Will found a new food blog/website that he likes. We are not forsaking Budget Bytes or avoiding our go-to cookbook, Simply in Season. We’re just…adding variety. Like buying a new spice (which ironically, we finally caved and bought allspice this week…so much new variety!) We had promised ourselves that we would pick recipes for the week from our giant binder of recipes we’ve collected over the past couple years, from homemade favorites to mom’s best dishes to copies of fancy recipes from library cookbooks. But alas, we forgot about that and during the week Will had discovered this enticing new website called Food 52. He started showing me the fancy sounding, yet healthy and simple foods, on the site and I was sold. The first recipes he offered up were a lentil and yogurt dinner as well as a corn chowder. Needless to say, both made it on the docket for dinner this week.

We tried the lentil dish first, called Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt. Had we had the French lentils on hand (we had green and red, but wanted to do the recipe the way it was written for the first try), we would have only needed the yogurt. How great is that? Using protein-rich grains and a whole bunch of spices, this dinner can be easily produced. And it was filling, delicious, simple, nutritious, and as Will described it, “earthy.” We also enjoyed it again for lunch today and like the site says, the longer it sits and the rice and lentils absorb the onion flavor, the better it gets.

With the lentils, we also cooked up the worlds biggest carrot that we got at the farmers market that morning. We have never seen a carrot that large, so of course we had to buy one! We forgot to take a picture of just the carrot, but you can see the final product of what it became in the picture below.

Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt (adapted from Food 52; serves 4)
For the Mujaddara
3/4 cup Puy (French) lentils…aka the brown ones
1 tsp salt, divided
1 cup jasmine rice
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp olive oil
6 cups onion (about 3 medium onions) halved and thinly sliced
For the yogurt
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp spicy paprika (we used a bit of paprika and a bit of cayenne to make our “spicy” paprika)
3 tbsp freshly chopped mint
Juice and zest of half a lemon (we just used a few drops of lemon juice from a bottle)
1/4 tsp salt

Put lentils, 1/4 tsp salt, and 4 cups water into a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer lentils with the lid on until soft , about 20 minutes. Drain and set aside. Once the lentils are prepared (or simultaneously), take 1 cup of rice and 2 cups of water, put in a pot, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer with lid on for 15 minutes.

Get a saute pan warming over medium-low heat and add butter and 2 tbsp olive oil. When butter has melted, toss in onions and toss to incorporate butter and oil. After about 5 minutes, the onions will have softened slightly and started to release their liquid. Raise heat to medium and cook 10-12 minutes more, until onions are browned and soft, stirring occasionally. Once browned, add last tbsp of olive oil and raise heat to high, cooking another 3-4 minutes until onions are crispy and some slightly charred. Try not to stir too much at this point.

Combine lentils, rice, and onions in a pot and let sit for 15 minutes, absorbing flavors. While flavors are mixing, make yogurt by combining all of the ingredients in a bowl and stirring. Serve mujaddara warm with a dollop of yogurt on top!

Recipe: Food 52: Mujaddara with Spiced Yogurt

Cumin Carrot 
Carrots or one large carrot, chopped
A little bit of olive oil
A little bit of cumin
A little bit of garam masala 

Combine ingredients. Bake in 400 degree oven for 40 minutes, stirring once. Voila!

The closest thing to a recipe Will used: Epicurious: Caramelized Cumin Roast Carrots


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