Posts tagged ‘Recipe’

April 25, 2011

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Shepherd’s Pie has always been one of my favorite comfort foods. It’s one of those dishes that I used to always go back for seconds. I just couldn’t help it. And even now that I have pretty much succeeded at eliminating this bad habit, Sheperd’s Pie would still be one of the dishes that I have a really hard time resisting. It’s like I can always hear it calling me… even after my tummy is full…

This vegetarian version is no exception. It’s just as good as the real thing… if not better|

(serves 4-6)

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 150g button mushrooms, quartered
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1½ cup Du Puy Lentils
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1½ tbsp dried oregano
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 large can (16oz) diced tomato
  • 2-3 cups water
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups frozen corn
  • 6 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • ½ cup low fat sourcream
  • ½ cup soy milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 375F
  2. Cook the onion, mushrooms, garlic, salt, pepper and cayenne in a skillet over medium high heat until fragrant and golden brown, about 3-5 minutes. Add lentils, stir to coat.
  3. Add canned tomatoes, bay leaves, oregano, parsley and 2 cups water. Simmer for approximately 45 minutes, adding more water as necessary, until lentils are tender and liquid is absorbed but mixture is still moist.
  4. Meanwhile, cook potatoes in salted boiling water until they are really tender. Drain and return to pot. Add sour cream and milk, salt and pepper to taste. Mash with a potato masher until desired consistency is achieved.
  5. Cook frozen corn according to package instructions.
  6. Transfer lentils to a baking dish, top with corn and mashed potatoes.
  7. Cook in the oven for about 20-30 minutes, until it starts to bubble and the top turns golden brown.

April 22, 2011

Falafel Pita

For some reason, I always thought falafel was extremely hard to make. Pfft! Not at all! I guess it’s only because I’m not familiar with them, for they were never really a part of my diet growing up. But really, they are extremely easy to make: just throw everything in the food processor and process away! It’s almost like making meatballs…

Sure, they do require a bit of planning, because you do need to soak the chickpeas and then, once you’ve prepared the mix, you still have to let it rest. Let’s just say it’s not something you’ll want to whip up on a hectic weeknight.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it’s not possible to make them on a weeknight. You just need to plan ahead. You want to eat falafel on Wednesday? No problem. You’ll need to soak your chickpeas on Monday, make your mix on Tuesday and finally, on Wednesday, you can shape and cook them. That’s pretty much what I did this week, and it worked out beautifully.

Of course, the mixture doesn’t have to rest for so long, but you have to give it at least a couple of hours, else, from what I understand, the falafels will just fall apart.

Oh, and of course, if you’re in a hurry, you can always speed up the process by using canned chickpeas. However, I must say that it was my first time making them with raw chickpeas and I found them to be far superior, not only as far as taste is concerned, but also texture wise.

(serves 4-6)


  • 1½ cup dried chickpeas
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 1½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic
  • 1½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1½ teaspoon baking powder
  • 4 tablespoons bulgur wheat
  • 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour
  • Olive oil for pan frying
  •  Tahini sauce (mix 1 part tahini to 3 parts water)
  • Mini whole wheat pita bread


  1. Put the chickpeas in a large bowl and add enough cold water to cover them by at least 2 inches. Let soak overnight, then drain. Or use canned chickpeas, drained.
  2. Place the drained, uncooked chickpeas and the onions in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade. Add the parsley, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic, and cumin. Process until blended but not pureed.
  3. Sprinkle in the baking powder, bulgur and flour, and pulse. You want to add enough bulgur and flour so that the dough forms a small ball and no longer sticks to your hands. Turn into a bowl and refrigerate, covered, for several hours.
  4. Form the chickpea mixture into balls about the size of walnuts.
  5. Heat oil in a frying pan over medium heat; Cook falafels until nice and golden on all sides, about 15 minutes total.
  6. Serve in mini pita breads and drizzle with tahina thinned with water.

Looking for a tabouleh recipe to go with that? Here’s one for you!

April 20, 2011

Buckwheat pancakes with Apples and Cottage Cheese

I love buckwheat pancakes. I remember when I was a kid, my dad used to make huge batches, like millions of them, and as soon as he’s have a few ready, he’d call us: “Y a des galettes de prêtes!” (meaning: some pancakes are ready) We’d all come running and sat down to devour them with loads of molasses while he stood at the stove and kept them coming for as long as we’d eat. Buckwheat pancake mornings always felt like party to me, they made me so happy. Maybe that’s why I still love them so much to this day.

Funny thing is I’m the one making the pancakes now, but I do things a little differently. I only serve them when I’m done cooking the whole batch, save for my dad. As soon as the second one is ready, I serve it to him. Why the second? Because the first one, for some strange reason, never comes out quite right. And my dad only deserves the very best. No way he’s getting that second grade first pancake. And if he wants another one when he’s done eating the first, he gets the next fresh one that comes out of the pan. Molasses gets drizzled very lightly on both sides of the pancake, then I swish it around to get it to soak all the way through. That’s how he likes it.

Of course, buckwheat and molasses is a match made in heaven, a classic! But I am discovering more and more winning combinations. For example, during Lent, I decided that molasses was off limits, too sweet, so I tried almond butter and bananas! YUM! So good! The following, however, would be one of my favorites: Apples, cinnamon and cheese. Just feast your eyes… you’ll more than likely share my opinion!

Buckwheat pancakes
(yields 3-4 large pancakes)

  • 1 cup buckwheat flour
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda


  • In large mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients. Add water slowly, whisking constantly, until the batter is very smooth. Let stand at room temperature for at least 30 minutes (or make the day before and leave in the refrigerator overnight).
  • Pour desired amount of batter in a very hot pan or cast iron skillet coated with cooking spray. Wait until pancake  starts to set and bottom is nice and golden then flip. Continue cooking until bottom is golden then transfer to plate.
  • Repeat process until you’re out of batter.


You need approximately one apple per pancake. Simply peel and dice the apples, then cook them in a skillet over medium heat until they start to soften. If you’re like me, you’ll want to add lots of cinnamon!


To assemble, put pancakes nice side down on a plate. Spread about ½ cup low fat cottage cheese in the center, top that with cooked apples and fold each side towards the center.

Garnish with  low fat plain yogurt, apple slices and toasted walnuts. A little drizzle of liquid honey brings the finishing touch to this beautiful dish.