Why I Am Posting These Recipes

I believe that it is healthier for an individual and for the planet to reduce the consumption of animal products in the human diet. However, I love to eat all kinds of delicious food, and find it really, really difficult to go totally vegetarian. Also, my family protests if I serve too many vegetarian meals in a row. So I am committed to making an effort to move towards a vegetarian diet without wholly doing so. I will post recipes several times a week that represent my philosophy of eating well, eating healthy, eating local. Most recipes will be easy to prepare, as I have a busy life. So I expect my followers to be people who love to cook and eat well, want to try to help the planet through their eating (by eating local foods and trying to reduce the use of meat in our diets), and have many other things to do each day besides cook.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Curried Coconut Lentils

A favorite restaurant used to have something similar to this on their menu.  I loved it, and would order it each time I went there.  Unfortunately, they discontinued offering it.  I thought I would try to recreate it from my tasting memory.  My version is not exactly the same as the restaurant's, but it is delicious and creamy.  This can be on the table in about an hour, with only about 10 minutes of prep time. And it uses things that store well in a pantry, so perfect for extended stay-at-home periods! This is a small batch to serve 2, but obviously it is easy to double or triple it for a larger batch. I served it last night with a hearty salad. I made bread to go with it, but we didn't feel like we needed anything other than the salad and lentils, so we didn't actually eat the bread! A simple, wholesome and satisfying meal!

1 small onion, diced
olive oil
½ cup black lentils, rinsed
1 cup vegetable broth
1 ½ cups canned coconut milk
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp fresh ginger, chopped
dash of tumeric
1 tsp sriracha sauce
¼ cup shredded coconut flakes (unsweetened)
salt to taste

Saute diced onion in olive oil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring until onion is translucent.  Add lentils, vegetable broth, and coconut milk. Bring to a simmer.  Stir in cumin, coriander, ginger, tumeric, sriracha sauce and shredded coconut flakes. Cook, covered, for 45 minutes.  Uncover and add salt to taste. Continue simmering until lentils are tender and sauce is thick, not too soupy (about 15 minutes). Serves 2.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Hummus with Ume Plum Vinegar

For years, I have made hummus pretty much the same way, although I normally don't measure most of the ingredients, so it turns out a little differently each time.  A couple of weeks ago, I made a batch of hummus with the usual line-up of ingredients, then I tasted it to see what I might need to add more of.  It was missing oomph. I tweaked it, but it still lacked oomph.  So I got the brilliant idea of adding a little Ume plum vinegar.  First I put some hummus on a spoon and poured a little Ume plum vinegar into the spoon and mashed it together with my finger.  I tasted it and it was FANTASTIC! It had OOMPH! So I added some vinegar to the batch and people gobbled it up.  I gobbled it up.  It had that hard-to-identify SOMETHING that made you want to eat more.  So yesterday I made another batch, and this time measured everything so I could share it with you. This recipe makes enough for a small bowl of hummus that you can put out for hors d'oeuvres with raw vegetables and pita chips, crackers or bread for people to dip. Hummus is also great as a spread on sandwiches with raw veggies such as lettuce, tomato, peppers and cucumbers!

1 small garlic clove
1 cup chickpeas
3 TBS water
2 TBS tahini
1 TBS olive oil
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp Aleppo pepper
2 TBS ume plum vinegar
1 TBS lemon juice (from about 1/2 lemon)
1/2 tsp cumin
Kalamata olives as garnish (optional)

Chop garlic clove in food processor.  Add chickpeas and process.  Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth. Garnish with chopped kalamata olives if desired.