Italian Lentil Sauce

I haven’t written on my blog in a long time! But, even though I have not been posting publicly, I am still writing and connecting with other foodies. 

I have discovered the joys of a WhatsApp chat. Now I am part of several cooking and recipe exchange groups.

I feel like the women (mostly) on the chats are among the best cooks I have ever encountered. I have learned so much from them!

Now, when I want a recipe, I go to the chat, before even attempting to find it through an internet search.

Today, I shared that I recently made a delicious Italian lentil sauce. One of the women asked if I would post my recipe. I am feeling so inspired by the group, that I thought I would post it here for future reference.

I regret that since I wasn’t expecting to write it up, I forgot to take pictures.

I also have to confess, I am having trouble using the new fangled block design in WordPress. So please forgive any weird additions or subtractions. It feels like I need to learn how to blog all over again!

Lentil Pasta Sauce

Ingredients


1 onion chopped
1 pepper chopped
1 lb. lentils
1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes
1 6 oz. can tomato paste.
Optional: Wine, “a splash”
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon Italian spice blend
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2-3 cloves of garlic, crushed (adjust to your taste)
Water: I use 3 cups water to 1 cup lentils. 

Instructions


Sauté onions and peppers. Add lentils, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, wine (optional), salt, pepper, water and the rest of the spices. Cover and simmer until done. Usually, I add the crushed garlic near the end. Adjust seasonings and serve. 

Stove top: bring to boil, cover and then simmer until done. Add garlic and adjust seasoning. To get the right texture and consistency, it is important to add enough water to cook the lentils, but not too much that it will seem more like a soup. 

Pressure Cooker: 7 minutes to pressure and then release the pressure quickly by running cold water over the lid when done.

Crockpot: Cook on low until done. When using a crockpot, less water is required.

Serve with brown rice or pasta.

It is a real hit! My husband (almost) didn’t miss the meat. But, he actually thanked me for making it.

Enjoy!

Love,

Carol & family

 

Italian Lentils

I made a picture with the recipe so that I wouldn’t forget it.

Here is a picture of the final product. (I can’t figure out how to make a caption for the picture)

img_0603

Roasted Chicken With Dried Fruit

Roasted Chicken With Dried Fruit

My life is a little hectic. 

The countdown to Passover has begun. We are also going to be moving soon. So, even more than before, I am particularly time challenged.

Passover is the time of year when we eliminate all leavened products from our home. Practically, this means I try to clean out my pantry and freezer.

I still have leftover hamentashen filling. So I thought that I would try to make roasted chicken and use the hamentashen filling as a glaze.

Ingredients:

1 chicken, cut up

Mom’s Chicken Spice Rub

1 Tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon pepper, garlic, onion, paprika, ginger, mustard powder

Plus, additional cinnamon to the chicken.

Raisin-Date- Apricot Filling for Hamentashen

2 cups pitted dates (approximately)
1 box (15 oz.) sultana raisins
1 cup dried apricots (approximately)

1 lemon zested and juiced

1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts 
1/2 cup water (approximately)
1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon (optional, but I thought it made it taste better)


Instructions
 

Boil all ingredients in a pot until soft. For the hamentashen, the filling needs to be slightly thick, so it is important not to add too much water. 

As a glaze for chicken,more liquid and more cinnamon is needed.

Instructions 

Place chicken in large pan. Season chicken with Mom’s Spice Rub, and then add the hamentashen filling on top. If possible, let marinate prior to cooking.

Preheat oven to 425*F.

Roast in oven for 1.5 hours, or until cooked, turning over for last 30 minutes.

Here are the pictures:

Spiced:

  
 

With the hamentashen filling. 

After I started cooking, I realized it was too thick. So, I added more filling, with a thinner consistency when I turned the chicken over. I also added more cinnamon.

 

The final product:
  

This was a definite hit. Raizel ate the chicken legs right out of the oven (you can see where the leg was on the plate) and declared “this is killer!”

Enjoy!

Vegetarian Cholent/Stew

My cholent quest continues.  I am trying to make a vegetarian cholent that my family will enjoy eating.

Raizel requested something with cumin so this is what I came up with:

1 c barley

1/2 c lentils and white beans

1 onion, chopped 

1 sweet potato 

2 cloves of garlic, crushed 

1 t cumin, coriander, paprika 

1/4 t cinnamon 

1/8 crushed red pepper flakes 

Salt and pepper 

Here is the picture, but on the wrong angle:

  
I will see how it turns out tomorrow!

So, it came out looking pretty good. Raizel approved and said, “it smells so good!”

To adjust the seasoning I added fresh garlic, pepper, salt, paprika, and some of my Moroccan spice mix.  My husband said “it’s awesome!”  Here is the picture:

  

NB: My husband did not like the extra Moroccan spice mix, although my girls did. Sigh….. So, next time I will stick to the original recipe.  Live and learn.

Moroccan Spice Blend

The Italian Spiced Beans were such a success that I now need to make something else for dinner tomorrow. There is barely any left!

I am soaking chickpeas overnight and I made a Moroccan Spice Mix to use with the chickpeas.

This is what I used. I haven’t tried it yet, so I am not sure how it will work out.

1 t cumin, paprika, turmeric, coriander, pepper
1/4 t allspice, cinnamon, ginger
1/8 t crushed red pepper flakes, cloves

It looks good!