Mujadara


This is our favorite recipe for make-ahead lunches. It freezes well and thaws quickly. Serve with caramelized onions, tahini sauce, cucumbers, tomatoes, soy yogurt and lemon juice, fresh cilantro, or all of them mixed together.

2 cups brown rice (we use Trader Joe’s brown jasmine), rinsed and drained
12 oz black lentils, rinsed and drained
2 large onions, diced
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp hot paprika
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp coriander
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
8 cups water
2 TBL olive oil

Heat olive oil in a large pot or dutch oven. Saute onions and garlic until golden and very soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Cover and cook on medium or medium-low (depending on your stove) for about an hour. Turn heat to low and uncover about 15 minutes. Cool completely and store in lunch portions. Makes about 11 cups, or 9 tasty lunches.

Kenji’s Lentil and Coconut Soup and Sweet Potato Salad

This was a fantastic meal! The soup is a slightly modified version of Serious Eats editor Kenji’s Lentil and Coconut Soup. He made this as part of his month long vegan experiment and it’s really tasty! To go with the tropical flavors, we made  a salad with sweet potatoes, mango, basil, bean sprouts and a citrus-sesame dressing.

We made a few changes to the recipe, but check out the original and Kenji’s other vegan recipes.

1 TBL olive oil
2 medium carrots, peeled and finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
1 large onion, finely diced (about 1 1/2 cups)
2 stalks celery, finely diced (about 3/4 cup)
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh ginger minced
2 habañeros,  seeds removed, chopped
1 jalapeno, seeds removed, chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 pound dry black lentils
2.5 quarts water (or stock)
2 bay leaves
1 (15-ounce) can coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro (plus extra for garnish)
1 tablespoon Siracha
1/4 cup juice from 2 limes
1 tablespoon soy sauce (we used Bragg’s)
1 tsp salt

Precook the lentils in a pressure cooker (about 8 minutes) or in a pot with water. This will dramatically reduce the cooking time.

Heat oil in a large pan. Add carrots, onions, and celery, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened but not browned, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, ginger, habañero pepper, cumin, and coriander and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute longer.

Add the sauteed vegetables, etc. to the lentils, bay leaves, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat and reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until lentils are completely tender and have started to break down and thicken the soup, about 30-45 minutes.

Discard bay leaves. Partially puree some of the soup with a hand blender or in a standing blender to thicken. Add coconut milk, salt, cilantro, hot sauce, lime juice, and soy sauce and stir to combine. Cook another 10 minutes uncovered.

Garnish with extra cilantro.

Vegan Português kale soup

This recipe is adapted from Rachel Ray, and inspired by my friend Heather (check out her photography).

* 1 tablespoon olive oil
* 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
* 1/2 cup diced onions
* 2 diced carrots
* 1 bunch kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
* Chorizo seasoning (see below) or [1-2 store-bought soy chorizo, but omit lentils]
* 1 TBL tamari
* ½ cup red lentils
* 1 bay leaf
* 1 TBL parsley
* ½ tsp thyme
* 2 not-beef bullion cubes
* 8 cups water
* 1 14 oz can kidney beans, drained
* 1 cup diced tomatoes
* 3 red potatoes, diced

**Chorizo seasoning mix: 1 TBL granulated onion, 1 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp smoked paprika, 1 TBL dried chili flakes, 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp dried oregano, 1/8 tsp ground allspice, 1 tsp turbinado sugar

In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onions, and carrots and cook for 5 minutes. Add the kale, chorizo spices (or soyrizo), bay leaves, parsley and thyme and mix well. Add the “beef stock”, beans, lentils, potatoes, and tomatoes. Bring the soup to a boil, and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.

Remove the bay leaves and serve hot.

Mashed potatoes and Mexican red lentils

Saute onion and garlic, add cumin, oregano, chili powder, cayenne, lemon juice, and nutritional yeast, and 1 TBL tomato paste. Season with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup of red lentils and 3 cups of water. Cook until lentils are soft and the water is absorbed.

The mashed potatoes are just delicious vegan mashed potatoes with some parsley, topped with pico de gallo and Daiya mozzerella.

Also, with vegan coleslaw.

A post about SUMAC

Sumac, the best spice ever invented. Sumac is pretty hard to find in our area, so the one place had it in large bags. I am so lucky that I had to buy so much.  Tonight, we made Turkish lentil soup and stuffed Swiss chard rolls.

We followed the lentil soup recipe as posted, except that we only had fresh mint (thanks, Anna!) This soup is the best. Try it.

This roll looks like a frog.

Stuffed with hummus (with sumac!), sauteed mushrooms, green onions, and chard stems. Place in a lightly oiled dish with about 1/2 cup water, sprinkle tops with paprika and extra drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes until leaves are cooked through.

Vegan lentil and tofu curry

This dish is loosely inspired by rendang, but never having eaten rendang, nor having all the ingredients, I can’t say it is authentic. If you like a sour and spicy dish though, this is for you.

1 onion, chopped

6 Thai chilis

4 garlic cloves

2-3 TBL fresh ginger, chopped

2 TBL lemon juice

1 tsp turmeric

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tsp tamarind paste

1 tsp 5-spice powder

1 tsp garam masala

1 tsp parsley (We didn’t have any cilantro)

3 TBL unsweetened dried coconut

1 can light coconut milk

1/2 block tofu, cubed, seasoned with salt, pepper, and cayenne

1 cup red lentils

Extra water as needed

Blend until smooth  spices, lemon juice, tamarind, onion, garlic, chilis, sugar, and 1/4 cup water. Set aside. In a dutch oven, heat 1 tsp olive oil and fry tofu until browned and firm. Reduce heat and add dried coconut and cook until lightly toasted. Carefully pour in the blended spices and stir with the tofu. Add lentils and coconut milk. Add additional water to cover. Cook covered on medium heat for 1 hour. Stir often to prevent the lentils from sticking. Continue to add additional water if needed.

Serve over rice with garlic steamed spinach.

Vegan cabbage and red lentil stew

So easy, so good.

1 onion, diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

4 Thai chilis

2 carrots, chopped

2 celery stalks, chopped

3 potatoes, chopped

1 cup red lentils

2 TBL curry

1 TBL smoked paprika

1 TBL turmeric

1/2 TBL garam masala

1 cube faux beef bullion

6 cups water

1 cup white vinegar

1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes

2 cups thinly sliced cabbage

1 tsp black pepper

salt to taste

Heat 1 tsp olive oil and saute onions and garlic 3-4 minutes, until onion is transluscent. Add carrots, celery, potatoes, and Thai chilis for 2 minutes. Add potatoes and spices. Cook and stir until the vegetables are well coated with the spices. Add lentils, bullion, and water. Cook covered until potatoes are tender. Add cabbage, tomatoes, vinegar, salt and pepper. Cover and cook 1 hour on low. Stir occasionally and add more water if needed.

Red lentil and yellow split pea soup

This soup was inspired by a dip we made, inspired by a recipe in Food and Wine magazine for Green Lentil Hummus. We topped it with some white rice and very lemony tahina, mixed with paprika and cayenne for an extra bite of acidity and heat.

Red lentil and yellow split pea soup

1 cup red lentils
1 cup yellow split peas
2 faux chicken bouillion cubes
1 bay leaf
1 carrot
1 stalk celery
1 onion
6 garlic cloves
6 cups water

1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup cilantro
2-3 chard leaves
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp cayenne

Bring the water to boil with the bullion cubes, bay leaf, lentils and split peas. Cook 10-15 minutes, until lentils begin to soften. Add diced onions, celery, carrots, and garlic. Cook 20-30 minutes, covered on medium or medium low. Stir every 10 minutes or so to help break up the lentils and peas. Stir in remaining ingredients and cook another 10-15 minutes uncovered, stirring frequently.

Julia Child inspired lentil-kidney bourguignon

Neither of us have ever eaten boeuf bourguignon, but it sounds cozy and we love stew and Julie & Julia, and so on.  The Cinnamon Quill came up with an amazing adaptation for boeuf bourguignon, sans boeuf, which I was about to make until I realized how many steps were involved, and now many ingredients I didn’t have (dates, pearl onions, lots of wine). In true Beans, Figs and Katz fashion, I put this LARGE stew together.

1/2 TBL Earth balance

1/2 TBL olive oil

2 onions, sliced thinly

3 carrots, sliced

5 garlic cloves, minced

2 sweet potatoes, chopped into bite sized piececs

2 bay leaves

1 TBL tomato paste

1/2 TBL molasses

1 TBL balsamic vinegar

1 tsp turbinado sugar

2 bouillion cubes

1/2 tsp thyme

1/2 tsp rosemary

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp parsley

2 cups red wine (that’s all I had in a leftover container in the fridge. You could add more)

1/2 cup walnuts, chopped

1.5 cups lentils

1 15oz. can kidney beans (with liquid)

1 TBL tamari

water to cover

salt and pepper to taste

Mushroom Sauce–to be added later

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

another 1 TBL tamari

additional 3 garlic cloves, minced or garlic powder

1 cup water

Yes, this is a ridiculous number of ingredients. In a stock pot, heat olive oil and Earth Balance, then saute oninions, garlic, and carrots on medium heat until the onions turn slightly mushy, about 15-20 minutes. Stir occasionally, and work on your other prep in the mean time. Add the remaining ingredients, except the mushroom sauce. Add water to cover and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer. Stir occasionally and cook 20 minutes. (Add a little more water if needed.)

Meanwhile, in a small pot, saute mushrooms in a small amount of Earth Balance until they release their juices, about 5-7 minutes. Add tamari and garlic. Cook another 5 minutes or so. Add water to cover (approximately 1 cup), bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for another 5 minutes.

Pour the mushroom sauce into the large pot and stir. Bring to a boil and then cover to simmer again, about 10 minutes.

Pour stew into a dutch oven (or two smaller baking dishes with covers), and bake at 325 for an hour or so. Add more wine or broth if needed.

Lentil soup with kale, and baked vegan potato latkes

I should probably have put latkes first in the subject line, since that’s where this evening began. Or technically speaking, Friday evening. Or maybe it began with the Silknog, the terrible weather, the crappy day, in no particular order. Today (Saturday) we had some of the leftover soup (it makes a ton!) and another batch of latkes. Latkes, latkes, latkes.

Vegan latkes

1 onion, grated

1.5 pounds potatoes, grated (I used Yukon Gold)

2 heaping TBL matzah meal

2 Ener-g egg replacers

Generous amounts of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425. Lightly oil a baking sheet with olive oil. Grate potatoes and onions. Let them sit for a few minutes, and then squeeze out all the extra liquid (into the sink or another bowl, whatever.) Stir in matzah meal, egg replacer, and seasoning. Mix with your hands until well combined. Pour off any remaining extra liquid (hopefully the matzah meal took care of this problem for you.) Form into tight patties and place on the prepared baking sheet. Rub the latkes in the oil a little, then flip over. Bake 15-20 minutes on that side, then flip over and bake another 10-15. The latkes should be nice and brown on both sides. Serve with Tofutti sour cream!

Lentil soup with kale

2 celery stalks, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, chopped

4 garlic cloves, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated

1/2 tsp cloves

1 1/2 tsp cumin

2 jalapenos, diced

1 28 oz. can tomatoes (chop them before adding)

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

5-6 cups bouillon

1 1/2 cups red lentils

1 bunch of kale, chopped

olive oil

salt and pepper

In a large pot, heat olive oil and sauté celery, onion, and carrots, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, jalapenos, and ginger, cook another 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and spices, then lentils and bouillon. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer 30 minutes, until the lentils are soft. Blend with an immersion blender (or a regular blender). Cook another 5 minutes, and serve.