The Foodie Report
Ruminations on food, cooking in and eating out in our area.

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Communities reporter Rachel Richardson is on a mission to prove vegetarians eat more than lettuce. She shares both her graduate work on American food culture and food-related news.. E-mail her at rrichardson@enquirer.com.

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Monday, January 07, 2008

hearty Tunisian tomato stew

A few months back, Mary gave me some cookbooks, including Mollie Katzen's Vegetable Heaven. The recipes are heavenly, healthful and sinfully simple.
Last night, with a nearly empty pantry and fridge, I had to make do. I realized that I haven't been eating lentils much lately, so I searched the cookbook and found a recipe in Vegetable Heaven for Tunisian tomato soup with lentils and chickpeas. Sadly, I didn't even have tomatoes, so Fred had to stop and buy some on his way over. One heaping ladleful and we were both full. We're having leftovers for lunch and likely for a quick dinner or tomorrow's lunch. The recipe yielded six hearty portions of a stewlike soup!
Here's the modified recipe:
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup lentils, rinsed (I soaked them with the spices this morning because I realized I didn't have tomatoes and couldn't cook the soup!)
1 28-ounce can tomatoes (crushed or diced)
1 green onion, chopped (recipe calls for 4 cups minced onion. Again, I was out of this! My pantry is so sad!)
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon turmeric
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste, plus a few healthy shakes of red pepper flakes
handful cilantro, chopped

1 teaspoon olive oil
Heat oil over medium heat and add garlic and onion. Cook two minutes, then add the lentils (which have had been soaking with the spices). Add water to cover, then add tomatoes and chickpeas. Simmer 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper. Serve with cilantro.

I think we've been in a bit of a rut lately. We've been eating a lot of tofu and kimchi, and black beans and rice. Fred actually said last night that he's craving broccoli rabe. We found a few more recipes that we want to try soon: kale crisps (a snack food), spinach soup with basil and dill, sweet potato and pea patties, Tuscan bean and pasta stew... Though it doesn't feel like winter today, my stomach is ready for winter foods.
I also found a recipe for avocado-chocolate pie. I think I'll try it this weekend. Avocado-chocolate "milk"shakes are pretty good, so I hope I'll like this!

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at 2:44 PM Blogger Mary said...

That is a good recipe. If you get a chance try the black beans with the mango puree. Excellent dish. I was reading the new issue of Saveur this past weekend ( I had a huge pile of food porn that I needed to catch up on)and Molly Katzen's The Moosewood Cookbook was listed as one of their all-time favorite cookbooks. Check that one out sometime too. Oh, and I may be cleaning out the culinary bookshelf again soon. If I do I'll email you.

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