A recipe and a little about me

December 17, 2009

Hi everyone,
I hope your all having a good week so far? Mine has been quite excellent for once!
I wont go into the details yet, (yes, it's been that good!) as I will keep that post for tomorrow. Because it's bound to be long and it's getting late.

But I thought since I had not blogged much in the past few days, that I'd share a recipe I just made last week. I've been really trying to make an effort to not just eat vegetarian, but even try vegan recipes. Main dishes in particular. I find it easy to make a green smoothie, a vegan salad, or eat vegan snacks like fruits, nuts and veggies (of course!) or bake vegan cookies. But mains... well... I didn't exactly have many of those in my "repertoire". Except for this one:

This is my version (or you might want to call it my interpretation) of Egyptian Koushari.

The first time I had it, was at a friends place. He was actually from Cairo, Egypt and made this dish for us. That day, he happened to make it with just rice and lentils, but he had said that in Egypt, it's typically served with pasta as well as the rice and lentils. But since it's the only way I've ever had it, I don't feel the need to make the pasta too. I like it just like this.

This is such a nice, warm and really filling dish. It makes for a lot of leftovers (if your alone eating it) and freezes really well. It also cost "peanuts" to make, which is great!

I get a very strange (personal) experience when I eat koshari. You see, my father is from Egypt. My parents have been divorced since I was 2 1/2 years old, and I haven't seen (or had contact with) my dad since I was 4 years old. So I don't know him, nor his family. I don't know all that much about "that part of me", except what I learned about Egypt in school, and the little bit that my mom has shared about my father. So when I eat koushari, it's almost like I feel connected to my dad, in a strange way. It also makes me daydream of this exotic land far away from here.

Anyways, back to the koushari. I thought I'd share my version of it:
  • 1 cup of brown lentils (cooked according to package directions)
  • 1 cup short grain (white or brown) rice (cooked according to package directions)
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 4-5 garlic cloves, minced

Cook lentils and rice in separate pots, according to package directions.

Chop onions to desired size. Heat olive oil in a pan, add onions and fry until golden brown. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Add the tomato puree (or sauce) to the onion/garlic mixture and heat.

To serve, put equal parts rice and lentils in a bowl, and spoon the tomato sauce over top.

I know it may seem like a lot of garlic, but trust me, doing only 1 clove will make the sauce very bland. It really needs 4-5 cloves, in my opinion, and I don't add that much garlic to my recipes usually.

I personally prefer quite a bit of sauce in mine, but that's just how I like it. Then I mix it all up before I enjoy. I kept the last picture for last, because lets face it, it's just not that pretty!

Tip: Too freeze any leftovers, just mix the rice and lentils in a large bowl. Put desired portion size into a container for the freezer and freeze the sauce separately. Then all you have to do is take out a sauce container and a rice and lentil container to have a quick last minute meal!

Enjoy your evening (if your reading this tonight) and I'll be back tomorrow to tell you about my week. You won't believe what happened that made (amd still makes) me SO happy! Stay tuned!


mangocheeks on February 7, 2010 at 1:10 PM said...

Hi Stephanie,
I've come over via Debbie's blog. You have a lovely blog here and beautiful children. I've enjoyed reading this entry especially. Thank you for sharing a bit more about you. It is interesting how food connects/transports us to other places, whether or not we have been there. I'm not a vegan, but a vegetarian, however I do tend to cook and eat a lot of vegan recipes, and this one for sure is tempting.

Stephanie on February 13, 2010 at 8:57 AM said...

Thank you for visiting my blog and for the lovely comment! Since I have not had the pleasure of traveling much (other than staying within Canada and the US...yet!) I love to "travel" through food. It's the next best thing! Btw, I'm not a vegan either... just transitioning to vegetarian and still falling off track, once in a while. But this recipe is so simple, filling and tasty, I think you would really enjoy it. Let me know what you think if you try it :)

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Stephanie xx

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