Monday, June 12, 2017

Lentil Spaghetti

Lentil Spaghetti
We LOVE this recipe! It's the epitome of frugal, healthy comfort food.

It was originally recommended to me by a friend who had a VERY tight budget and a family of 7 - including several teenagers! She said it got an extra meal out of the leftovers from Lentil Soup - for just the price of some Spaghetti.

But, once we tried it, we liked it for how it tasted - more than how frugal it was!

It's the ultimate Lenten Dining, too - Oil free even : )

Just make the soup, make the Spaghetti, and put them together. I particularly enjoy this dish with Salad, and Green Olives and/or Capers. Avocados are also nice. Garlic Toast is also nice on the side.

My Lentil Soup
Doubles well, but needs very large pot

There are about 20 kinds of Lentils! This recipe uses the standard
Grocery Store lentil - sometimes called "Green Lentils" despite
the Brown color.
1 (12oz) bag mirepoix mix OR 1/2 c diced onion, 1/2 c sliced celery, 1/2 cup sliced carrots
1 spoon garlic (about 3 cloves)
Add
2 1/2 cups sorted and  rinsed lentils (1 1# bag)
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 package (10 to 12oz) frozen chopped spinach
Water to cover, plus some (to equal 4 quarts total soup)
1 tsp dry mustard*
1 tsp dry ginger (or fresh)*
1/2 T salt
Boil 45 minutes, till lentils are tender
OR, cook in slow cooker on high for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.

Freezes very well. This is a great recipe to double and freeze half for later.

Tip for Dining with Omnivores: This dish is also good with Shredded Mild Cheddar Cheese over the top.

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Monday, June 5, 2017

Easy Asian Noodles

Easy Asian Noodles
This is a delicious noodle dish that can be made in about 10 minutes. Cooking time for this kind of noodles is only 3 minutes - so the time includes the amount of time it takes to bring the water to a boil!


It's so easy - and delightful - and frugal - and vegan : )

It uses a kind of noodles that some people refer to as "real" Ramen - not to be confused with Instant Ramen that college students are known to live on!

I identify these noodles more by how they look in the package than by any writing outside the package - and by the ingredients. Wheat Flour. Water. Salt. (and sometimes Sodium Carbonate). That's all! When you look at the noodles, they're flat instead of curly, and are dried in a sort of "fan" shape.

These are the noodles you're looking for - notice they're not curly and have a characteristic fan shape fold.


"Instant Ramen" in contrast is often packed with chemicals and is usually deep fried before its dried and packaged. They're curly noodles. They're not what you want!

My usual brands are Wei-Chuan Guan Miao Ramen Noodles, made in Taiwan


This is a good brand

or Yih Noodles by Fu Cheng Noodle Mill/Qiao Wei Food Co. - Also from Taiwan.

This is another good brand.


So, this is how you prepare this amazing - and amazingly easy dish.

Easy Asian Noodles

Fill a pot of water

Add to the water your favorite veggies with an Asian theme (authenticity is up to you). I use what I have on hand, selecting from the following: Broccoli, Green Beans, Peas, Carrots, Baby Corn, Bok Choy, Water Chestnuts . .  . well - you get the idea.

While you're waiting for the boil, make the sauce:
1/4 Cup Soy Sauce
2 Tablespoons Sherry or other Dry Wine (whatever you've got on hand!)
1 Tablespoon Dark Sesame Oil
2 teaspoons Ginger Paste
2 teaspoon Minced Garlic
2 teaspoons Sugar
1 teaspoon Onion Powder
1 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Pepper


When the water boils  (if you like your veggies more tender, let them boil till they're how you like them before adding the noodles), add the noodles to the water and vegetables and boil 3 minutes, till done.

Drain

Toss with sauce.

Place into bowls.

Top with Sriracha and your Choice of Peanuts or Cashews, if desired.

Enjoy!

Tip for dining with Omnivores: This dish can also be topped with a sliced boiled egg, or with some sliced beef, pork, or chicken. If you have leftover meat from a recent Asian meal just slice it and toss it on top : )

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