Sunday, April 24, 2011

Quinoa and Red Lentil Kitchari

Instead of focusing on eggs this Easter, I decided to focus on renewal. This delicious vegan Quinoa and Red Lentil Kitchari is based on a recipe forwarded to me by a friend and I do not know the original source. It includes Indian spices, carrots and kale and the resulting dish is comfort food at it's vegetarian best.

Kitchari is an Ayurvedic dish, high in vegetable proteins and easy to digest. It is commonly used as a fasting or cleansing dish and is considered to be dosha-balancing. The proteins vary from mung beans, millet, brown rice, quinoa and lentils. This version uses red quinoa and red lentil and you know as soon as you taste it that this is really good food. Comfort food that's really good for you - bring it on!

Quinoa & Red Lentil Kitchari:
1 TBS olive oil or ghee
1/2 white onion, finely chopped
1 tsp curry powder
1 pinch coriander seeds
1 pinch cumin seeds
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
2 carrots, sliced (and halved if the carrots are large in diameter)
1/2 cup red quinoa, rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour
3/4 cup red lentils, rinsed and soaked in water for 1 hour
3-4 cups of water
1/2 bunch kale leaves, chopped
sea salt to taste
1/2 cup cilantro leaves, chopped

Heat the oil in a heavy bottomed sauce pan. Add the chopped onions and cook for 2 mintues. Add all the spices and stir well. Add the carrots and cook 2 minutes. Add the quinoa, lentils and 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the kale with additional water as needed. Simmer for 15 minutes, then add salt to taste. Continue to simmer uncovered until almost all the water has been absorbed (should have a very thick soup consistency). Add the cilantro and cook 1 minute. Adjust the salt.

Happy Easter! May you be renewed.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Matzo Lasagna for Passover

Looking for a tasty recipe for Passover? Check out this recipe for Matzo Lasagna. It's a crowd pleaser!

Like any great lasagna, this recipe includes ricotta cheese, spinach, mozzarella, Parmesan, tomato sauce, garlic and fresh oregano:

But it uses Matzo in place of the pasta sheets:

The trick is to soak the matzo in warm water (or wine), so it's not too dry and crumbly. Otherwise, you could follow any vegetarian lasagna dish and simply substitute soaked matzo for the pasta.


9 pieces matzo, softened in warm water or wine
Your favorite marinara sauce
1 pound ricotta cheese, part skim if possible
5 cups of spinach - chopped fine
1 tablespoon oregano
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1/2 cup Parmasean cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese

Put the ricotta in a bowl and mix with the spinach, spices, 1/4 cup of the parmesan and 1/4 c. of the mozzarella.

Cover the bottom of a baking pan with some of the matzo. Cover with some of the sauce. Cover sauce with 1/3 of the cheese mixture.

Put some more matzo on top of the cheese and continue the process until all is used up making sure that top of lasagna is matzo and some sauce.

On the top, spread the remaining mozzarella cheese and parmesan cheese.

Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.