until edges are beginning to pull away from pan, about 45 minutes; do not overbake (do not use a cake tester, toothpick or skewer to test the cake).

Remove to a wire rack and cool, upright, for 1 1/2 hours. Invert cake onto serving plate and cool completely, at least 2 hours.

To prepare glaze: Place chocolate in a heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan over high heat, combine cream, granulated sugar and water and bring to a boil. Pour liquid over chocolate and let sit for 30 seconds. Using a whisk or a rubber spatula, gently stir chocolate and cream together in small circles, starting at center of bowl and working your way out in increasingly larger concentric circles.

Leave glaze at room temperature until it thickens just enough to pour in a ribbon, about 20 minutes. Drizzle glaze over cake and let sit for at least 10 minutes before serving. Cover tightly and store at room temperature for up to 2 days.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bitter Greens with Sweet Onions and Tart Cheese

For a vegetarian, it might seem strange to want to add more veggies to my diet. Perhaps it would be accurate to call me a carbo-tarian. Anyway, I am working my way through Mollie Katzen's new cookbook. This one was a huge hit!

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 3 cups sliced onions (a sweet variety, such as Vidalia)
  • 3 large bunches of fresh green coarsely chopped (I used chard...Mollie recommends a combo of kale, chard and mustard greens)---about 12 cups
  • salt
  • up to 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • fresh ground pepper
Place a large, deep skillet over medium heat. After about a minute, add the olive oil and swirl to coat the pan. Add the onions and saute over high heat for about five minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, cover the pan, and let the onions cook until very tender, about 10 minutes more.

Add the greens in batches, sprinkling very lightly with salt after each addition and turning them with tongs, bringing up the wilted ones from the bottom to the top of the pile. (If you are using the stems, cook those first until tender.)

When all the greens have been wilted, stir in the cheese and cook for about 2 minutes longer.

Grind a generous amount of black pepper prior to serving over or on pasta/grains or bread.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Greek Avgolemono Soup

This is another winner of a recipe from the Vegetarian Times series on healing soups (Jan/Feb 2008). This is the third recipe I've tried from this series (the Pho and the French Portage) and this one does not disappoint. Such a yummy lemony light taste....a little bit of sunshine in your mouth when it is in single digits.

Serves 8

  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium leeks, white parts finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and diced
  • 6 c. no-chicken broth (I just used regular ol' vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 orzo (although next time, I'd add a cup)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbs. lemon juice (I used all the juice from a large lemon...perfection)
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh mint
  • 1 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano
  • lemon wedges for garnish
1. Heat oil in large saucepan over medium heat. Add leeks, onion, carrots, and a pinch of salt; cover and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, or until veggies are softened, stirring often.

2. Stir in broth. Season with salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium low, and simmer 10 minutes. Add orzo, and cook 11 minutes more, or until pasta is tender. Remove from heat.

3. Whisk together eggs adn lemon juice in bowl. Add 3 ladles soup broth to egg mixture, whisking constantly. Whisk egg mixture back into soup, and cook over low heat 2 to 3 minutes, or until soup is thickened, but without letting it come to a boil. Serve sprinkled with parsley, mint and oregano, and garnished with lemon wedges.

Per Servings: 144 calories, 5 g. total fat, 3 g. fiber.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Vegetarian Pho

  • 6 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 3 large shallots, sliced (1 cup)
  • 1/2 c. dried shiitake mushrooms
  • 10 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 3 Tbs. low-sodium soy sauce
  • 12 thin coins of fresh ginger (about 1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 Tbs. brown sugar
  • 1 Tbs. rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 star anise
  • 5-6 fresh basil stems, leaves reserved for the soup
  • 5-6 cilantro stems, leaves reserved soup
  • 8oz. pkg. rice noodles
  • 8 oz. pkg Asian-flavor baked tofu, thinly sliced (maybe more)
  • 2 cups soybean sprouts
  • 2 cups watercress
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1/4 c. chopped cilantro
  • 1 c. fresh basil leaves
  • 1 lime
To make Broth: Place all ingredients in large pot with 8 cups of water. Cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer, covered, 1 hour. Strain broth and return to pot. Discard solids.

To make Pho: Cook rice noodles according to package directions. Drain, and rinse under cold water. Divide among 6 large soup bowls. Ladle broth over noodles, and top with tofu, sprouts, watercress, and green onions. Serve cilantro, basil and lime wedges on the side to be stirred into the soup.

290 CAL; 16g PROTEIN, 5.5g TOTAL, 3g FIBER

Thank you Vegetarian Times Jan/Feb. 2008

Lentil Pancakes

Coming up with interesting finger foods for Spence can be a bit of challenge. I threw this together as a new way for the boy to get a bit of protein.

1 c. lentils
1/4 c. firm tofu
Handful of green peas
1-2 Tbs wheat germ
2 egg yolks
A few shakes of shredded Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp or so oregano

1. Put all ingredients in a bowl. With a pastry cutter or perhaps a potato masher, mash the mixture.
2. Form into small patties the size of silver dollars.
3. Heat up a skillet with a little olive oil. Brown the patties on both sides.

Spence love...Love...LOVES peas. I added the peas just to keep a bit of the green color to grab his attention. These were a big hit. His little mouth stayed open to get more tidbits...just like a baby bird.