Monday, June 8, 2015

Quickest edamame cucumber salad

You guys, this is hardly a recipe. No cooking, and no fussy measurements! It's takes about 5 minutes to prepare. More to the point, I just ate it for lunch and it was damn tasty. Sorry, no pictures, but can you imagine what a nice bowl of edamame and diced cucumber and sesame seeds would look like? Yeah, it looks like that.  Serves 1: scale up as you see fit!


1/3 of an English cucumber, (or 1/2 of regular-sized cucumber, or you could just use one of those mini-cukes)
About a cup of edamame, out of the shell, frozen or fresh
One shake toasted sesame oul
Two shakes rice wine vinegar
Three shakes toasted sesame seeds
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice the cucumber into small (1/2 inch or so) pieces. Dump them into whatever bowl you want to eat your salad out of. If your edamame is frozen, thaw it in the microwave, or by pouring it in a colander and running warm tap water over it. Pat the edamame dry with a paper towel and add it to the bowl. Add a little salt and pepper, the vinegar, and the sesame oil and seeds. Taste and adjust seasoning. Voila! Time to eat.
Or you can put it in your lunch box for tomorrow!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Bulgur Mujadarra

This is an important staple in our dinner rotation because it's yummy and cheap. I sometimes make this dish with rice, but I like it best made with bulgur wheat.

2 cups cracked bulgur wheat
1 cup dry green lentils
2-3 large onions
3 Tbsp. olive oil
2 pinches salt (or to taste)
1 pinch ground cinnamon
1 small pinch ground star anise (if you don't have this, don't worry about it, but it's a nice touch.)

1. In a medium-sized bowl, cover 2 cups of cracked bulgur wheat with cold water. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Cut the onions in half lengthwise, and then slice width-wise as evenly as you can. Pour the olive oil into a casserole dish, and add the onion slices, tossing to coat evenly in the oil. Put the onions in the oven--it's ok to do this even if the oven isn't fully pre-heated yet. Check them every 15-20 minutes and give them a stir to help them cook evenly. You want them to turn dark golden-brown and slightly crisp around the edges.
3. While the onions cook: In a medium saucepan, cover the lentils with cold water and bring to a boil. Boil for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally and test for doneness. Drain by pouring the lentils into a mesh strainer over a large bowl (to catch the cooking water, which you'll use to cook the bulgur.)
4. Measure out 2 cups of the cooking water from the lentils. If you don't have a full 2 cups, add in plain water until you reach 2 cups. Pour this into a dutch oven or covered casserole dish or oven-safe heavy-bottomed pot. Drain the bulgur, and add it to the dutch oven. Add 2 pinches of salt, a pinch of ground cinnamon, and a small pinch of ground star anise, if using. Stir, cover, and put it in the oven. Cook for 30 minutes, and check for doneness. The bulgur should be cooked through, but still slightly chewy, and the water should all be absorbed. If they need more time, put them back in the oven uncovered, checking again after 5 minutes. When the bulgur is ready, remove it from the oven, and add in the lentils, tossing lightly with a fork. You can put everything, uncovered, back into the oven to warm evenly and dry out a little bit.
5. The onions might be ready by now, but if they're not, just keep checking them and stirring every few minutes. You can turn down the heat to 300 if you're worried about them burning. Once the onions are nice and brown, pour them over the lentils and bulgur, along with the oil they were cooked in, and toss again with a fork.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Curried Pumpkin Soup

A no-measure recipe-- so easy, and perfect for a cold day like today!
Serves 4

1/4 of a medium onion, or 1 shallot, minced
A few shakes of curry powder
One shake turmeric
One shake cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1 can pumpkin puree (or of course, you could use fresh  pumpkin, just cook it until soft and mash or puree in a food processor.)
1/3 of a bag of frozen spinach
1 can of chickpeas
Olive oil-- just a little
A little bit of veggie or un-chicken bullion or broth (I like Better Than Bullion No-Chicken Base)
1/4 can lite coconut milk

In a medium saucepan, sautee the onion in olive oil. When the onions start to get translucent, add in the spices. Keep cooking for about a minute to toast the spices, stirring with a wooden spoon. Add in the chickpeas, pumpkin, and about a quart of water. Let this cook for about 10 minutes, and then taste and season with a little bullion, and some salt and pepper. Add in more curry/cayenne if needed. Add the coconut milk and spinach, and cook until the spinach  thaws. Taste, and adjust seasonings, adding more water if it's too thick.

Serve on its own or with some bread and/or salad for a nice winter dinner. This also makes a really nice lunch to bring to work/school.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Breakfast: Hot Cereal With Bulgur & Figs

Eating a wholesome breakfast can be tough, and around this time of year I tend to find myself suddenly tired of oatmeal. (Not that I don't love you, oatmeal!) I'm not posting a photo with this recipe because I think we all know what a bowl of hot cereal looks like.
This morning I wanted some kind on non-oatmeal hot cereal, and I currently have quite a bit of bulgur wheat in the pantry, so I thought I'd try using that, and it was definitely a winner. It's got a nice chewy texture, similar to oat bran cereal, but less gummy, and it has a really good flavor. I think it would work to make a big batch of this during the weekend, portion out, and re-heat on weekday mornings.

To make 2 servings:
1 1/4 cups water
pinch of salt
1/2 cup bulgur wheat
generous pinch of cinnamon
tiny pinch of nutmeg
1/2 cup non-dairy milk of your choice
1/2 cup raisins
2 dried figs, chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
brown sugar or maple syrup to taste

Add the water and salt to a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir in the bulgur, cinnamon, nutmeg, figs, and raisins. Cover and simmer over medium-low heat until all the water is absorbed, about 10 minutes. When the water is absorbed, add the non-dairy milk and continue to stir until most of the non-dairy milk is absorbed. Add the walnuts and sweeten to taste. This will warm you up and keep you satisfied and energized all morning!