Supper Tonight at Mami’s

Welcome to Mami’s Good Food Kitchen! Pull up a chair, bring along  your adventurous taste buds and try a dish with a flavor profile that pops you out of your same old, same old meal prep and transports you to a place you may not have expected in your own kitchen.

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Based on Koshari

This recipe is based loosely on a Egyptian recipe called Koshari. I came across it as I was checking out Mommy Tang’s YouTube channel, where she does mukbangs and vegan recipes. She had, as her guest, a young lady named Marion, who shared with everyone her version of Koshari, as taught to her by her father, I believe.

The recipe caught my attention right away, as the spices were different than other spices and flavors I had used, and also seemed perfect to serve as a vegan meal because it looks nourishing and filling and oddly familiar. Even though there seemed to be a lot of prep, it looked as though it would go together easily, once all the components were assembled.  It looked easy to make into a whole foods meal and looked forgiving enough to stand up to omissions or changes one might wish to make. For example, I used a mix of three lentils, whole wheat pasta and brown rice. Came out very delicious!

So the main idea is to use pasta, rice, and lentils. Which are all cooked separately and then served in a dish with a tomato sauce on top to be mixed in before eating, as I’ve pictured above. Although, as I researched on-line for recipes, I noted some directions instructed  to cook the lentils and rice together. I am always concerned  if my rice and lentils will be done at the same time, so I prefer to cook them separately just to be sure.

I cooked the rice and lentils separately, but used the same spices for both. and I used a dry roasting method – or dry frying- toasting the spices in the dry pan before adding the rice or lentils and the cooking water. I used garlic, ground coriander, ground cumin, ground cardamon, salt and pepper.In the rice I also put a stick of cinnamon, which would come out after the rice was cooked. For the rice, I used 1 cup rice to 2 cups water and for cooking the lentils I used the same measurement. The rice cooked for 35 minutes at low, and covered, after coming to a boil. The lentils I cooked uncovered and they took about 25 minutes to cook, but I kept checking the lentils to make sure they were not overcooking. At the same time, I cooked the pasta. I used whole wheat pasta shaped as  corkscrews, and followed the package directions. When all three were done, I lined them up on hot plate trivets on my counter in covered pots. Oh Yes, the lentils and the pasta were drained of  their cooking water so they wouldn’t get soggy, as they waited for me to pull  all the components  together.

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Plated and ready for dinner! just add a salad!

As I was cooking the rice, pasta and lentils, I also made the tomato sauce to top the dish. It too, was simple and went together really fast.

I used one 12 0z can of crushed tomatoes and put it in a saucepan. to that I added 1/2 can of water, 3 crushed garlic cloves, salt and pepper and one tbsp of vinegar. Brought to a boil, covered and let simmer for at least 25 minutes, while everything else was cooking.

To serve the dish, layer all ingredients on a plate beginning with the whole wheat pasta, then the aromatic rice, and finally a layer of lentils. Top  with tomato sauce,using however much you like. Finally serve the dish with a side of salad to complete the meal.  I chose a green salad with romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion and cucumber. Very simple, but a good and pleasing side dish.

Even though there were a lot of steps to pulling this meal together, it was very tasty and simple. Filled me up fast- one serving was quite enough and it kept me feeling full for quite a while.

Thank you for visiting Mami’s  Good Food Kitchen and may all your meals be nourishing and delicious and full of love!20160705_204205

Our Supper Tonight

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Supper tonight!

Tonight for supper my husband and I had an Asian inspired feast. While almost all our supper was vegan, my husband had a pot of chicken and vegetable soup to begin his meal. He requested I make him chicken soup as he is recuperating from an operation and this is a comfort food for him. Although he mostly eats vegan meals at home, I respect that he is not totally vegan or plant-based and if he has a request I like to honor it. After all, he’s had a lifetime of eating a certain way culturally and socially,so to insist that he change his choices to my choices is presumptuous and unfair. He does agree he feels better when he eats plant-based and it has helped him bring down his cholesterol, and as a result he is eating, enjoying and requesting more plant-based meals. And if eating this way keeps him healthy and feeling good, then that is enough to make me happy.

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Huge Asparagus Spears!

On the way home from work today, I stopped to shop and I found these absolutely beautiful fat asparagus spears on sale, and I knew this was one of my husband’s  favorite veggies, so naturally I picked them up. I steamed them over a water bath, and really used no seasoning at all. They were tasty all on their own, steamed to tender crisp.

The thick ends I had trimmed off the stalks, and steamed them separately and for a longer time until they were very soft. I intended to use the softened and cooked trimmings to make a creamy asparagus soup over the next day or two.

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Edamame

Next, I steamed frozen edamame for just a few minutes, and tossed them with a teaspoon of coarse ground sea salt to make a protein packed side dish. Don’t eat the tough outer  shell- you only want to eat the tender beans inside.

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Korean Radish Kimchi

As another side dish, I scooped out of a jar kept in my refrigerator, a kimchi I had made from korean radish. Korean radish (also called Mu) is similar to Daikon radish, but is not quite as long and more rounded, and it comes in a variety of sizes. I learned to make Kimchi from  You Tube personality, and Cookbook author, Maangchi. You can find her and her recipes by going to Maangchi.com her recipes are easy to follow, tasty and well presented. I love Maangchi and had the pleasure of meeting her in a meet-up in Connecticut  where we all gathered for a picnic of delicious Korean food and went for a walk in the park afterward. It was a very fun day ! I did veganize the kimchi recipe, but once you know how to do it , it’s very easy to make accommodations, and Maangchi will also at times give ideas on how to veganize her recipes. She is awesome!

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Brown Rice, Beluga Lentils and Green Peas

My next side dish was the rice course. This was a medium grain brown rice cooked with black beluga lentils and green peas. The lentils and riced cooked together and took about 40 minutes to cook, and then I folded in a cup of frozen peas, turned off the heat and let the pot sit, covered, for about 10 minutes before I served it with supper,

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Teamed Tofu with Gochujang and Soy Sauce Topping
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Yum!

For another dish, I cut tofu into bites-sized pieces and steamed them for 10 minutes, until they were hot all the way through. Then I made a sauce by mixing together gochujang ; which is a spicy red pepper paste found in the Korean section at the grocery store, soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, a little brown sugar, roasted sesame seeds and thinly sliced scallions. I topped each bite of tofu with a small amount of dipping sauce, and then garnished them with a slice of scallion and a small drop of sesame oil. So tasty!

I drank with my meal a small cup of teeccino, an herbal coffee substitute and my husband had a cup of tea.

All in all it was a very good meal, and we had our fill, and really only had three asparagus spears leftover.

I am so glad I’ve learned to cook this way – its simple food, prepared simply, and yet it is filling and satisfying and celebrates the arrival of spring and the clean flavors of foods that are nourishing to the body and beautiful to behold.

Happy Spring ! Thank you for visiting my post today!