Spiced Lentils

This is from the original (not new) edition of The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. (The new edition has a lower-fat version called Spiced Lentils with Spinach and Apples, which omits the coconut.) I haven't made it in ages because I didn't have the recipe around, but I finally found it after figuring out I needed to google "spiced lentils" rather than "lentil curry." I'm pretty sure I usually increase the amounts of spices, and I've always used sweetened coconut 'cause that's what's been available. It's good with yogurt raita, served over brown rice.

Spiced Lentils

11/2 cups raw lentils
2 Tbs. butter
2 large cloves of garlic, crushed
1 cup minced onion
1 large stalk celery – chopped
1 tsp. salt
1 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp. powdered ginger
1/2 tsp. turmeric
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
a few Tbs. of water, as needed
freshly-grated black pepper to taste
juice from 1 large lemon
2 cups chopped tart apple (approx. 2 large ones)
cayenne pepper, to taste

Cook the lentils in 2 1/4 cups water. Bring to boil, then cover and lower heat to simmer 30-40 minutes, or until tender.

While the lentils are cooking, cook everything else (except the apples) until tender (use a deep, heavy skillet), adding water, if necessary, to avoid sticking.

Add the chopped apples to the saute, cook 10 minutes more (covered), and then combine this mixture with the lentils in a casserole.

Nissua (Finnish Cardamom bread)

From here, with some changes. It was better after it sat for a day or so. I think somehow it took time for the cardamom flavor to really sink into the bread. I tried making it in two gigantic loaf pans instead of three freeform loaves, and it made the bread slightly too dense.


  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup margarine BUTTER
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (MORE - 1 TBS?)
  • 7 1/2 cups bread flour (OR REGULAR)
  • 1 egg, beaten, for glaze
  1. Heat the milk in a small saucepan until it bubbles, then remove from heat. Stir in the butter, sugar and salt until melted. Let cool until lukewarm. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
  2. Pour milk mixture into a large bowl. Beat in eggs, 1 1/2 cup flour, cardamom and yeast mixture. Cover and let stand for 20 to 30 minutes, or until bubbly.
  3. Stir in the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and supple, about 8 minutes. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
  4. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into three equal pieces and then divide each piece into thirds. Roll out with your hands until the pieces are long enough to braid. Braid three pieces together to form a loaf; repeat twice to make three loaves. Place on lightly greased baking sheets and let rise for 40 minutes, until nearly doubled. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  5. Beat an egg and brush the surface of the bread with the beaten egg.
  6. Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes, until golden brown. Move to a wire rack to cool completely.


From Fields of Greens, which I don't have with me in hard-copy anymore, so I stole it from the kind person who reprinted it here.

4½ tsp. yeast (2 packages)
2 cups warm water at 110 degrees (to proof the yeast)
1 T. sugar
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
5½ cups white flour
2 tsp. salt
Dried rosemary, ground in spice grinder or with mortar & pestle. I don't measure it and I don't think I've ever added too much by accident. Fresh chopped rosemary never seems to add any discernible flavor.

Oil for brushing the focaccia

Coarse sea salt (or kosher salt)

Combine the yeast, ½ cup of warm water and the sugar in a large bowl. Let sit for 10 minutes, until foamy. Add the olive oil and remaining 1½ cups of warm water. In another bowl, combine the flour, rosemary, and salt. Add it to the wet mixture 1 cup at a time. You may have to knead the last cup of flour into the dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead vigorously for 5-10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep dough from sticking. It will start out very sticky but should get smoother and more cohesive as you go. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, turn to coat the surface, cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel, and allow it to rise in a warm place for 90 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees and lightly oil 2 9x13-inch baking dishes. Turn the dough out onto the counter, divide in half and press each piece into the oiled dish. Cover and let rise for another 30 minutes. Dimple the dough with your fingertips, brush with oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Place in the over, reduce temperature to 375 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden. Transfer to a rack and cool.

another brownie recipe

I just made these using "pastry flour" (white, not whole wheat) from the bulk bins at Whole Foods (instead of cake flour) and the discs of unsweetened chocolate from Trader Joe (I used 38 of the discs.) I used salted butter and didn't add any additional salt, and I'm trying to keep the oven temp pretty exact, courtesy of my new thermometer. I didn't do the aluminum foil deal, I just greased a regular 9x13 with a mixture of butter and oil (because the only pan spray around here is faux-butter-flavored, ugh) and put the batter directly into it. To be updated when I see how they turn out...which is certainly not going to be after the two-hour waiting period suggested by the recipe.

Aaand they're done. Notes:
1) my oven's temperature fluctuates like crazy in a way that can't really be explained by heat loss from opening the door
2) these took 35ish minutes before I felt they wouldn't be too gooey in the center. But given (1), who knows how this would be in another oven.
3) I need to buy wooden toothpicks.
4) Butter + canola oil is fine for greasing a pan, at least for brownies and blondies. I think butter was fine when I made banana bread, too. Supposedly the water content is a problem, but in practice it's been fine. Project "I am too cheap and lazy to buy regular non-stick spray" is a continued success.


Traditionally this is made with milk or cream, but I make it with yogurt because it tastes better.

Potatoes (maybe 6 small and one larger Russet)
1 small head of cabbage
1 onion
~2 cups of yogurt

Cut potatoes into pieces and drop into boiling, salted water. Boil until soft.
Meanwhile, slice up cabbage and onions. With cabbage I go for pieces about the size of a finger. Onions too, I guess. Heat some oil in a second large pot on medium. Saute the onions for a while, until almost soft, and then dump in the cabbage and stir around a bit. After you get tired of that, add some water (maybe 1/2 cup?) (use reserved water from the potatoes if you have it) and a few sprinkles of salt. Cover the pot and let the cabbage steam/braise until soft but not mushy.

Drain the potatoes, mash them up with the yogurt, then add that to the pot of cabbage. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Lentil soup w/ tomato & cumin

EDIT: I finished cooking this, and ate it, and it wasn't bad but it wasn't that great. It's possible the frozen spinach was off in some way, but it might just not be a flavor combo that I like.
Usually I make very plain lentil soup - celery, onions, carrots, lentils, maybe spinach or parsley. So this is newish.

And as a side note, lately I have been better with doing mise en place - the deal where you take out all your ingredients at the beginning and measure, peel, and chop whatever needs measuring, peeling, and chopping before you start combining anything - and it really makes cooking feel more enjoyable. It feels more orderly and less chaotic, which makes it more relaxing and lets me enjoy the process rather than just the results.

Adapted from http://kalynskitchen.blogspot.com/2008/02/vegetarian-lentil-soup-recipe-with.html

1 T oil
1 T ground cumin
2 small/medium onions, chopped small
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. ground coriander
fresh ground black pepper to taste
2 tsp. paprika
1 1/2 cups brown lentils
5ish cups of water
1 TBS-ish of bouillon powder
1 can (14.5 oz.) diced tomatoes with juice
2 cups frozen chopped spinach
salt to taste

Heat oil in large heavy-bottomed pot. Stir in onion, minced garlic, cumin, ground coriander, and black pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until onions are softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the paprika and cook about 1 minute more.

Add lentils, water, and bouillon powder (or maybe add that in after lentils are done cooking, since the salt in it might make them not get tender so easily), reduce heat, and simmer uncovered about 30-40 minutes, or until lentils are quite tender.

Add diced tomatoes and juice and chopped spinach and simmer uncovered 20-30 more minutes, until soup ingredients are well blended and lentils are starting to break apart. Season to taste with salt and serve hot.