This recipe comes courtesy of my friend’s mother. It’s “unstuffed” cabbage because it contains all the ingredients of the stuffed variety, but the meat is formed into meatballs, which cook in the sauce along with sliced cabbage. This is a very simple dinner that pairs well with crusty bread and with lots of different herbs, if you’re into seasonings.
Mix the other meatball ingredients before you add the meat
Use your hands to mix the ground meat in
Make walnut-sized balls
Chop the end off your cabbage
Cut the cabbage into one-inch roundels
If some core is present in a roundel, cut around it
Cut several 3- or 4-inch-long chunks from each roundel
Bring the tomato mixture to a boil
Add the cabbage to the boiling tomato mixture
Place the meatballs on top of the cabbage
Meatballs, hanging out!
Cover and cook until the meatballs set
Then stir and place the sauce and cabbage on top of the meatballs, cover, and cook again
Oh yes. You knew this was coming. I have, like, fifty standard risotto flavors up there in my noggin. You were due for one.
All the raw stuff in the pan.
OK, we’re cookin’…
Arborio rice goes in!
Add your water.
It’s getting there…
It’s done when it adheres to itself a bit, and comes off the side of the pan easily when you stir.
Never cooked lentils before? Neither had I before inventing this recipe. It’s pretty much foolproof. Hooray for curry!
Measure out your lentils
I’m using this fancy organic stuff… not for any reason, really
Boil the lentils with your other ingredients…
…and wait until all of the liquid is absorbed.
Pretty good plain!
Coconut Curried Lentils: even better with something creamy!
Chraimi is a Sephardic dish I’ve had at my aunt and uncle’s house on the occasion of many Jewish holidays. It’s a garlicky, tomatoey paste for spreading on your favorite protein. It works best on fish–especially salmon and tilapia, which I’ve used here–but I’ve also done this with tofu, and I’m sure you could use chicken as well. Thanks to my cousin Sharonie for the recipe. I’ve been eating this at her house for years, and always wondered how to make it!
Raw ingredients in the bowl
Make a paste!
Cook the onion until it’s translucent
Add the tomato paste…
…and you’re ready to spread it on your protein!
I’ve coated my tilapia with the chraimi
All baked and ready!
I was going to call this one “Qualifying Exams Quinoa,” but then I realized that the title wouldn’t be descriptive enough (despite the fact that I have, in fact, just taken my first qualifying exam). But this one’s all about the chocolate.
Mix all of the sticky stuff together with the quinoa!
…add the soymilk…
…and wait for it to absorb.
Dark Chocolate Dairy-Free Quinoa Pudding
I usually make these with meat, but I tried two veggie recipes this week that really worked. One is savory-sweet, while the other is just plain savory. *Both* times I meant to take a picture of the finished product with the dipping sauce, these delicious little rice envelopes disappeared too fast for me to remember! Stuffed grape leaves, popular in Greek, Turkish, and eastern European cuisine, are a perfect finger food for parties. Or you could just, you know, eat them all yourself.
Stuffed Grape Leaves!
You can buy jarred grape leaves at lots of specialty stores, or in supermarkets with aisles for international foods. Or grab them online!
Wash your leaves in cold water to get the brine off.
Toss the butter or oil, onions, and spices together.
Cook everything until the onions begin to go translucent.
Add the rice and cook it dry for a few minutes.
Now just cook it like rice, with water and stock.
Lay your leaves out vein-side up.
Place a tablespoon-sized bit of rice at the bottom of the leaf, in the center.
Roll the bottom up…
…then fold one side over…
…and the other…
…and roll the whole thing all the way to the end!
Place your leaves in a glass dish.
Pour a mixture of boiling water, olive oil, and lemon juice over the leaves.
Place a plate or some other heavy-ish weight on top. Bake until the water boils off, or drain it off when you’re tired of waiting.
My best friend brought me a lovely salami (a pepperoni, actually) from Vermont this summer, and I decided to make a pasta sauce with it. It’s a thick mixture of some very basic ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen. Very simple, but very tasty.
Not very many ingredients in this one!
Chop it up
Cook it all together
Coat your pasta with the sauce, and you’re all done!