Friday, April 27, 2012

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

For me, the search is over. I have been using this recipe consistently for the past year. It's adapted from Mark Bittman's great food processor APF dough recipe in How to Ck Ev'rything.
He also just did a little demo video and a chat on for the NYT, both of which are hilarious. I love how his instructions in the video are so throw-away. "Just put some olive oil in there. Just, you know, like, some. Glug, glug, glug. And then, whatever. It's pizza. Eat it."

2 t instant or rapid rise yeast
1 1/2 C APF
1 1/2 C whole wheat, spelt or rye flour
2 t kosher or sea salt, plus more for sprinkling
1 to 1 1/4 C water
2 T olive oil, plus a 1 t to brush crust if desired

1) Combine the yeast, flour, and 2 t salt in the container of a food processor. Turn the machine on and add 1 C water and 2 T of oil through the feed tube.

2) Process for about 30 seconds, adding more water, a little at a time, until the mixture forms a ball and is slightly sticy to the touch. If it is dry, add another T or two of water and process for another 10 seconds. (In the unlikely event that the mixture is too sticky, add flour, a T at a time.) Actually count to thirty; it's magic. The dough ball forms almost right on the count of 30. You can ask my two year old. He loves to push down the lever on the processor and count and then he goes "wow! wow! wow!" when the ball dramatically clumps and thumps around  inside the container.) 

3) Turn the dough onto a floured work surface and knead by hand a few seconds to form a smooth round dough ball. Grease a bowl with the remaining olvie oil and place the dough in it. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let rise in warm, draft-free area until the dough doubles in size, 1 to 2 hours. You can cut this rising time short if you are in a hurry, or you can let the dough rise more slowly, in the refrigerator for up to 6 or 8 hours. His recipe calls for 1 t of yeast and I add a second to accommodate the wheat flour and it still rises in about 2 hours. In the video, he mentions you can make it in the morning, stick it in the fridge and come home from work and make pizza. yessss.

4) Preheat oven to maximum  I think this depends on your preference for crust. I do 450.  I divide the dough into at least two balls, let them rest a few minutes and then roll them out (thinish) with a
rolling pin. Top with your preference of toppings and bake for about 12 minutes until the cheese bubbles.

For the "grown-up" pie tonight, I pressed some garlic and mixed it into a T of olive oil and 1 T of tomato sauce. I sprinkled halved grape tomatoes and dotted it with ricotta. When it came out, I had a little drizzle ready of 1 T of olive oil that I had mixed with two Trader Joe basil cubes.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tortellini bake

So, my kiddo might complain that she can't eat meat one day a week, but she only complains a little when this is for dinner. Also, she very much likes cooking, and this is exactly the sort of recipe where I can put all the ingredients on the counter and say "go to it."
Winning for everyone.

Adapted from here

2 jars alfredo sauce (I used the kind with mushrooms in them)
1 large (20 oz, I think) package tortellini, the cheese/spinach kind
a bunch of broccoli (I had some leftover broccoli and cauliflower, plus some raw broccoli. I didn't bother to measure)
1 1/2 c. water
1/2 c. bread crumbs (homemade, in my case)
2 tsp. olive oil

Mix the alfredo and water in a large bowl.
In a baking dish, combine broccoli and tortellini. Pour alfredo on top, stir to coat.
Bake in 375 oven for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs and oil and stir to combine. Sprinkle on top of casserole (at the end of 45 minutes).
Pop back under broiler for 2-3 minutes (watch close, or it'll burn) to crisp the bread crumbs.

Easy, easy, as Katie would say.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Refrigerator steel cut oats

I promised Heather I'd post this a long time ago and then everything went nutso. Here you go!

 4 c. liquid (I use half water, half milk)
1 2/3 c. steel cut oats
cinnamon or vanilla extract (or both)
pinch of salt

Bring it all to a boil in a pot, then turn it off.
Portion into containers. I used half-pint canning jars (6 of them) but you could easily use tupperware if you like. The canning jars are cuter, though.
Stick those containers in the fridge. In the morning, add your toppings and shove in your lunch bag. Heat when you get to work. So much better than those packets of instant oatmeal.

Baked eggs with wilted spinach

I love everything about this recipe. I love it at breakfast, I love it at lunch, I love it at dinner. Mostly I've eaten it for the first two meals of the day, but it'd make a great Meatless Monday dinner, too.

Adapted very little from Skinny Taste

2 tsp olive oil
1/4 cup diced shallots
1 1/2 lb baby spinach
4 large eggs
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 tbsp shredded Asagio or Parm cheese

Preheat an oven to 400°F. Lightly spray four oven-safe dishes or ramekins with cooking spray. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat, add oil, shallots and cook 2-3 minutes. Add spinach, salt and pepper and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2-3 minutes. Divide the wilted spinach among the oven-safe dishes, making a well in the center of each. Sprinkle the cheese on top. Break an egg into each dish and season with salt and pepper. Place the ramekins on one or two rimmed baking sheets and bake until the whites are set and the yolks are firm around the edges but still soft in the center, about 17 minutes or to your liking. Serve immediately.

Broccoli and garlic quiche

We eat meatless on Monday, which is a great source of grumbling in my house from the carnivore older child who just likes to complain. (they do that when they're 9)

This was last week's Meatless Monday recipe, along with a tossed salad. Gaby ate hers with ketchup. Katie picked all the broccoli out and just ate that and the cheesy top. Baby steps.

Adapted from Epicurious

10 ounces (1-inch-wide) broccoli florets (with 1 to 2 inches of stem attached)
2 large garlic cloves
6 large eggs
1 1/2 cups half-and-half
2 cups Gruyere and Swiss cheese, coarsely grated
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
 pie crust of your choosing (I had a pre-made one, so that's what I used)

Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle. Bake pie crust until it's lightly golden. While shell bakes, cook broccoli in a 3-quart pot of boiling salted water 4 minutes. Drain broccoli and rinse under cold water to stop cooking, then pat dry. Mince and mash garlic to a paste with a generous pinch of salt. Whisk together garlic paste, eggs, half-and-half, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl until smooth. Pour filling into pie shell and add broccoli, then sprinkle with cheeses. Bake quiche until custard is just set, 45 to 50 minutes. (Center will tremble slightly; filling will continue to set as it cools.) Cool at least 20 minutes. Serve quiche warm or at room temperature.

Alsatian cabbage

I know I'm in the minority when I say that I love cabbage. That's ok, I love it anyway.

I made this a few weeks ago, adapted from a recipe I found here. I'd probably have stuck closer to the original, but I didn't feel like measuring anything.

1/2 package of bacon, chopped
1 small onion, chopped fine
1 cabbage\, trimmed, outer leaves and core removed, sliced thin
1 1/2 teaspoons caraway seeds

In a large skillet or Dutch oven (you'll need a cover), cook the bacon crisp. Add the onion as it's prepped, let cook 2 - 3 minutes. Add the caraway and let cook, 1 - 2 minutes. Add the cabbage, stirring well to coat with fat and caraway. Cover and let cook for about 30 minutes, stirring often.

Homemade creamer

So, I'll admit I like my coffee with a lot of sweetener and flavoring.
What I don't like is that the stuff you buy in the store with the flavors also has a lot of oil, preservatives, and HFCS. I try to have as little HFCS as possible.
So, the first day I was on Pinterest I found this recipe, and I'm now on my second batch of homemade creamer.

14oz sweetened condensed milk
14oz milk (whole, lowfat, or skim - doesn't matter)
2 teaspoons extract of choice or coffee syrup (I've made hazlenut and vanilla)
a mason jar (quart is perfect)

 Pour all of the ingredients into your mason jar. Screw the lid on tightly and shake vigorously for a few minutes until well combined.

I think this probably has a pretty short shelf life, but I used one batch in a week, and it seemed fine to me. You could use half and half if you wanted -- if your half and half is like mine, it's got a really long shelf life, so it'd probably make your creamer last longer.

Garlic and lemon roasted chicken

Man oh man. I go away for a while and Blogger changes everything. I'm back, by the way, with tons of new recipes. One of the perks of not working is that I've got lots of time for cooking.
Lots and lots of time.

And lately, I'm obsessed with Pinterest, where I can pin all of the recipes I see that look interesting. Like this one.

I adapted this from a recipe found here, to match our tastes and feed three grown men, two growing girls, and me. It was fantastic.

6 tablespoons olive oil
3 lemons, 1 1/2 thinly sliced, 1 1/2 juiced
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound trimmed green beans
1 pound red potatoes, quartered (if they are small enough, you don't have to quarter them)
5 chicken quarters (you know, the thigh and leg still together)

Preheat oven to 450°F.
Coat a large baking dish with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
In a large bowl, combine the remaining oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, and pepper.
Arrange green beans and potatoes in the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken, skin-side up, in the dish or skillet. Rub the oil/lemon juice/garlic mixture over chicken, use all of it. Dot with lemon slices.
Cover with foil, place in oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil, bake another 30 minutes. Check chicken to make sure it's done, serve.

One pan, veg, carb, chicken all cooked together. My kind of meal. And there weren't any leftovers, so clearly everyone else loved it, too.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Steamed Fish with Ratatouille

This is a Bittman recipe and it was great. I served it over pasta. My husband asked me if that's how ratatouille is traditionally served. I had to admit I did not know.Wikipedia tells me it can be served however the heck you want to eat it.

The vegetables make a perfect “steamer” and create a built-in side dish.
Makes: 4 servings
1 large or 2 medium zucchini
1 medium or 2 small eggplants
1 medium red bell pepper, cored
2 medium or 3 small tomatoes, cored (Can of fired roasted. Canned tomatoes are aparently my BPA Waterloo.)
3 tablespoons olive oil, or more as needed (2 T total)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 large onion, chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
½ cup Niçoise or kalamata olives, pitted, optional (delicious!)
4 thick fish fillets or steaks (about 1½ pounds) (thawed cod filets from the Joe who is a Trader)
½ cup roughly chopped fresh basil leaves (3 cubes from those genius frozen packs from TJ's)
1. Trim and cut the zucchini and eggplant into 1-inch chunks. (I did more of a dice) Cut the pepper into strips. Roughly chop the tomatoes, reserving their juice.
2. Put 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and immediately add the garlic. When it begins to sizzle, add the onion and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes.
3. Add the zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper, and another sprinkle of salt and pepper. Lower the heat a bit to keep the vegetables from burning and cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is fairly soft, another 10 to 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes and their juice, the thyme, and the olives if you’re using them and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes begin to break down, another 5 to 10 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
4. Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper and lay it on top of the vegetables. Adjust the heat so the mixture simmers. Cover and cook until the fish is opaque throughout and a paring knife inserted into the fish at its thickest point meets little resistance. This will take anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.
5. Transfer the fish to a platter, then stir the basil into the vegetables. Spoon the vegetables around the fish, drizzle everything with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil (plus a little more if you like) (hefk says, "or not") and serve.
◗ Be careful not to cook swordfish and tuna too long when steaming; other fish
won’t dry out as quickly.
◗ Giving slower-cooking foods a head start is a valuable technique you can try with
chicken breasts and other quick-cooking cuts of meat.
Steamed Fish with Leeks: Skip the zucchini, eggplant, pepper, tomatoes, thyme, and olives. Trim and slice 1½ pounds leeks (the white and light green parts) and rinse
them in a colander to remove all grit. Begin the recipe with Step 2 and cook the leeks in
the hot oil, stirring occasionally, until they’re tender and begin to turn golden, 5 to 10 minutes. Add ½ cup white wine or water and bring to a gentle bubble. Continue with the recipe from Step 4.
Steamed Fish with Bok Choy: Skip the zucchini, eggplant, pepper, tomatoes, thyme,
and olives. In Step 2, add about 1 pound roughly chopped bok choy, ¼ cup soy sauce, and
½ cup water to the skillet. Cook, stirring, until the greens begin to wilt, 3 to 5 minutes. Continue with the recipe from Step 4.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Panqueques de Minimos, aka "Peace Corps pancakes"

This wekeend we visited friends from college. They were in the Peace Corps the first two years of their marriage. Wow, right? She made these pancakes for all of us for breakfast using a recipe she had written down in Spanish in the margin of her Peace Corps cookbook.
Between the oatmeal, eggs, milk and sweet potato/banana, the protein and complex carbs will keep you going for a while. Also, I love the word "panqueque."

mezclar juntos y dejar por 5 minutos: (mix together and leave for 5 minutes)
- 2 C leche (milk)
- 2 huevos (eggs)
- 1 T azucar (sugar)
- 1 T aciete (oil)
- 1 T vainilla (vanilla)
- 1 1/2 C avena (oatmeal)

mezclar juntos:
- 1 1/2 C harina (flour)
- 1 t polvo de horno (baking powder)
- 1/2 t sal (salt)

- 4 minimos, puré (bananas, mashed) (NOTE: my friend used cooked sweet potato pureed with a stick blender so I did this too because family loved them.)

combinar todos y cocinar (NOTE: The batter is fairly thick, almost like muffin batter. My friend made pancakes on her griddle. I made waffles.)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Saag Paneer

I know this food blog gang loves our spinach so I bring you Heidi's take on spinach deliciousness. I used Alissa's method to bake tofu because I knew I wasn't going to get my hands on paneer the week I made this. I also used Sun Brand Madras Curry from my grocery store. The cute little tin leapt into my cart and I've been shaking it into all kinds of things since that day.
The vegetarian potluck group all really enjoyed it (one friend, a humanitarian aid worker and longtime world traveler, claimed it was her favorite dish of this year's Lenten gatherings. The credit is all Heidi's but I thought that was a good testamonial.)

I served it over rice to make sure it would stretch to feed the group. The sauce filtered down into the rice and made it a beautiful color.

A bunch of head notes here, apologies. This recipe calls for an incredible amount of spinach. Just know, it cooks down dramatically. I call for baby spinach, because it saves me having to trim a lot of unruly stems from bundles of spinach. Feel free to use any fresh spinach, but make sure it isn't overly stem-y. On the cheese front, Halloumi is a solid substitute for paneer, and here's a link if you want to make paneer at home. And if you like a higher cheese to spinach ratio, cook up 12 ounces of paneer. If I have canned crushed or whole tomatoes that need to be used up, I throw some of those in too (chopped/drained) - good. And if you have kale you need to use, trade chopped kale for some of the spinach if you like.
1 1/2 pounds fresh (baby) spinach, well washed and dried
2 tablespoons ghee, clarified butter, or unsalted butter
8 - 12 oz paneer cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium onions, finely chopped
scant 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon spice mixture* (see below)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric
1 cup buttermilk
splash of cream or dollop of plain yogurt (optional)
fresh lemon to finish, and toasted sesame seeds to sprinkle
Chop the spinach well, and set aside in a large bowl.
While you're chopping spinach, cook the paneer in one tablespoon of the butter over medium heat in a large skillet. Make sure the paneer is in a single layer and use a spatula to flip it regularly so all sides get deeply brown. This typically takes 7 minutes or so. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Heat the other tablespoon of butter in your largest soup pot. Add the onions and salt, and saute until the onions soften up, five minutes or so. Add the garlic, ginger, spice mixture, and turmeric. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant and nicely combined - a minute or two.
Turn the heat up to medium-high and add the spinach to the pan all at once, if possible. Cook, stirring all the while, until the spinach is collapsed and wilted, a couple of minutes. If you need to add the spinach in batches (adding more spinach as it collapses), that is fine too, just do it as quickly as possible.
Stir in the buttermilk and cream and heat gently while stirring. If the mixture seems dry, add more buttermilk a splash at a time (this rarely happens to me). Taste and add more salt if necessary and more red pepper flakes if you like. Add a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice, stir in the paneer, sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Serves 4-6.
*Spice Mixture: Use a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind the following spices as finely as possible: 2 tablespoons cumin seed, 1 tablespoons coriander seed, 2 teaspoons mustard seed, 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, 1/8 teaspoon cardamom seeds, 3 whole cloves. Store in an airtight container and use as needed.

Sunday Night Leftover Soup

I know it was 80 degrees today...whatevs. Sit in front of a fan and eat soup!
We came home from a weekend family road trip to a fridge full of multiple teeny portions of leftovers. They made magic in my soup pot and I want to put the list here as reminder to my feeble brain of a fun thing to do with the rotating cast of containers in the fridge.
Feel free to chime in with your fave leftover soup combos or ingredients.
base flavor:
olive oil
sauteed minced garlic
2 C chicken broth
1 C roasted potato wedges, chunked
1/4 C saag tofu (only rice left)
1/4 C homemade shells and cheese
1/2 C scalloped potatoes
1/2 C snobby joe
fresh veggie flourish:
baby spinach
5 cremini mushrooms, chunked
10 stalks asparagus, chopped
final touch:
1 T miso, (tip: 1. remove pot from heat to retain nutritional integrity of miso 2. ladle a bit of broth into a container and dissolve miso in this before returning mixture to the pot to avoid losing the lump of miso in the soup pot)

Friday, April 13, 2012

Superpower Honey Waffles

Adapted from: Fit Pregnancy

Also going into the freezer.  I had to add a little bit more WW flour because my batter was really loose.  I skipped the food processor and just used a whisk and bowl.

Wet ingredients:
3 eggs
¼ cup vegetable oil or melted butter, plus additional for brushing
¼ cup soy nut butter (or peanut butter)
¼ cup honey (I used sorghum - still out of honey around here)
¼ cup plain yogurt
½ teaspoon vanilla
2 cups milk
Dry ingredients:
½ cup whole-wheat flour (I probably used closer to 1 cup in the end)
½ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup oat flour (or oats ground finely in a food processor)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1.  Preheat a waffle iron.
2.  In a food processor, pulse together the wet ingredients except milk (or, just whisk together in a bowl).
3.  In a bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients.
4.  Add the dry ingredients and milk to the food processor and pulse to blend (or, just whisk into the wet ingredients).
5. Cook in the waffle iron and cool the finished waffles on a wire rack (if you're going to freeze them).
6.  Serve hot or freeze leftovers and rewarm in a toaster.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Zucchini Muffins

From: Simply Recipes

Another recipe I made today to store in the freezer in preparation for Baby Arrival next week.  I actually had some shredded zucchini in the freezer from last summer's garden haul, so I used that, and added some shredded carrots to fill out the 3 cups of veg needed.  I added chopped almonds, raisins, and some flax seeds.  I also used some applesauce in place of a bit of the butter, and used 1/2 whole wheat flour and 1/2 all-purpose.  I wanted to try to make these a little more nutritious but not go overboard and end up with dry, dense muffins like you sometimes get when you sub out all the good stuff for more virtuous ingredients. 


  • 3 cups grated fresh zucchini (I used a mix of zucchini and shredded carrots)
  • 2/3 cup melted unsalted butter (I used one stick of butter, melted, plus some applesauce)
  • 1 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 1/2 whole wheat flour)
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup walnuts (optional) (I used almonds, chopped)
  • 1 cup raisins or dried cranberries (optional)


You don't need a mixer for this recipe.
1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl combine the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Stir in the grated zucchini and then the melted butter. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Stir these dry ingredients into the zucchini mixture. Stir in walnuts, raisins or cranberries if using.
2 Coat each muffin cup in your muffin pan with a little butter or vegetable oil spray. Use a spoon to distribute the muffin dough equally among the cups, filling the cups up completely. Bake on the middle rack until muffins are golden brown, and the top of the muffins bounce back when you press on them, about 25 to 30 minutes. Test with a long toothpick or a thin bamboo skewer to make sure the center of the muffins are done. Set on wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove muffins from the tin let cool another 20 minutes.

Note, if you are including walnuts and dried fruit, you might have more batter than is needed for 12 muffins. I was able to get all the batter into just 12 muffins, but I filled the tins completely, even going a little above the rim of the cups.  They rose a bit when cooking, but it wasn't a problem to overfill them a little bit.  

Homemade Granola Bars

From Brown Eyed Baker

I have never made homemade granola bars before, but now that I know how easy it is, and have this handy formula, I see a lot of homemade granola bars in my future.  I mostly followed the recipe for Fig, Date and Almond Bars, but I subbed out the dates for dried apricots because I didn't have any dates in the house. I also used a little sorghum instead of all the honey, because I didn't have quite enough honey and I did have a jar of sorghum from our trip to Tennessee last year.   But - look at all the possible combinations! I think you could also use different kind of jams, too, but I'm not sure if that would count as a sticky sweetener or a  Will have to keep trying different combinations.  I'm thinking of a dark chocolate, coconut and pecan version..... yum!

Basic Granola Bar Formula:

1. Rolled Grains (2½ cups)
Suggestions: Oats, Rye flakes, Barley flakes, etc.

2. Nuts, Seeds & Spices (1 cup)
Suggestions: Almonds, Walnuts, Pecans, Pistachios, Sunflower Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Cinnamon, Ginger, etc.

3. Sticky Sweetener (1/3 cup + ¼ cup)
Suggestions: Honey, Agave Nectar, Molasses, Maple Syrup (I used sorghum)

4. Dried Fruits (1 cup)
Suggestions: Raisins, Apricots, Dates, Figs, Prunes, Cranberries, Pineapple, etc. (I bet you could use mini chocolate chips, too.  Oooh, and coconut!)

5. Binder (1 cup)
Suggestions: Pureed Dried Fruit, Apple Butter, Peanut Butter, Almond Butter, Unsweetened applesauce, etc.

Fig, Date & Almond Granola Bars

Yield: 8 to 12 bars, depending on how large you cut them

Prep Time: 15 minutes | Bake Time: 25 minutes

1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 + ¼ cup honey (I just used 1/3 cup, about half of which was honey and half was sorghum)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
2½ cups rolled oats
1 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup chopped dried figs
1/3 cup chopped dried dates (I subbed dried apricots)
1/3 cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the honey, applesauce, cinnamon and vanilla extract. Stir in the oats, making sure that it is evenly mixed and all of the oats are moistened. Mix in the almonds, figs, dates and raisins.
3. Turn the mixture out into the baking pan and press into the pan, making sure it is evenly distributed and tightly packed.
4. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in the freezer until the bars are firm, at least 1 hour. Remove from the pan and cut into bars. Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

"Snobby" Joe

My friend Cindy made this for a vegetarian potluck dinner. We all went nuts for it.
It's basically a very thick, nicely spiced tomato-based lentil stew that makes a delicious sandwich filling.
I made it tonight and it was easy and tasty.

1c uncooked lentils
 4c of water
 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
 1 medium onion, diced
 1 green pepper, diced
 2 carrots, diced
 2 gloves garlic
 1 tbs chili powder  (Cindy: "I used an Indian spice called Sambar instead of chili powder - it's a mixture of spices that includes chili powder. You can get it at the Pakistani store on Greenmount and 33rd -- or I can send you all home with some the next time I see you." Heather used madras curry. )
 1.5 tsp oregano
 1 tsp salt
 8 oz tomato sauce
 1/4 c tomato paste
 3 tbs maple syrup
 2 tbs yellow mustard
 4-6 kaiser rolls (or whatever rolls you have)

 1. Put lentils and water in a pot. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 20 minutes until soft. Drain and set aside.
 2. 10 minutes before lentils are done, saute onions, carrots, and peppers in oil. Add garlic, saute.
 3. Add lentils, chili powder, oregano, salt and mix. Add tomato sauce and tomato paste. Cook 10 minutes. Add maple syrup and mustard and heat through.
 4. Turn off and let sit about 10 minutes so flavors can meld. Serve open faced with a scoop of snobby joe on each bun.