Sunday, November 11, 2007

Mujadara (Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils)

Mujadara is one of my fav rice/protein dishes, probably because it is flavoured with caramelized onions, which I am crazy about. Unfortunately, the people at Sahara are really freaking rude (i.e. I was yelled at in line) so I don't go there anymore. I will flat out tell you they are more experienced rice/lentil makers than I, but I think with a few more seasonings, mine will be just as good.

I got my basic recipe from Frugal Cuisine but changed it up a bit.

I am still not sure how to pronounce it. I have heard all sorts of pronunciations, from "massa-dura" to "mu-ha-dra". I have also heard that it traditionally has ground meat, but I have never seen it in there and for me, it's always been vegetarian.

Note about onions: "Caramelizing" just means drawing out the sugar, basically. This process cannot be rushed. It takes a long time. But, as with a lot of things, it is worth the wait. It is not like sauteeing where the vegetable will brown quickly and still have a crunch. The onions have no heat after this so onion-haters, give this a try. You will start with a lot of onion and the end result will be a delicious small amount of onion. You can use them for all sorts of things: pasta, sandwiches, scrambled tofu, soups, etc. Just keep them in your fridge.

Basic recipe:

*2/3 c brown lentils (can use green)
*2/3 c long-grain rice
*dash cumin powder
*about 2 1/4 c (HOT) water (reserve water- will explain)
*4 green or black cardamom pods (more to taste, or omit)
*"chicken"-flavoured vegan broth powder/cubes or vegetable broth powder/cubes (I use No-Chicken Better Than Bouillon) for 2 cups worth of water.
*Several onions, peeled and sliced thin (can use food processor if doing a lot of onions, which I suggest doing since you will be caramelizing anyway- you may as well make extra.)

First, let's start the onions.
Take a large, wide pan and heat olive oil or a good quality margarine (Earth balance) on MED. Put your heaping mass of onions in and turn to MED-LO.
Put a pinch of salt and stir the onions every so often. Do not turn up the heat. This honestly took me..probably an hour, but it's mostly inactive.


Heat about 1 Tbsp olive oil or margarine in a (separate) medium cooking pot with tall sides. Add the lentils, rice, dash cumin powder, cardamom. Stir frequently as this can burn. You want the rice to turn a *slightly* golden colour. All you are doing here is toasting the seasonings and the rice/lentils. This takes about 5 minutes.

Add *about* 2 cups of the water, with the broth powder/cubes dissolved. (The original instructions that I linked to said to put water so it is about 2 cm above the rice and beans, which is a really good old school method- but steam will burn you! So just do a little under 2 cups.

Cook the lentils and rice about 20 minutes. I had to add a little more water (about 1/4 c) and cook longer, just until lentils and rice are tender.

When onions are done, mix into the rice (to taste), add salt and serve.

Picture coming soon

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Bloggers and Viewers- <3


I appreciate all of your views and comments! I always mean to get back to you, don't think I don't love you.

When a comment gets published, I don't see anything that says "new comments" after they are published and I kind of have to guess where it was posted. I have quite a few posts so sometimes I can't find where a comment was posted. So, don't think that because I haven't responded to your comment(s) that I don't care!

I hope you continue to enjoy my food blog and it's great to see more veggie blogs, and it's great to have non-veggie people look, too. Hopefully you've learned something, enjoyed a picture, gotten an idea, or even been inspired. I know I feel that way when I look at all of your pictures/recipes/ideas.

Much love!

Pamela Cooks

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Vampire Cupcakes, Breakfast Sandwich

2 Posts that don't have much to do with one another!

Got this idea from Baking Bites via PPK. I changed it and veganized it and I don't have a cute Halloween setup but dang if they weren't good. The link has all the instructions. For veganizing:

Any basic white cupcake recipe (I used Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World Sexy Lowfat Vanilla). I also used Pillsbury Creamy Supreme Cream Cheese frosting!

Instead of using cherry pie filling, I made my own with raspberries. Recipe below.

Raspberry Filling (can also use black cherries)

1 bag (12 oz) frozen raspberries
1/2 c sugar
1/6-1/3 c water
2 tsp. corn starch or arrowroot powder

Mix all ingredients in a bowl and allow raspberries to thaw. Make sure to mix the cornstarch so it dissolves in the liquid or it can come out lumpy!

Bring mixture to a boil in a pan and let cool. Fill as directed in link.


"Fast Food" Breakfast Sandwich

1 English Muffin
1 recipe whatever your favourite tofu scramble
1 piece Tofutti "Cheddar" style cheese slice
2 pieces Yves Canadian Bacon, cooked after tofu scramble for crispiness

Toast muffin, "butter" it with Earth Balance and assemble as shown. I added a little maple syrup to the muffin to get an all-around brakfasty delight.

Smoky Breakfast Tempeh With Roasted Potatoes

I made a basic roasted potatoes (potatoes, onion, garlic, olive oil, spices, 400 degrees for about 45min-1 hour). I made this smoky breakfast tempeh today as well, inspired by tempeh bacon but taken in a different direction. Recipe below.

*8oz tempeh, cut into triangles, and triangles cut in half so the triangles are thin (if that makes sense)
*maple syrup (agave mectar may work as well)
*tamari or soy sauce
*dijon mustard (preferably the grainy/chunky textured kind)
*liquid smoke
*black pepper (opt)

Place tempeh in boiling water and cook for 10 minutes. Drain well.

Mix the rest of the ingredients in a cup and mix well. I put them in the order of composition, and the total liquid volume is about 1/4 c. It really is to taste. Just remember it will thicken.

Heat a nonstick pan and put 1/2 Tbsp- 1 Tbsp olive oil, and saute the tempeh on each side until slightly golden. Pour in glaze and continue to cook (and flip, for even coating) until the pan is dry and the liquid has created a glaze on the tempeh.

Serve with the potatoes. Best part- can work well with either syrup or ketchup!