Tag Archives: v is for vegetables

Guest Blogger: V is for Vegetables – Lentils and Basmati Rice with Caramelized Onions and Spiced Pita

15 Nov

Please welcome back Vanessa, author of V is for Vegetables. You can read her previous post here a recipe for Zucchini Boats. Check V is for Vegetables on Twitter as well. Please welcome back Vanessa!

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My new iPhone finally arrived in the mail. Can you believe the camera on it? I love how many different uses the iPhone has and the camera might be my favorite part on the new one. The camera has facial recognition technology on it which is nothing new but I loved how it kept finding faces in the rice. Do you see a man’s face to the left of the center onion ring? I didn’t see it at first until I realized my phone was trying to tag him as a person. The phone is almost too smart.

This Middle Eastern dish is often called Mujadarah which is a fancy way of saying “rice, lentils and onion.” I adapted this dish from Veganomicon, the excellent cookbook by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. The one downfall of this cookbook is the lack of pictures. When I first made this dish, I thought, “No wonder there are no pictures… This looks like kitty litter.” With a little garnish, this dish ends up looking as delicious as it tastes.

Ingredients for rice, lentils and onion:

  • 3 large red onions, peeled and sliced into thin rings
  • 3/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 cup long-grain basmati rice (brown or white), rinsed
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup red lentils, rinsed
  • Basil leaves for garnish

Directions for rice, lentils and onion:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Lay the onion rings flat and separated in a large roasting pan. Toss in olive oil. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring every 5-10 minutes until translucent and slightly burnt.

3. Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add rice, cinnamon, allspice, and cumin. Return to a boil then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes.

4. Uncover and gently stir in the lentils. Bring to a boil again then lower heat, cover and simmer. Cook until all water is absorbed. For me, this takes 12-15 minutes. Allow the dish to cool for 10 minutes then fluff with a fork.

5. Fold in the caramelized onions, garnish with basil leaves and serve with pita bread.

Ingredients for spiced pita:

  • 4 whole wheat pitas
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil for brushing
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt

Directions for spiced pita:

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Slice the pita bread into 1/8ths like a pizza.

3. Combine olive oil with the seasonings. Brush the mixture onto the insides of each pita crisp.

4. Spread the pita crisps out on a baking sheet and bake for 8-10 minutes until light brown.

Serves 4-6

Slightly adapted from: Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook

Guest Blogger: V is for Vegetables – Zucchini Boats

8 Jun

As we all know, V is for Vegetables, that is also the title of Vanessa’s blog. Here she is in her own words, “My name is Vanessa and I have lived in Indiana my entire life. However, I have certainly spent plenty of time seeing the world. My journey to veganism actually began in the UK. I was there when Mad Cow Disease was at its worst and I haven’t had a hamburger since. Then slowly other animal products disappeared from my life and now plants are all I have left. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. I’ve grown from being a picky eater who can’t cook to a vegan food blogger. It’s been a fun ride so far and I can’t wait to see what else comes my way.” Please follow Vanessa on Twitter and of course check out her site! Please welcome Vanessa!

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I love using food to display food. Therefore, I love zucchini boats. No need to get dishes out. Once these cool off, you can shovel them right in. Exactly my kind of food. You could really fill these “boats” with anything but I used a tomato and couscous mixture. The addition of a grain in the filling helps add nutritional variety so that I’m not simply scarfing down vegetables. Yes, it’s possible to scarf down vegetables. If you spend enough time around vegans and vegetarians you will witness the ability to devour broccoli like it’s a chocolate raspberry cupcake covered with brownie bits and drizzled with caramel. Yes, broccoli. It’s what’s for dinner and dessert.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat couscous (prepared according to package)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and trim off the stem.

3. Scrape out the insides of the zucchini using a melon baller or a teaspoon. Set the insides aside. On the opposite side of the zucchini half, slice a little skin off lengthwise so that your boat is less likely to tip over. We don’t want any passengers couscous to end up in the Atlantic pan filled with water.

4. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the garlic and onion. Saute for 5 minutes.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, carrots and zucchini insides and cook another 5 minutes.

6. Add the prepared couscous to the sauteed mixture and season with salt and pepper.

7. Allow the mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes.

8. Fill each hollowed out zucchini half with 1/4 of the sauteed mixture.

9. Place the zucchini halves in a shallow pan filled with 1/4 inch water.

10. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Yields 4 servings

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Adapted from: Annies-Eats

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