In search of healthy and fun meals to feed my family, with an eye toward sustainable living.

Here you'll find recipes & ramblings about keeping my family fed with what's available in Alaska between local produce, a little bit of wild harvest, and the modern grocery store.

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today, I got home mid-afternoon and cooked us up a big pot of lentils. Legumes such as lentils feature heavily in recipes from around the world -- they're also featured in many vegetarian & vegan meals because they contain some good proteins. When I searched the web for lentil recipes, I was "bowled over" with the sheer number of ways to prepare them. Unfortunately, in my opinion, many of them are rather bland. I keep trying to find interesting lentil recipes -- and I think I might have found a few.
I made 3 different recipes from the pot I boiled up. The first one, a spread or dip, will be served as part of hors d'oevres at a dinner party tomorrow. The second, an Egyptian version of Mac'n cheese, was actually accepted pretty well by the youngsters, and the last, a soup was "ok".
I list one more lentil soup recipe that I found intriguing for its use of lemon juice and greens.
Credit: All recipes from

Family response:
Liesl: "I love lentils -- we should eat them more often!"
Wolfman: "It's ok"
Professor: "Lentils need all the help they can get", as he added a generous quantity of Sri Ratcha chili sauce!

Adas careh (Lentil Butter)

Recipe from Vegetarian Times, March 1992, supposedly based on an African recipe
 1       c            Uncooked lentils
1/2 ts Salt
2 1/4 c Water
1 tb Olive oil
6 ea Green onions, sliced
1 sm Garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 tb Parsley
1 d Cayenne
1 d Turmeric
1/4 c Water, as needed

Combine water, lentils, salt in a pot. Cook till
lentils are soft. Drain, reserve stock.

Heat oil in skillet & saute onions & garlic till
onions are translucent. Add parsley & spices & cook
another minute. Set aside.

Combine lentils, cooking water & onion mixture in a
food processor, adding more water a tb at a time as
needed till the mixture reaches a spreadable

Refrigerate a few hours before serving. Spread on
whole grain crackers or use as a vegetable dip.

Koushari (Egyptian Maccaroni et al.)
This is classed as an 'oil' dish by Coptic Egyptians and is prepared during periods
of fasting when animal products cannot be taken.

1c lentils
1c macaroni noodles
1c Short grain rice
----TA'LEYA II----- The sauce:
2 large Onions, chopped
1/4 c Olive oil
1 Garlic clove (or more)-- finely chopped
1c tomato puree

Cook each of first 3 ingredients separately, then combine w/ olive oil, tomato puree.
Saute onions in oil, add garlic briefly, then tomato puree. When heated, pour sauce
over the first 3 ingredients.Cover and leave over low heat for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Amhari - Mesir Wat (Ethiopian Lentil Bowl)

This recipe is common to the Ethiopian Jews (Phalashi)
1/2 kilogram red lentils
2 large onions
1/2 cup oil
3 Tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 Teaspoon paprika -- sweet or hot
1 head garlic
1/2 Teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 Teaspoon black pepper
1 Teaspoon salt
3 cups water

Sort the lentils and soak in tap water for 30 minutes. Rinse in running
water and drain.

Peel and finely chop the onions. peel and mash the garlic.Heat the oil in
large pan and saute the onion until golden. Add tomato paste and paprika
and mix. Add half the water and the garlic,ginger pepper and salt. Stir
well and then add the rest of the water, stir again ,cover and bring to

When the water boil, add the lentils ,lower the flame and cook 20-30
minutes, until the lentils soften. Serve hot.

Lentil & Spinach Soup

1 1/2 c Dried lentils
8 c Water
1 lg Onion; chopped
3 Garlic cloves; crushed
6 oz Tomato paste
2 bn Spinach; cleaned & chopped
1/2 c Fresh parsley
1/4 ts Freshly ground pepper
1/8 ts Crushed red hot pepper flake
1/4 c Fresh lemon juice

This is a Middle Eastern soup, typical of the simple
foods served in the desert regions. Serve with pita
bread and a grain or vegetable dish for a simple meal.
This soup is also food served cold, stuffed into a
pita bread. Place the lentils and water in a large
pot. Bring to a boil, cover, and cook for 30 minutes
over medium low heat. Add the onion , tomato paste and
garlic and cook an additional 30 minutes. Add the
spinach, parsley, and peppers. Mix well and cook for
another 10 minutes. Add the lemon juice just before
serving. Mix in well and serve at once. I added a bit
of fresh ground nutmeg & salt to taste. Note: I have
found that balsamic vinegar in place of lemon juice is
wonderful with lentils and imparts a slightly sweet

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