Sunday, July 25, 2010

Chicken and Vegetable Soup with Barley

6-8 servings

3 chicken legs with bones
2 bay leaves
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1 celery stalk chopped
1 onion chopped
1 large carrot chopped

1/4 cup pearl barley
1 cup diced potato or 1/2 cup dry spaghetti broken into small pieces
1 cup frozen (or fresh) mixed veggies

1 tablespoon tomato paste
Lemon or lime wedges

In a large pot add chicken, bay leaves, peppercorns, salt, celery, onion and carrot. Fill the pot to 1" from the top with water and simmer for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours until chicken is tender and you have a nice chicken stock. Strain and return the stock to the pot. Bring to a simmer.

When chicken is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bones and add back to the pot along with the rest of the ingredients (except tomato paste).

Simmer again until the barley is cooked, then stir in tomato paste. Simmer for another 5 minutes and serve.

Tip: It's good with a little lemon or lime juice squeezed into your bowl at the end.

- chicken and vegetable soup with barley -

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Adas Polow ( rice with ground beef, lentils and raisins)

My first try and it was yummy.

 Delicious Adas Polow

 I added these new photos April 7th, 2011.

  Above is a tah dig I made using 2 spatulas full of rice mixed with 2 heaping tablespoons of plain yogurt and a teaspoon of saffron infused water. Heat the oil in the pot then place the yogurt mixture on the bottom of the pot before layering the rest of the rice and the meat mixture.

 I serve extra raisins on the side so everyone can add as much as they like.

6-8 servings

2 cups basmati rice
2 onions, peeled and diced
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 lb ground beef
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon saffron disolved in 3 tablespoons hot water
3/4 cup dry lentils
1 cup raisins
2 tablespoons dry orange peel
butter & canola oil

Rinse the rice then boil in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook just until tender but still has a slight bite to it. Drain it.

Boil the lentils in a pot of boiling salted water. Drain and rinse.

Boil the orange peel and drain 3 times to remove the bitterness and rehydrate them. I just put them in the microwave for 1 minute 3 times with fresh water then drained.

Fry onions and garlic in a bit of butter and canola oil till golden, then add ground beef. Continue to cook until the beef is done then add the spices and 1 teaspoon of the saffron water.

Add the cooked lentils, orange peel and 1/2 cup of the raisins to the beef mixture.

In the same pot you cooked your rice (because who wants to wash more dishes?) decide how you want to prepare the bottom of your pot. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil to the pot. Either put a layer of sliced potatoes on the bottom, or a layer of pita bread. Or take 2 tablespoons plain yogurt and mix it with 2 spatulas full of rice and a few drops of saffron water and layer this on the bottom of the pot.

Then, take 2 spatulas of rice and place it over your potatoes or whatever you choose. Add a layer of the beef and lentil mixture. Build a pyramid by layering the rice and meat mixture finishing with a layer of rice. Cover and cook on medium for 10 minutes.

Take the remaining saffron water and some melted butter (maybe 2 tablespoons) and pour it over your pyramid. Place a clean dish towel on your pot and then cover with the lid. Cook for another 50 minutes over low heat. Remove from heat and let sit for 5 minutes before uncovering to allow the crust to come free.

In the meantime, take another 1/2 cup of raisins and fry in 1 tablespoon butter just until they start to puff up. Remove the rice from the pot onto a serving platter and sprinkle with the fried raisins. Remove the crust from the pot and hide it or you might not get any. Serve with plain yogurt.

Tip: You could probably make this vegetarian but taking out the beef and using more lentils.

Original Recipe: Adapted from Najmieh Batmanglij's New Food of Life cookbook.

- adas polow - rice with lentils -

Tomatoes with Fresh Basil and Boiled Eggs on Toast

4 servings

2 plum tomatoes, sliced
5 basil leaves chopped
1 tablespoon each olive oil & balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper

4 slices of rye (or other) bread, toasted
4 hard boiled eggs, sliced


Arrange the tomatoes on a plate and drizzle with oil and vinegar. Sprinkle on chopped basil, salt & pepper. Layer the tomatoes on a slice of toast followed by slices of egg. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper.

Tip: If you can get a nice fresh baguette it's even better than toast! Make it South Beach and Atkins friendly by serving it without toast.

- tomatoes with fresh basil and boiled eggs on toast -

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Persian Style Spaghetti (with my twist)

My twist is the roasted red peppers and sundried tomatoes.

6 servings

About 6 cups cooked pasta, any shape
1 lb lean ground beef
1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves chopped garlic
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 roasted red pepper, pureed
3 sundried tomatoes (packed in oil) pureed
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp tumeric
1 tbs oregano
salt & pepper
3 heaping tablespoons good tomato paste

Cook your pasta according to package directions.

Brown your meat in a pan and add the onions, celery and garlic. Cook through. Add pureed red peppers & tomatoes. Sprinkle on the spices and stir in the tomato paste. You may add a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water to loosen it up a bit but it should be thick. Simmer for a few minutes. Stir in the pasta and put everything into the pot. Cover with a towel and a lid and cook on medium low for about 1/2 hour. Serve with pickles.

- persian style spaghetti -

Monday, July 5, 2010

Black Bean Soup

I adapted this recipe from The South Beach Diet Supercharged book.

6 servings

1 28oz can diced tomatoes
1 19oz can black beans
2 green onions (scallions) chopped
2 cloves garlic chopped
1 celery stalk, diced
1 cup chicken or veggie stock
1 tsp cumin
salt & pepper
cayenne pepper (optional)
lime juice

Sauté the garlic, celery & scallions in a pot until tender. Add all other ingredients except lime juice and simmer about 15 minutes. Take 1/2 the soup and blend it then return to the pot. Simmer another 10 minutes and serve.

- black bean soup -