Today May 18th, is our 5th wedding anniversary. It was a long day for both of us and we didn’t have much energy to make something really difficult. I found a new lentil recipe in The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook that looked interesting and decide to make it. We couldn’t find walnuts which it calls for, but it came out well without it. We added Feta Cheese instead and ate it over a bed of lettuce. It called for balsamic (aged red-wine vinegar) or red-wine vinegar but we already had regular Spanish white-wine vinegar open. I wouldn’t have minded opening the balsamic, but at Carlos’ house you never open something new before the old is gone. Since it was our anniversary neither wanted to be pushy. The balsamic would have given it a deeper flavor but wasn’t necessary. This meal was easy, healthy, and good. We ate it with our favorite crunchy rolls. I also made chocolate cake from scratch… it is cooling and it smells delicious. Carlos bought vanilla ice cream but is now very disappointed because as I read the Danish label he really bought lactose free “Tofu ice cream”. I think he’s going to try to take it back tomorrow.
- 1 cup green or brown lentils, picked over and washed
- 4 cups water
- ¾ cup chopped scallions
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ½ cup flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- ½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped (optional)
- 1/2 cup feta cheese (optional)
- ½ tsp dry mustard or 1 heaped tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 to 5 tbsp vinegar, to taste
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Combine lentils with water and bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium-low, cover pan tightly, and simmer for about 20 minutes or until lentils are cooked through but firm enough to hold shape.
- When lentils are done, remove from heat, drain, and place in bowl along with scallions, red pepper, parsley, and walnuts
- In separate small bowl, combine mustard with vinegar, beating in a little at a time until thoroughly blended. Gradually beat in olive oil. Pour dressing over lentils and toss to mix thoroughly. Add salt and black pepper and serve as is or on bed of bitter greens such as arugula, chicory, or dandelion greens. (serves 3 as a meal)
vegetable & beef pitas
The other day some friends invited us over for some delicious pitas. We compared them to burritos– they basically have the same ingredients– the only differences is that in Denmark it’s more expensive to buy tortillas than pitas. Besides it’s easier to eat a closed bread sandwich than an open ended burrito! You can see that the Greek pita has more influence in Europe just like the Mexican tortilla is more popular in the US.
So, this afternoon, I asked Carlos what we could eat for dinner. He usually doesn’t have any ideas, so I was delighted when he said pitas with feta cheese and some beef. I bought the ingredients organic beef and the meal was Delicious! We ate 3 each!
- 1 onion (we used leeks because we ran out of onion)
- 2 medium garlic cloves
- 2-3 slices hot pepper (jalapeno)
- 1/2 green pepper
- 1/2 red pepper
- 1/2 zucchini
- 1.5 teaspoons Paprika, a pinch or two of cumin, salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup (250 gr) chopped canned tomatoes
- 1/2+ cup cooked garbanzo beans
- 150-200 gr. ground beef
You will also need:
- pita shells
- feta cheese
If using the Tmix you just have to chop the first 3 ingredients on 4 for a few seconds. Then add the others and leave at speed 2 and cook on varoma for the times recommended below.)
Saute the chopped onions, garlic, peppers and zucchini for about 10 minutes. After 5 minutes add the the chopped tomatoes. Add spices. Let cook for about 12 minutes. Add the cooked garbanzos and the ground beef. Cook until the meet is done between 8-10 minutes.
Stuff pita with feta cheese, lettuce and tomato. We also warmed the pita in toaster. Be careful not to eat too much!
The Salsa Blanca was an invention that turned out really well. I had planned on using left over Chili and brown rice for Burritos, but when I looked in the fridge I saw that we also needed to use the mild feta cheese that we had. So, my task was to make a salsa with feta cheese that would be really good on the burritos. I looked a few things up on the Internet but I couldn’t find any suggestions. This is what I came up with- a tasty flavored white sauce for vegetable-bean tacos. It sort of reminded us of the white sauce they serve on Kebabs in Europe. Carlos and I will make this again!
- Juice of 1 fresh lime
- 1/3 of a clove crushed garlic
- 1/2 Tbs basil
- black pepper to taste
- 1/2-1 tbs buttermilk (to thin it)
Squeeze lime and add crushed garlic to it. Let sit for 10 minutes. Add all ingredients (except buttermilk) to T-mix and blend on 10 for 4 seconds. If you need to thin the sauce add just bit of buttermilk. I use buttermilk because it will still be tangy like the lime.
We used leftover chili and the 3/4 cups brown rice I had left. I also added an extra zucchini I found. You could do the same thing with Bean tacos or sauteed vegetables. If you are converting Chili into burritos add more cumin and maybe a few more sauteed onions. If don’t have leftover chili you can use canned or cooked beans as follows:
- 2 onions
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 green pepper (optional)
- 2+ cups pinto or kidney beans
- 1 can (400 gr) whole or chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Saute onion, garlic and green pepper. Add beans and smash them or blend the beans in the T-mix. Add tomato juice and then the tomatoes. You might not need the whole can. Add spices and mix.
Bean Burrito with White Sauce