Posts tagged ‘Lentils’

Ethiopian Lentils and Crepes

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This week, I solved two of my long-standing culinary dilemmas. First, what to put in dinner crepes besides sauteed veggies and cheese, and second, how to enjoy Ethiopian food at home without the traditional flatbread injera, which is so central to Ethiopian cuisine. When the problems are posed together like that, the answer is simple of course: serve Ethiopian dishes in crepes!

I tried it this week and it was delicious! The crepes stood in beautifully for injera and the lentils made a scrumptious filling for dinner crepes. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of making crepes, this particular lentil dish is also really good with couscous or even served on rolls like sloppy joes.

Savoury Crepes
Makes 16 crepes, Serves 8

3 eggs (ener-G egg replacer also works well here)
1½ cups soymilk or milk
2 Tablespoons oil
1½ cups whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon salt

  1. Using an electric mixer or blender, mix the eggs (or egg replacer) and milk until frothy.
  2. Add the flour and salt and mix to combine well.
  3. Let chill for at least 1½ hour before using.
  4. After chilling, lightly grease a medium pan and heat over medium-high heat.
  5. When the pan is heated, pour in about ½ cup of batter and tilt the pan until the batter covers the bottom.
  6. Cook until the edges are solid and the crepe begins to bubble, about 1 minute.
  7. Flip and cook the other side about 30 seconds. Set aside and repeat, greasing the pan between every three crepes or so.

Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Red Lentil Puree)
Makes 8 Servings

¼ cup olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger or ½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon cayenne powder
½ lb. red lentils
3 cups water

  1. Heat the oil in a large pot (the lentils will expand quite a bit; you need a bigger pot than you might think). Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add spices and stir to coat the onions. Saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  3. Add the water and bring to a boil. When it is boiling, add the lentils and stir to prevent sticking. Simmer for 30 – 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender and mushy and the water is absorbed.
  4. If desired, you can puree the mixture (an immersion blender works especially well for this).
  5. Place about ½ cup of lentil mixture in each crepe just before eating and roll them up. Serve topped with yogurt and hot sauce, if desired.

October 17, 2009 at 7:13 pm 2 comments

Lentil-Tahini Salad with Radicchio

img_6509If your holidays were anything like mine, then you’re probably looking for a fresh, healthy and hearty antidote to all of the season’s delicious but 0h-so-rich treats. This salad is just the thing. Crisp, fresh vegetables mingle with peppery lentils and sharp feta, all tossed together in a creamy, mellow tahini-balsamic dressing. And – it was all very easy (and pretty cheap) to make!

For those of you unfamiliar with it, tahini is a paste made out of sesame seeds, not unlike peanut butter but creamier and with a strong sesame flavor. It’s one of the main ingredients in hummus and this hummus recipe may be a good way to use up the rest of the jar, if you buy it just to make this salad.

If you can’t find radicchio, simple purple cabbage would work just as well.

Lentil Tahini Salad with Radicchio
Serves 4 – 6 as a main course, 8 – 10 as a side dish

1 cup brown lentils (about 2 cups when cooked)
3 cups water
2½ cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1½ cup cucumber, cut into ½” dice
¾ cup red onion, finely sliced
1 bunch (2 cups) parsley, finely chopped (will reduce to about 1 cup when chopped)
1 small head radicchio, sliced (about 4 cups)
½ – 1 cup feta cheese (preferably sheep’s or goat’s milk), crumbled
1½ tsp. Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. tahini
¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper, or to taste

  1. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and add lentils. Boil 20 minutes or until cooked but not mushy. Drain. Do not add salt to the water, or the lentils will not cook through. Salt (and salty foods, like canned tomatoes, toughen lentils and beans and prevent them from cooking).
  2. Meanwhile, chop the vegetables and crumble the feta. Combine with lentils in a large mixing bowl.
  3. In a small bowl, combine mustard, vinegar, oil, tahini and pepper and mix well.
  4. Pour dressing over salad and mix well. Serve. (If you are going to take this to work all week, reserve the dressing and add it in the morning to each serving. The salad will hold its own for a few hours, but may get soggy if it sits in the fridge all week with the dressing on it.)

January 2, 2009 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment


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*All entries tagged "vegan" and "gluten free" meet those dietary requirements to the best of my knowledge as long as the vegan or gluten free instructions are followed (where applicable). It is always wise to double-check ingredients (especially when dealing with packaged foods) and to confirm ingredients and preparation methods at restaurants.