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Monday, September 13, 2010

Quick Middle Eastern Dinner

We went to Vegas over Labor Day Weekend! Yay! I am still in my vacation mode, so dinners during the week after had to be quick and easy, but good tasting!!! :) I found this recipe here and decided to adapt it a little bit and then test/taste it out. It came out great and even my non-Middle Eastern-food-loving Mr. No-No enjoyed it. It's called Enjedra and it's quick and easy, especially if you have the brown rice (instead of couscous) already made. Additionally, it's really made with spinach, but I had fresh, organic Swiss Chard so I steamed that up and used it instead. This is how I made it for maximum quick-ness on a busy weeknight. I made it for three, but next time, I will make it for six and freeze the leftovers for easy lunches.


1/2 onion, diced
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tsp ground cumin
3/4 Tsp salt
2/3 cup dried whole wheat couscous
1/2 cup dried red lentils
1 bunch Swiss chard, or other greens, roughly chopped

Take diced onion and put into a dry skillet over medium heat, sprinkle cumin and salt over and stir to mix well. Let cook for a minute or two and then add olive oil and cook over medium/medium low heat until onions begin to brown / caramelize. (I let them go until they were dry and the added a little bit of water and let them go a bit longer).
Meanwhile, heat up water for the greens, couscous, and the lentils (yes, three more sauce pans - sounds like  a lot, but everything is done at once and makes it easier). In the saucepan for the couscous, add broth powder (or use broth instead of water). When the water comes to a boil, add lentils in one pan and simmer over low heat - the lentils will need to cook for approximately 20 minutes total (If you use brown lentils, the dish comes out just as good, but will need to cook for a minimum of 45 minutes). In a pan fitted with a steamer basket, add the chopped greens and cover to steam. In the last pan, add the couscous, cover, and turn the heat off.
When the onions are ready, drain some water off the lentils and pour over the onions. Turn the heat to low, cover and simmer for about 10 more minutes, adding water when/if needed.
To serve: fluff the couscous with a fork and put on a plate (in a circle form), put the onion/lentil mixture over the couscous (making another circle, smaller then the first so that the couscous can be seen), and then cover with greens on top creating a small tower.

More later! :)