Tag Archives: Vegetarian

Spicy Kibbet Batata with Broccoli (yum!)

Ok, so first of all…these tasty little nuggets are addictingly delicious. The recipe may look like a lot of steps at first glance but this is really easy to prepare. This is, of course, a vegetarian version of the famous Lebanese dish, kibbeh. I have posted other versions or variations of this recipe here, and also variations of kibbeh here. And yes, before you ask, these can be baked rather than pan-fried, but they wouldn’t be as crispy-crunchy. They are delicious as is, dipped in yogurt, over rice, or as I ate them, over a salad. The dough can be made and cooked when you need it. These really are simple to make, bursting with flavor, and nutritious as well. For additional Lebanese-inspired recipes, click here.

Spicy Kibbet Batata with Broccoli
Makes a couple dozen patties
2 potatoes, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and diced
1 head broccoli, chopped
1 bunch parsley, washed and chopped
1 bunch cilantro, washed and chopped
1 cup bulgur wheat
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
2 teaspoons kosher salt
½ cup whole wheat flour
oil for pan-frying
Boil the potatoes until soft, then drain them and set aside.
Combine the onion, garlic, and jalapeno in a food processor and process until finely minced, then set aside.
Combine the parsley and cilantro in a food processor and process until minced, then set aside.
Place the chopped broccoli in a food processor and process until finely minced, then set aside.
While the potatoes are still warm, combine them with the bulgur wheat in a bowl and mash and stir them until thoroughly mixed, cover the bowl and let rest while preparing the rest of the ingredients.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or shallow pot, then add the onion, garlic, jalapeno mixture; cook until it just begins to brown. Add the cumin, coriander, turmeric, hot pepper, and salt. Cook the spices for just a minute, then add the broccoli. Cook the broccoli, while stirring, for a few minutes, until it is softened. Add the spiced broccoli mixture to the bowl with the potatoes and bulgur; mix to combine. Add the parsley and cilantro; mix to combine. Then add the flour and mix that in as well. All the mixture to rest for about 20 minutes.
After the resting period, knead the dough for just a minute, then shape into small patties (if the mixture is too loose add additional flour; if it is too crumbly add a small amount of water). Heat about 1/8th inch oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook the patties in batches on both sides until golden brown and cooked throughout. 

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus with Caramelized Vegetables…

Firstly, and you may already know this, but I didn’t list the ingredient, chickpea, in the title of this recipe because it is actually already listed…the word hummus is the Arabic word for chickpea. Anyhow, I’ll say my recipe mantra again…this recipe is so easy and delicious you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it before (but maybe you have). The sweet potatoes offer not only a bit of sweetness to the recipe but also a certain creaminess. I also topped this with a good dollop of plain yogurt, and vegetables (onion, squash, sliced Brussels sprouts, mushrooms, and a bit more garlic) which I caramelized in olive oil in a hot skillet. And rather than using proper utensils, I went slightly feral and used sliced and toasted whole wheat bread (click here for whole wheat bread recipes). Anyhow, and just to be a bit redundant, this recipe is really easy to make, packed full of nutrients, and super-delicious.

Spicy Sweet Potato Hummus 

Makes about 3 cups

2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 pound)
1 can (15 oz.) chickpeas, rinsed
6 tablespoons tahini
4 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons lemon juice
6 tablespoons water
4 tablespoons Frank’s hot sauce



Preheat an oven to 325F. Using the tip of a sharp knife, pierce the sweet potatoes a few time, then place them on a baking sheet. Bake the sweet potatoes for about an hour, or until very soft. Remove them from the oven and allow them to cool. When they are cool enough to handle, peel and dice them. Place the cooked and diced sweet potato, along with all of the remaining ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. If the hummus is too thick add additional water or lemon.



Urban Simplicity.

Souvlaki-Style Tofu (version 2.0)

Okay. So this tofu recipe is so delicious even a dedicated “tofu hater” will like this. Seriously. This is a slight variation of this original version where the tofu was baked. What’s different with this version (and is not represented in the printed recipe below), is that I added a couple teaspoons of smoked paprika to the marinade, diced the tofu (instead of slicing it, and after marinating it I rolled each piece in cornmeal. Then instead of baking it I pan-fried them in olive oil to crunchy deliciousness (yum!). And yes, before you ask, this recipe can also be baked but it will not be as crispy (I tried it both ways). Anyhow, try this recipe and I dare you to try to just eat one.

Souvlaki-Style Tofu

Makes about 6 servings

1 pound extra-firm tofu

souvlaki marinade (recipe below)

Remove the tofu from its package and drain it. Set the tofu on a plate with 2 or 3 plates on top of it, gently squeezing out some of it’s moisture. Leave the tofu to drain for 10-15 minutes. Slice the tofu about ½ inch thick. Lay the tofu in a pan and pour enough of the marinade over the tofu to cover it, turning it to coat all sides. Marinate the tofu for at least 30minutes. Preheat an oven to 350F. Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet that is fitted with a wire rack, leaving some of the marinade on the tofu. Bake it in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the tofu begins to brown at its edges. For firmer tofu, turn it over and bake another 10 minutes. This is delicious straight from the oven, at room temperature, or chilled as a snack, on a sandwich, or salad.

 

Roast Garlic Souvlaki Marinade

Makes about 2 cups

12 cloves garlic

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 cup red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon sea salt

½ small onion, diced

1 small bunch parsley, washed and course chopped

Combine the garlic and olive oil in a small skillet and place it over a low flame. Heat the oil until the garlic begins to simmer. Cook the garlic very slowly until it is golden brown, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool in the oil to room temperature. Once the garlic and oil are cooled, combine them in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Souvlaki-Style Tofu (version 2.0)

Okay. So this tofu recipe is so delicious even a dedicated “tofu hater” will like this. Seriously. This is a slight variation of this original version where the tofu was baked. What’s different with this version (and is not represented in the printed recipe below), is that I added a couple teaspoons of smoked paprika to the marinade, diced the tofu (instead of slicing it, and after marinating it I rolled each piece in cornmeal. Then instead of baking it I pan-fried them in olive oil to crunchy deliciousness (yum!). And yes, before you ask, this recipe can also be baked but it will not be as crispy (I tried it both ways). Anyhow, try this recipe and I dare you to try to just eat one.

Souvlaki-Style Tofu 

Makes about 6 servings 

1 pound extra-firm tofu
souvlaki marinade (recipe below)

Remove the tofu from its package and drain it. Set the tofu on a plate with 2 or 3 plates on top of it, gently squeezing out some of it’s moisture. Leave the tofu to drain for 10-15 minutes. Slice the tofu about ½ inch thick. Lay the tofu in a pan and pour enough of the marinade over the tofu to cover it, turning it to coat all sides. Marinate the tofu for at least 30minutes. Preheat an oven to 350F. Transfer the tofu to a baking sheet that is fitted with a wire rack, leaving some of the marinade on the tofu. Bake it in the preheated oven for about 20-30 minutes, or until the tofu begins to brown at its edges. For firmer tofu, turn it over and bake another 10 minutes. This is delicious straight from the oven, at room temperature, or chilled as a snack, on a sandwich, or salad.

 

Roast Garlic Souvlaki Marinade 

Makes about 2 cups

12 cloves garlic
1 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sea salt
½ small onion, diced
1 small bunch parsley, washed and course chopped

Combine the garlic and olive oil in a small skillet and place it over a low flame. Heat the oil until the garlic begins to simmer. Cook the garlic very slowly until it is golden brown, then remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool in the oil to room temperature. Once the garlic and oil are cooled, combine them in a food processor with the remaining ingredients and process until smooth.

Buffalo-Style Tofu Nuggets!


Okay, so I have posted this recipe before, but not in quite a while. Anyhow, I made this for lunch at work the other day and was reminded how good this is and was prompted to post it again. This is so easy to make, and yes (before you ask) the nuggets can be baked rather than fried (I’ve tried it both ways), the nuggets will be equally delicious just not as crispy. They can be eaten as a snack hot, cold, or at room temperature, or on a salad or in a sandwich. But you’d better make a double batch because they won’t last long…

Buffalo-Style Tofu Nuggets

1 (14 oz.) extra firm tofu

1 cup Franks hot sauce

3 tablespoons cornstarch

2 teaspoons granulated onion

2 teaspoons granulated garlic

oil for pan-frying


Drain the tofu and remove it from its package. Place the tofu between two plates and allow it to gently press out some of its moisture for about twenty minutes. Then dice the tofu and place it in a shallow pan. In a separate bowl, mix together the hot sauce, cornstarch, onion, and garlic, making sure that the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour this mixture over the tofu and gently lift and move it to insure that is fully coated. Allow it to marinate for about 20 minutes. Then remove the tofu from it’s marinade to a clean plate. Heat about 1/2” vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. And when the oil is hot carefully add the marinated tofu. Fry for about 5 minutes, turning as necessary, or until golden and crispy. Transfer the crispy tofu with a slotted spoon to absorbent paper.


Salade d’hiver…

So just because it is the middle of February and one of the most frigid nights of the year it doesn’t mean you can’t eat a salad. This is great as a side or hearty enough as a main dish. And with saffron-poached potatoes, French lentils, and a cumin-coriander vinaigrette, what’s not to like. While this may look complicated at first, if you look at each step it is really simple.

Salade d’hiver
Serves 8-10
For the vinaigrette:
1 cup virgin olive oil
½ cup white balsamic vinegar
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons whole cumin seed
2 teaspoons whole coriander seed
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper

Combine the olive oil, vinegar, garlic, and salt in a small bowl and whisk together. Combine the cumin, coriander, and Aleppo pepper in a small dry skillet and place it over medium-high heat. Cook the spices for a couple minutes—until they begin to smoke and pop—and then stir them into the vinaigrette. Set the vinaigrette aside while you prepare the salad.

For the salad:
4 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 pinch saffron threads
½ pound French lentils
4 ounces sun-dried tomatoes
1 red bell pepper
½ small red onion, sliced
4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1 small bunch parsley, coarsely chopped
Combine the potatoes and saffron in a small pot with just enough cold water to cover them. Place the pot over medium high heat and boil the potatoes until they are cooked but not falling apart. Drain the potatoes (reserve the liquid for a soup or discard it), spread them on a plate, and allow to cool to room temperature. 
 In another pot, boil the lentils for about 20 minutes, or until cooked but not mushy. Drain the lentils, spread them on a plate, and cool to room temperature.
Place the sun-dried tomatoes in a small bowl, pour simmering water over the tomatoes, and let them rest for five minutes, then drain and dice them. 
 Roast the red pepper over and open flame, and then—after letting it steam in a bag—remove its skin under cool running water. Then dice the pepper. (Click here for step-by-step directions on how to roast a pepper.)
To assemble the salad, combine all of the salad ingredients in a bowl. Whisk together the vinaigrette and pour it over the salad. Gently fold the dressing into the salad ingredients. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Persian Smokey Eggplant Salad (Yum!)

This recipe is a variation (my interpretation) of a recipe from the book, Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East and Beyond. I was recently offered the book to review and am pretty excited about it (and it takes a lot for me to get excited about a new cookbook these days). I am not really that familiar with the cuisines of Persia, or modern day Iran (which is one of the oldest cuisines in the world), but I am familiar with the flavors in these recipes…very fresh and bright flavors. And while the recipes may be simple the flavors are complex and multi-layered. At any rate, this recipe is really easy to make and also really delicious…it is definitely one I will make again (and likely again and again). Plus it is a lot of fun cooking the eggplant over an open flame.

 

Persian Smokey Eggplant Salad

Serves 8

4 large eggplant

½ red bell pepper, diced small

½ green bell pepper, diced small

¼ red onion, diced small

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon crushed red pepper

½ teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons lemon juice

2 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped

Cook the eggplant by placing them directly over an open flame of a gas stove. Turn the eggplant as needed. The skin will blister and blacken; it will look burnt. Continue to cook and turn the eggplant until it is very soft and heated throughout. Transfer the eggplant to a clean surface and allow to cool enough to handle. Gently peel away the blackened skin while placing the flesh of the eggplant in a colander over a sink to drain any excess moisture. Coarse-chop the flesh of the eggplant and transfer it to a bowl with the remainder of the ingredients. Gently stir and fold the salad to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients. Allow the salad to rest for a few minutes prior to serving. Serve warm or chilled with toasted garlic bread or wedges of pita.

Urban Simplicity.

Persian Smokey Eggplant Salad (Yum!)

This recipe is a variation (my interpretation) of a recipe from the book, Persiana: Recipes from the Middle East and Beyond. I was recently offered the book to review and am pretty excited about it (and it takes a lot for me to get excited about a new cookbook these days). I am not really that familiar with the cuisines of Persia, or modern day Iran (which is one of the oldest cuisines in the world), but I am familiar with the flavors in these recipes…very fresh and bright flavors. And while the recipes may be simple the flavors are complex and multi-layered. At any rate, this recipe is really easy to make and also really delicious…it is definitely one I will make again (and likely again and again). Plus it is a lot of fun cooking the eggplant over an open flame.

Persian Smokey Eggplant Salad
Serves 8
4 large eggplant
½ red bell pepper, diced small
½ green bell pepper, diced small
¼ red onion, diced small
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
Cook the eggplant by placing them directly over an open flame of a gas stove. Turn the eggplant as needed. The skin will blister and blacken; it will look burnt. Continue to cook and turn the eggplant until it is very soft and heated throughout. Transfer the eggplant to a clean surface and allow to cool enough to handle. Gently peel away the blackened skin while placing the flesh of the eggplant in a colander over a sink to drain any excess moisture. Coarse-chop the flesh of the eggplant and transfer it to a bowl with the remainder of the ingredients. Gently stir and fold the salad to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients. Allow the salad to rest for a few minutes prior to serving. Serve warm or chilled with toasted garlic bread or wedges of pita.

Urban Simplicity.

Two Chickpeas; Two Recipes

I have posted variations of both these recipes before but these are two recent additions. Both are really simple to make, super delicious, and healthy…chickpeas are really good for you. And yes, the falafel can be baked rather than pan-fried but they would lack the crispy outer shell.

Spicy Avocado and Roast Garlic Hummus  

Makes about 4 cups
 ¼ cup olive oil
8 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon whole cumin seed
1 teaspoon whole coriander seed
2 ripe avocado, peeled
2 cans (15 oz. ea.) chickpeas, rinsed
½ cup lemon juice
1 cup tahini
¼ cup water
¾ teaspoon sea salt



Combine the olive oil and garlic in a small skillet and place over low heat. Simmer garlic in the oil until golden brown and soft, turning it as necessary. Add the Aleppo pepper, cumin, and coriander to the skillet and remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. 
Transfer the olive oil with the cooked garlic and spices to the bowl of a food processor along with the avocado, chickpeas, lemon, tahini, water and sea salt. Process the hummus until very smooth. 
Spinach and Feta Falafel


Makes about two dozen falafel
1 (15oz) can chick peas, rinsed and drained
1 cup cooked spinach, squeezed of excess moisture
1 bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
½ small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, minced
4 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons 7-spice mix
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup whole wheat flour (more as needed)
½ cup crumbled feta cheese
sesame seeds for garnish
oil for frying



Combine the chickpeas, spinach, cilantro, parsley, onion, garlic, jalapeno, lemon juice, 7-spice, salt, turmeric, and baking powder in a food processor and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the first the flour then the feta cheese by hand, keeping small pieces of cheese visible. Allow the mixture to rest for 10 minutes; if it feels too moist add more flour. Shape into small balls, then flatten them slightly while pressing them into sesame seeds. Preheat a skillet with about ½ inch of vegetable oil and fry the falafel about two minutes on each side, or until crispy and golden on the outside and cooked throughout. Remove the falafel from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain on absorbent paper. 
Lebanese Seven Spice Mix

Makes about ¼ cup
1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix the spices together and store in an airtight container, or use as needed.

Taratoor

(Tahini-Garlic Sauce)

Makes about 1 cup.

1 cup tahini
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
¾ cup cold water
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt 

Place all of the ingredients in a large bowl and whisk until smooth. If too thick or too thin, adjust the consistency with water or tahini.

For additional Lebanese inspired recipes, click here.

Tofu…Buffalo-Style

Okay, so first a few things. One thing that I have to get off my chest straight away is that this is not Buffalo-Style Tofu…it doesn’t exist. It seems anything that is fried and spicy these days is tagged as “Buffalo-Style.” But I will say that these crispy little morsels are addictingly delicious. Also, as I’ve mentioned on many previous occasions, I am not a vegetarian but am always looking for non-meat options. Thus said, are these any more healthy than chicken wings? Maybe, but who knows. They are still fried (and before you comment or email to ask, yes these can be baked and would be equally flavorful just not as crispy). But it’s okay to indulge now and again, right? And don’t forget to serve them with blue cheese dressing and celery and carrot sticks (if you want to go all out “Buffalo-style”), or eat them over a salad with blue cheese dressing as I did today (yum!). Anyhow, these are really easy to make–just a few ingredients–and so delicious even a tofu hater will like them. 

Buffalo-Style Tofu Nuggets

1 (14 oz.) extra firm tofu
1 cup Franks hot sauce
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons granulated onion
2 teaspoons granulated garlic
oil for pan-frying

Drain the tofu and remove it from its package. Place the tofu between two plates and allow it to gently press out some of its moisture for about twenty minutes. Then dice the tofu and place it in a shallow pan. In a separate bowl, mix together the hot sauce, cornstarch, onion, and garlic, making sure that the cornstarch is fully dissolved. Pour this mixture over the tofu and gently lift and move it to insure that is fully coated. Allow it to marinate for about 20 minutes. Then remove the tofu from it’s marinade to a clean plate. Heat about 1/2” vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. And when the oil is hot carefully add the marinated tofu. Fry for about 5 minutes, turning as necessary, or until golden and crispy. Transfer the crispy tofu with a slotted spoon to absorbent paper.

Urban Simplicity.

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Onion with Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Lemon!

This simple and really delicious and healthy squash recipe is really a variation on “all things aglio e olio.” I had this for dinner this evening as as side to moudardara. Often when I cook squash or potatoes like this I add a few cumin and coriander seeds along with the hot pepper to give it a Near East flavor (but had neither in the house this evening). Nonetheless, this is really easy and delicious, and it can be made using many other hard winter vegetables.

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Onion with Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Lemon

Serves 2-4, depending on the size of the squash

4 tablespoons virgin olive oil

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced thinly

1 small onion, sliced

3 cloves garlic, minced

½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper

¼ teaspoon sea salt

4 tablespoons lemon juice

Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet that is large enough to hold the sliced squash in a single layer. When the oil is hot add the squash and saute it for a few minutes. Then add the onion and saute a few more minutes. When the squash and onion just begin to brown add the garlic, hot pepper, and salt; saute another minute or two. Stir in the lemon and remove from the heat.

Urban Simplicity.

Caramelized Butternut Squash and Onion with Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Lemon!

This simple and really delicious and healthy squash recipe is really a variation on “all things aglio e olio.” I had this for dinner this evening as as side to moudardara. Often when I cook squash or potatoes like this I add a few cumin and coriander seeds along with the hot pepper to give it a Near East flavor (but had neither in the house this evening). Nonetheless, this is really easy and delicious, and it can be made using many other hard winter vegetables. 
Caramelized Butternut Squash and Onion with Garlic, Hot Pepper, and Lemon
Serves 2-4, depending on the size of the squash
4 tablespoons virgin olive oil
1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and sliced thinly
1 small onion, sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
4 tablespoons lemon juice
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet that is large enough to hold the sliced squash in a single layer. When the oil is hot add the squash and saute it for a few minutes. Then add the onion and saute a few more minutes. When the squash and onion just begin to brown add the garlic, hot pepper, and salt; saute another minute or two. Stir in the lemon and remove from the heat. 

Tofu Souvlaki!

Okay…so first…yup, tofu souvlaki. Don’t mock it ’till you’ve tried it. And also, I have to qualify this by stating that I am not a vegetarian (as people often think I am), it’s just that I do not eat a great deal of meat and find meatless foods just as enticing as those otherwise. This said, I hope you’ll try this. And I have to finish by saying what has become a sort of mantra for most of the recipes I make…it is really delicious and easy to make, too.

Tofu Souvlaki
Serves 2-4
1 (14 oz.) package extra-firm tofu
1 cup virgin olive oil
½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup water
¼ cup minced parsley
3 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons Greek oregano
½ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
½ teaspoon sea salt
Drain the tofu and remove it from its package. Set the tofu on a plate with two or three additional plates resting gently on top to release some of it’s moisture. Allow the tofu to be pressed at room temperature for 15 minutes, then cut it first into quarters, and then oblong slices. Lay the slices in a shallow pan the is just large enough to hold them. Make the marinade/salad dressing by combining the remaining ingredients in a bowl and whisking together. Pour half of the marinade over the sliced tofu and allow it to rest for 30 minutes at room temperature. Preheat an oven to 375F. Remove the tofu from its marinade and lay the pieces on a baking sheet that has been lightly oiled. Bake the tofu for 20-30 minutes, turning as necessary, or until lightly browned at the edges and firm to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before serving.

Urban Simplicity.

Some like it hot!

If you’ve been to this blog prior then you know that I have been somewhat fascinated with the art of fermentation for sometime (click here), so this recipe should not come as a surprise. I initially got the idea when I came across a recipe for brussels sprouts kimchi at the website of Bon Appetite. Intrigued, I tried it but changed it up a bit to fit my tastes. Anyhow, it is really good (and really spicy) and easy to make. If you like fermented foods I hop you try this recipe (which is below).

Brussels Sprouts Kimchi
Makes 1 gallon
4 pounds brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and cut in half
7 ounces kosher salt
4 quarts water
______________________________
1 small onion, peeled and quartered
8 scallions
4 garlic cloves, peeled
¼ cup gochugara (Korean crushed pepper) or Aleppo pepper
½ cup soy sauce
½ cup Sriracha
8 slices peeled ginger
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
______________________________
2 quarts water
1½ ounces kosher salt
Place the brussels sprouts in a large bowl, dissolve the 7 ounces salt in the 4 quarts water and pour it over the brussels sprouts. Allow them to soak for one hour, then drain and rinse them, discarding the water.
Combine in a blender, the onion, scallions, garlic, crushed pepper, soy sauce, Sriracha, ginger, coriander, and fennel. Then puree until smooth.
Pour the spice mixture over the brussels sprouts in a large bowl, combining throughly, then transfer them to a gallon-sized glass jar. Mix the remaining 2 quarts of water and 1½ ounces salt together—allowing the salt to dissolve, and pour it over the brussels sprouts. Gently press the brussels sprouts to release any air pocket, but making sure that the vegetable is covered by an least a half-inch of liquid. Put a small plate or other object on the vegetable to keep them submerged. Cover the jar with a lid. Either leave the lid ajar or poke a small hole in it to allow the release of pressure and bubbles as it the kimchi ferments.
Leave the jar at room temperature for about 5 days, or until it is bubbling and tastes slightly sour, then refrigerate. The brussels sprouts kimchi will keep for months in refrigeration.

Kibbet Batata (a variation on a variation)


Okay. So first of all…yum! These are really good, and good for you. They are also really easy to make. Recently someone said to me that I always say my recipes are really easy to make…well they are if you read the directions through. My thoughts on recipes on this blog are that I like to post recipes that are (a) really delicious, (b) good for you, and (c) simple enough to make that you will actually make them. This said, this is a variation of the vegetarian version of kibbeh, which in itself can be served in many forms, but usually contains ground lamb and bulgur wheat mixed together, and is said to be somewhat of the national dish of Lebanon. A vegetarian version is one that replaces the meat with potatoes, and this recipe replaces the potatoes with sweet potatoes. Hence the variation on a variation. Anyhow, this is really easy to make and really delicious (there, I said it again), I hope you try it. Eat it as a snack, an accompaniment to a vegetarian main course, on a salad (as I did with the below dressing), or as a sandwich such as a falafel. For additional Lebanese inspired recipes, click here. Accompanying recipes are below as well.

  Sweet Potato Kibbeh

Makes about 2 ½ dozen 1-ounce patties

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup medium bulgar wheat
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for sauteing
1 medium onion, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon seven spice mix
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon Aleppo pepper
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ cup whole wheat flour
pine nuts for garnish

Place the diced sweet potato in a small pot with enough water to cover it. Boil it for about 10-15 minutes or until very soft. Drain the sweet potato and transfer it to a bowl. Add the bulgar wheat to the bowl and mash it into the hot sweet potato. Cover the bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Heat three tablespoons olive oil in a small skillet, when it is hot add the onion and saute for a few minutes or until it is lightly browned. Add the garlic and cook another minute, then stir in the seven spice mix, turmeric, and Aleppo pepper. Cook the spices for about thirty seconds, then add this mixture to the bowl with the sweet potatoes along with the sea salt and whole wheat flour. Mash the spices and flour into the sweet potatoes and bulgar wheat, cover the bowl again and allow it to rest for another 10 minutes, or until the bulgar wheat is soft. Shape the kibbeh into 1-ounce portions, pressing pine nuts into the patties. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the kibbeh to the pan—in batches if necessary, and cook on both sides until lightly golden brown and cooked throughout.

 Lebanese Seven Spice Mix

Makes about ¼ cup

1 tablespoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground allspice
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cloves
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Mix the spices together and store in an airtight container, or use as needed.

Yogurt-Cucumber Sauce and Dressing

Makes about 3 cups

4 cloves garlic
2 cups Greek yogurt
½ English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and diced (about 1½ cups)
½ bunch Italian parsley, washed, stems removed
½ bunch mint, washed, stems removed
½ teaspoon sea salt
¼ cup lemon juice

Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.

Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers

Ok. So first of all, these are really delicious. Easy to make, too. While not vegan (they contain eggs and cheese), nor are they gluten free (they contain breadcrumbs) they are meatless and can be baked instead of pan-fried (but would not be nearly as crispy crunchy on the outside). This is a variation on other bean burgers I have made in the past, but in this recipe I replaced 50% of the beans with quinoa which give then a really interesting texture. Anyhow, if you like vegetable burgers you should try these, you’ll be glad you did (and they can be frozen, too).

Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers
Makes about 8 (4 ounce) burgers
1½ cups cooked quinoa (*info below)
1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3 large eggs
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shredded cheddar (3-4 ounces)
1 cup bread crumbs (plus extra for dusting)
1 small bunch Italian parsley, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon sea salt
½ small onion, minced
½ red bell pepper, minced
¼ cup hot pepper sauce
Olive oil for cooking

 Combine all of the ingredients (but not the olive oil) in a bowl and mix well. Then place half of the mixture in a food processor and puree until a smooth paste. Return the puree to the bowl with the courser burger mixture and combine thoroughly. Lightly dust a large platter or baking sheet with breadcrumbs. Divide the mixture into eight balls—placing them on the platter or baking sheet—and shape into burgers, transferring them to platters. Heat a large heavy skillet with 1/8th inch olive oil over medium-high heat. Cook the burgers for about 8 minutes, turning them as necessary, or until golden, crispy, and cooked throughout. Transfer to absorbent paper before serving.
*For 1½ cups cooked quinoa combine ½ cup quinoa with 1¼ cups water and simmer it for about 20 minutes. 


Urban Simplicity.

Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Red Curry.

This is another recipe that is about the method and not necessarily the ingredients. What I mean is that this is a really basic recipe where the ingredients can be changed to your liking while using the same seasoning (or similar seasonings) but using the same simple stir-fry method to prepare them. Anyhow, this is really easy to make and super delicious.

 

Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Curry

Makes 4 servings

1 package extra firm tofu, drained

3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra to oil a pan

1 onion, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons red Thai curry

¼ chicken or vegetable broth

2 tablespoons soy sauce

12 leaves fresh basil, course chopped

Preheat an oven to 400F. Dice the tofu and spread it onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake the tofu for about 30 minutes, turning it every ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the tofu from the oven and set aside. Heat the 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sliced onion and bell pepper; stir-fry for a couple minutes, then add the garlic and cook a couple minutes longer. Add the asparagus, cook for a minute or two, then add the red curry, mixing it with the vegetables. Add the cooked tofu to the pan, along with the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, tossing all the ingredients together, then stir in the basil and remove from the heat.

Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Red Curry.

  
This is another recipe that is about the method and not necessarily the ingredients. What I mean is that this is a really basic recipe where the ingredients can be changed to your liking while using the same seasoning (or similar seasonings) but using the same simple stir-fry method to prepare them. Anyhow, this is really easy to make and super delicious.
.
Asparagus and Bean Curd with Thai Curry
Makes 4 servings
1 package extra firm tofu, drained
3 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus extra to oil a pan
1 onion, sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons red Thai curry
¼ chicken or vegetable broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
12 leaves fresh basil, course chopped
Preheat an oven to 400F. Dice the tofu and spread it onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake the tofu for about 30 minutes, turning it every ten minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove the tofu from the oven and set aside. Heat the 3 tablespoons vegetable oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat, then add the sliced onion and bell pepper; stir-fry for a couple minutes, then add the garlic and cook a couple minutes longer. Add the asparagus, cook for a minute or two, then add the red curry, mixing it with the vegetables. Add the cooked tofu to the pan, along with the vegetable broth and soy sauce. Bring to a boil, tossing all the ingredients together, then stir in the basil and remove from the heat.

Another Pie…

So yes, this is another variation on a theme. I made bread today and is often the case I took a small piece of dough and made a pizza with it while the bread was rising. For this one I used a whole-wheat sesame dough, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, broccoli and spaghetti squash aglio e olio, hot peppers, and four cheese (yum!). Links to recipes are below.

For dough recipes using 100% whole wheat flour, click here.

For a really simple 10 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here.

For pesto recipes, click here.

If you want to know how to cook nearly anything “aglio e olio,” click here.

Urban Simplicity.

Another Pie…

So yes, this is another variation on a theme. I made bread today and is often the case I took a small piece of dough and made a pizza with it while the bread was rising. For this one I used a whole-wheat sesame dough, tomato sauce, pesto sauce, broccoli and spaghetti squash aglio e olio, hot peppers, and four cheese (yum!). Links to recipes are below.

For dough recipes using 100% whole wheat flour, click here.
For a really simple 10 minute tomato sauce recipe, click here.
For pesto recipes, click here.
If you want to know how to cook nearly anything “aglio e olio,” click here.

Urban Simplicity.