Wednesday, March 4, 2009

a recipe

i like food. maybe my tastes are not as refined as those of my sister, the former chef, but i think that i genuinely appreciate fine cuisine or just quality food made with care. in some ways, it's funny that i'm starting this post with those words because the recipe i am about to share may not seem like it fits into the category of "fine cuisine". it is nonetheless good, healthy, inexpensive food -- and that's alright with me.

as i mentioned in my last post, for the most part, i am not eating meat right now. when i was looking for info about the veganomicon cookbook i stumbled upon this page which contains a link to a recipe for "snobby joes". at first i thought -- weird. i didn't eat sloppy joes as a kid or as an adult, so i didn't find it very interesting. but then i thought about it -- i like my vegetarian chili a lot, but i kind of got burnt out on it and this recipe could be thought of as a new version of vegetarian chili to me. so i made the snobby joes, but i made some changes to the recipe and i thought i would share it with you here (unfortunately sans photos).

my version of snobby joes
(adapted from isa's version from the veganomicon)

1 cup uncooked lentils
4 cups cold water

1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium-sized onion (yellow or white), diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 poblano pepper, diced
1-2 teaspoons salt (depending upon how salty you like it)
2 tablespoons chili powder (i used ancho chili powder)
2-3 teaspoons dried oregano
2 cloves of garlic, minced
15 oz can of tomato sauce
1/4 cup tomato paste (or a few squirts from your tomato paste tube)
a little bit of water (from rinsing out the tomato sauce can)
3 tablespoons maple syrup
1 tablespoon yellow mustard

rolls or bread to eat this stuff with

start by cleaning your lentils -- make sure there are no stones or weird things in there. rinse them off. put them in a sauce pot and cover with the water. put a lid on the pot and bring to a boil. once they start boiling, lower the heat and simmer for around 20 minutes, or until the lentils are tender, but not super mushy. drain them and put them to the side.

10-15 minutes before your lentils are finished cooking, heat up a large pan or soup pot (something with a large bottom surface area) to somewhere between medium and medium-high heat. once the pan is hot, add the olive oil. once the olive oil is hot (you can tell this if you drop a piece of onion in and it sizzles right away), add the onion. saute for a few minutes. add the bell pepper. saute for a few minutes. add a teaspoon of salt. add the poblanos. continue to saute the veggies until they are softened, but still somewhat crisp. add the chili powder and oregano (and any other spices you might fancy). stir and let that cook a bit (so that the herbs and spices soak up some oil). add the garlic, stir constantly for a few minutes and then add the tomato paste. stir. add the lentils. add the tomato sauce. stir to combine everything. turn the heat down a bit until it just simmers lightly. at this point you can let it simmer for 10-20 minutes, adding water as needed to keep it moist. right before you're ready to eat it, add the maple syrup and mustard and heat through.

turn the heat off, cover the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes or so. get your rolls or bread ready.

serve the snobby joes over the roll, open-faced. i like to add some cheese to the roll before putting the snobby joe mixture on the roll -- something like a mild cheddar tastes good here.

that's it. easy, healthy and rather inexpensive. i'm thinking of adding some more veggies to this like diced carrots and maybe even some chunks of sweet potatoes.

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