Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Gotta do what you gotta do

What I had to do was try and salvage the bland lentil dip that I made several days ago... It was dry and flavorless but I thought it had potential. So I added some curry powder to it, along with some minced cilantro, and I formed it into patties and baked it (325, 20 minutes) as a sort of twist on falafel. I spritzed the patties with canola oil before baking them, to help with the dryness problem. It worked out well--the lentil purée was so firm after refrigeration that I did not have to add a binder of any kind.


They still weren't great, but they were much more palatable, especially with a quick, light tahini dressing that I whisked together. Alongside a scoop of tabouli salad, it made a nice Middle East-inspired lunch.


The tabouli salad comes from The Grit's cookbook, and The Grit's version is the best tabouli salad I have ever tasted. The great thing about The Grit is that I can take their cookbook to Atlanta with me and enjoy most of my favorite meals, but lightened up and more affordable. The tahini dressing I made was also inspired by a Grit recipe, but I cut out all the oil and just added water to thin it out.


PS--If you're looking for a cool drink to enjoy in this summer heat, try a scoop of peach sorbet, 1/2 cup champagne, and a shot of Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur. Nice!

17 comments:

Ron and Ginny said...

Your middle-eastern meal looks luscious. I love tabouli. It is one of my (many) favorite foods! :-D

Asako said...

awesome! it looks like a light and colorful meal - perfect for summer :)

Courtney said...

Yum--the lentil patties sound/look really good (even though you say they were just okay)! I love that there is no "binder" in them too. I may try to make them myself...I don't have the cookbook you got the recipe for the dip from, but did you use red lentils or green?

Courtney

Johanna3 said...

is great that you reuse some of the food! all looks amazing!

KleoPatra said...

Lunchtime at Laura's, count me in. Glad you were able to "salvage" what you'd previously created... to me, you made good better, then better best. But i may be a bit prejudiced in your favor... i've been a Middle Eastern food fan for years...

The sorbet-in-champagne photo is exquisite, by the way. Super picture!!

Hope Bob's feelin' better and better, too...

maybepigscanfly said...

I know what you mean with the "gotta do what you gotta do thing". I grew up not wasting anything (and I mean anything), and I've carried that with me. Sometimes I have food that must be eaten and I make do even though it's not necessarily what I'm in the mood for.

That tabouli looks really good too- I wonder where I can get my hands on this cookbook you speak so highly of. I guess I'll just have to make a trip to visit you, haha!

-Teresa

laura jesser said...

Ron and Ginny, tabouli is one of my favorites too... Tabouli salad with a side of hummus and cucumbers is my idea of an ideal lunch!

Asako, definitely a good summer meal (aside from the fact that I had to run my oven in this awful heat)! Thanks for visiting!

Courtney, it's red lentils simmered for just a few minutes in an equal amount of water, then drained and cooled. As for the other ingredients, there's only lemon juice and cumin and salt, and some cayenne pepper. If you think you can jazz it up, go for it--and let me know!

Johanna, thanks! If there's one thing I cannot stand it's throwing food away...

Kleo, thanks for your vote of confidence. I love Middle Eastern food too, so I was very happy to be able to "save" this! So, yes--lunch at my place. There are plenty of leftovers!

Teresa, I grew up with that too, and it really depresses me when I have to throw something away. As for the cookbook, it's on Amazon if you're really interested--it's got some totally un-vegan recipes in it, but the recipes that I can use are some of my all-time favorites!

theONLYtania said...

At least you were able to somewhat salvage it.. I always feel bad about wasting food. It looks fun!
Great drink too!

aTxVegn said...

Mmm, the falafel and tabouli look like a terrific lunch. I can't tell you how badly I want to eat at The Grit!

Jackie said...

Thanks for popping by. Have been so busy with non vegans visiting and leaving comments in blog directories I have not been reading enough of my vegan friends sites but I am sure you will excuse me for that....hopefully I get a few converts :)

I must try your lentil patties, I probably have more lentils for protein than anything else and they look wonderful.

Kati said...

Way to save those patties - they look tasty! I've been such a bad blogreader lately...I need to catch up on all your great posts. That drink looks fancy!

Kati said...

P.S. I really like your new header!

Judith MacCaellich-Young said...

Good save on the lentil puree! :)
I'll give that drink a try next time we see the sun...seven weeks of rain so far, sigh.
I love your new header :)

JudyMac

stonielove said...

aw, everything looks so great! i will definitely try out the drink! it sure looks cooling!

Vivacious Vegan said...

I experiment with hummus quite often and it's not unusual for it to turn out "funky." My favorite save is patties. It's amazing how easy they are to make and how they can transform something. Glad they worked out for you. Saving food is always a good feeling. One time I made a soup and it was disgusting. I wound up pouring the soup through a collander, rinsing the veggies & beans, and then starting over. You know, it turned out to be one of my favorite soups ever.

bazu said...

I've missed your blog, Laura! It's so good to be back home and getting to (slowly) catch up with all my favorite blogs. That drink looks so wonderful, as does the middle-eastern style lunch. I love warm-weather foods so much!
I hope Bob is feeling better too. I caught a bug right before leaving for Puerto Rico and gave it to my mom and Daiku. No fun.

laura jesser said...

Tania, I hate wasting food too! It's kind of fun to be "on a mission" to save something though... ya know?

Diann, The Grit has proven to be a bright spot in an otherwise difficult world for veggies like us... Maybe one day the world will be full of places like that!

Jackie, it would be wonderful if you got some "converts" from your efforts, yes! I eat a lot of lentils too and it's always fun to have a new twist on them.

Kati, thanks! And it's okay--we all get into blog reading funks, right??

Judith, seven weeks of rain??? Wow... I wish we could get just a little piece of that, but we're still in drought!

Stonielove, if that drink was anything at all, it was certainly cooling!

Crystal, you're right about saving food being a good feeling. That is a great story about the soup--great recipes are sometimes invented by mistake, right?

Bazu, I'm so glad you're back! I am sorry about the bug, though--ick. I hope you're back to 100% now. As for warm-weather foods, I'm with you. Summer veggies are so special that it's kind of a shame to adulterate them too much!