Spinach with Eggs or Yumurtalı Ispanak

I have recently introduced my husband to this fantastic Turkish dish called Yumurtalı Ispanak (Spinach with Eggs). Now he keeps asking for it. Yes, I know; I created this monster. Anyway, this is a good example of Turkish comfort food and I sometimes crave it myself too.

The day I made the decision to make Spinach and Eggs, though, I didn’t have any spinach in my fridge –neither did onion. So, on my way back from my singing lesson the other day, I popped in to our local supermarket and grabbed some spinach and onion.

spinach eggs

There are a few different varieties of this dish back home. One of them uses mincemeat which can be substituted with vegetarian mince easily. Some people love it with chilli flakes and cumin and sometimes it is eaten with garlic yogurt, too. What I have here, however, just plain Spinach and Eggs.

Spinach with Eggs or Yumurtalı Ispanak
Serves 2

Ingredients:

2 bunches English spinach
1 medium brown onion, chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 eggs
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Method:
• Wash the spinach in cold water a few times until all the dirt is washed away. Discard the stems and chop roughly.
• Peel the onion and chop.
• Heat 2 tablespoons vegetable of in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until the onion is completely soft. Add the spinach and cook until it starts to wilt. Season with salt and pepper.
• Create two holes for eggs and break them into the holes. I usually try and spread the egg white as it binds the spinach nicely. And when it is time to serve the dish it is a lot easier to lift it with a spatula like a galette or omelette. Put the lid on and cook until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still soft.
• Sprinkle with extra black pepper and serve immediately.

Ajoy Joshi’s Moong Dal with Tadka Tempering

moong dal tadka tempering

Nilgiri’s has always been one of my favourite Indian restaurants in Sydney. For me, it’s an education, an institution of fine Indian cuisine. This may sound like Nilgiri’s is closing its doors but they are just moving to a new location. Change is good; it freshens things up. So we are excited about the new location. And to celebrate, I have a recipe from Nilgiri’s. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes: The recipe below is Ajoy Joshi’s very own but I had to make some changes. Because, the recipe yields a lot of dal. When you think of it, it’s just the two of us. So, I halved the dal ingredients, however, used the exact measurements for the tadka tempering. It just worked perfectly.

Moong Dal with Tadka Tempering

Ingredients:
2 cups moong dal (mung lentils)
8 cups cold water (tap water)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

Method:
Step 1: Wash and drain lentils.
Step 2: Add turmeric and oil to the lentils along with 8 cups of water and bring water to the boil.
Step 3: Cook lentils until soft, add the salt, turn off the heat and set aside (mung dal should be soft to touch when cooked).

Now for the tadka or ‘tempering’:
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon asafoetida powder
1 teaspoon ground chilli
salt, to taste
juice of half a lemon
2-3 fresh coriander leaves

Method:
Step 1. For tadka, or ‘tempering’, heat oil in a pan and let it smoke, remove from the heat and crackle the cumin seeds.
Step 2. Add the asafoetida and then chilli powder.
Step 3. Pour the hot oil (this is called the ‘tempering’) on top of the cooked lentils.
Step 4. Add lemon juice and the coriander leaves and serve immediately!!

Nilgiri’s new home address:
Shop 3, 283 Military Road
Cremorne

Savoury Herbed French Toast, VegFusion Style

Savoury Herbed French Toast, VegFusion Style is a savoury version of French toast; a total contrast to its sweet cousins. They make excellent lunches so I make them for me and my husband during the weekends. They are also a great way of using stale, left over bread. I always serve them with a little bit of raw salad as it freshens things up a great deal. In this recipe, I used fresh tomato salad but you can use whatever you have in your fridge at the time. Green salad is another alternative or even coleslaw would go well.

You may have noticed the fact that the recipe does not have much in the way of measurements. The reason for that is because I never use measurements for a recipe like this myself while making savoury French toasts.

The recipe below serves 2 hungry people.

Savoury Herbed French Toast, VegFusion Style

Savoury Herbed French Toast, VegFusion Style

Ingredients for Tomato Salad:
1 large tomato, sliced
Extra virgin olive oil
Salt to taste
Lemon juice

Ingredients for French Toast:
2 eggs
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Dried oregano
Dried mint (spearmint)
10 slices French stick (stale works better than fresh)
Oil for pan-frying
Fresh chives

Method:
To make the tomato salad: slice the tomato and place on serving plates. To make the salad dressing: Whisk together extra virgin olive oil, salt and lemon juice. Drizzle over tomato slices.
To make the French Toast: Crack the eggs in a bowl. Beat the eggs with salt, freshly ground black pepper (if you want, you could use white pepper instead), dried oregano and dried mint (spearmint). Set aside.
• Slice the bread into 10 even slices. Set aside until the frying oil is ready.
• Heat the oil in a heavy-based, large frying pan. Dip the bread into egg mixture and drop them into hot oil. You could do them in batches. Once one side of the bread is golden brown turn them over and fry the other side too.
• Drain the slices on paper towel.
To serve: Arrange French toast on serving plates next to the tomato salad and sprinkle all of them with fresh chives. Serve immediately.

Corn Omelette with Tomato and Cucumber Salad

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Corn Omelette with Tomato and Cucumber Salad is perfect lunch for 2. I make this omelette in an electric non-stick pan, then cut it in half. Serving an omelette with a little bit of salad lightens things up a great deal. It is also nice with a dollop of mayonnaise mixed with Dijon mustard on the side.

Corn Omelette with Tomato and Cucumber Salad
Ingredients:

4 eggs
½ cup frozen corn kernels
1 spring onion
2 twigs continental parsley
1 tbsp or 2 vegetable oil
Salt
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
A pinch black pepper

For Tomato and Cucumber Salad:
6 cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 cucumber (Lebanese), chopped
2 twigs fresh dill, chopped
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
Salt to taste

Method:
• To make the salad: Mix together the tomatoes, cucumber and dill. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar and salt and drizzle over the salad.
• Cook corn kernels in a small pot. Remove from the heat and rinse under cold water. Drain well and set aside.
• In a bowl, lightly whisk eggs with a pinch of salt. Add sweet paprika and black pepper. Add chopped spring onion and parsley.
• Heat the oil in a pan. Whisk the egg mixture one more time and add it to your pan. Swirl it around for even distribution. Sprinkle the cooked corn around and make sure they are submerged in the mixture well.
• When one side of your omelette is browned well, flip it over –you might like to use 2 spatulas for the job. Once it is all browned well, cut it into two with one of the spatulas in the frying pan. Serve immediately with the salad.

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Lentil Salad, Deli Style

Super easy, super delicious. That’s all I have to say about that. Forest Gump 🙂

Lentil Salad, Deli Style

Lentil Salad, Deli Style
Ingredients:
1 tin lentils, drained and rinsed and drained again
4 artichoke hearts in brine, halved
4 chargrilled red peppers, sliced thinly
A handful flat-leaf parsley (also known as Italian or continental parsley)
A few twigs fresh lemon thyme, leaves separated
A big glug extra virgin olive oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Method:
• Combine the lentils, artichoke hearts, red pepper strips, parsley and lemon thyme in a salad bowl.
• Drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice.
• Add salt and pepper. Gently mix well and serve!

Leek and Potato Pasties

VeganMoFo Day 5
Sometimes what you have in the fridge dictates what you are coking that day. Well, I used my last potatoes, one and only leek I had left and the last of my puff pastry.

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These pasties are great the next day. My husband takes them to work as they make great lunches. Enjoy Peoples!

Leek and Potato Pasties
Makes 8 pasties

Ingredients:
4 sheets frozen puff pastry
3 small potatoes, peeled, cooked and mashed
1 large leek, chopped and fried
A handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
Vegetable oil
Salt and pepper
Nigella seeds
Sesame seeds

Method:
• Mix together the potatoes, leeks, parsley, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Set aside.
• Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4/350F.
• Take the puff pastry out of the freezer and wait for about 15 minutes before you add the stuffing.
• Meanwhile, get yourself 2 little bowls and 2 pastry brushes. Fill one bowl with a little bit of plain water and the other one with some vegetable oil.
• Arrange the puff pastry on your bench top. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 2 equal, large strips. Brush the edges with plain water –this will make the edges stick better. Divide the filling equally onto the ends closer to you and fold the other ends over the part with stuffing. Press the edges all around with a fork. Do this with the other pieces.
• Brush your oven tray with some oil and arrange the pasties, leaving enough room around each one as they will expand. Brush with oil and sprinkle each one with nigella and sesame seeds.
• Place the tray in the middle of the oven and bake the pasties until they are golden brown on top as well as the bottom. This usually takes about 15 to 20 minutes although it depends on the oven.
• Serve warm and enjoy!

Spicy Chickpea Puree

I have always been a huge fan of the combination of cumin and coriander which works very well with both eggplants and chickpeas. There are many Middle Eastern dishes using these ingredients.

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I actually made this as a stuffing for baked eggplant and ended up with left-overs –don’t worry, I’m working on the recipe so stay tuned for the recipe peoples. Naturally, the next day, it became my lunch; served on rice cakes with fresh tomato slices. If you are looking for a light lunch option, this one is just right for you!

Ingredients:
1x can chickpeas, drained and rinsed and drained again
4 rice cakes
1 small tomato, washed and sliced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
3 generous tbsp Tofutti Sour Supreme
Juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
Handful flat-leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped
Salt

Method:
• Process the chickpeas, vegan sour cream and lemon juice in a food processor. Scrape the sides and pay attention to the area under the blade –this is usually where you get not so processed bits and pieces. Transfer into a bowl.
• Add the remaining ingredients; parsley, cumin, coriander and salt.
• Spread evenly and generously over rice cakes. Top with sliced tomatoes and enjoy!

Toasted Vegan Faux-Tuna Salad Sandwich

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We used to make tuna salad sandwiches at The Family Tree Restaurant but I think I like the vegan version better. Somehow they are fresher without being fishy although my version is not one of those more sophisticated versions around. I had these sandwiches when John was in London and as being the only one at the time, it was too much for me. So I stuffed roasted baby peppers with the mixture the next day. Don’t worry, I will be posting that as separate recipe.

Vegan Faux-Tuna Sandwich could easily provide you with some interesting variety without the fishiness. It is packed with protein too.

Ingredients:
1 tin chickpeas (420gr), drained and rinsed
1 small carrot, peeled and crated
1 stalk celery, chopped finely
1 tsp Rice Seasoning (I used Nori Komi Furikake brand which is a mixture of sesame seeds, salt, sugar and seaweed)
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
4 tbsp vegan mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Salt
Pepper

Method:
• After draining and rinsing the chickpeas, mash them with a potato masher. You could use a food processor however, you need to be careful as you don’t want them to be too mushy.
• In a bowl, mix the mashed chickpeas, grated carrot, chopped celery, dill, rice seasoning, vegan mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. Mix well to combine.
• Spread the mixture evenly across toasted bread. Cut into triangles and serve.

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Red Lentil Kofta Wraps

I must admit, my red lentil koftas -that I posted yesterday- have been a huge hit. As I can see from the statistics, many people shared it on Facebook. Now this is something else you can make with the koftas.

There was a time when we had this raw-mince koftas in Turkey. Originated from the Eastern part of the country and one and only dish that men make! I remember watching this scene from the parliment on telly; PMs kneading and testing those koftas during office hours -as if they had all the time in the world to waste- by throwing them to the ceiling. Well, it the piece sticks to the ceiling, koftas are ready. If not, carry on kneading. And they did until it was perfect. At the end of the day, it is other people’s money and resources they are wasting. I personally never had any of that uncooked koftas even during my meat-eating days. Last time I was in Turkey, I found out that those raw koftas are banned -I am guessing they caused quite a few parasite infestation in people?

Now they sell the good old red lentil koftas instead. A friend of mine brought a whole pack of them one night to share with other friends. It is because they are still called raw-mince koftas, I was quite sceptic as you can imagine. After their innocence was proven, I decided to have a go. In a pack, you get the koftas, plain wraps, shredded lettuce, sliced onions and lemon wedges. That night, I watched everyone first to learn how to put it alltogether and now I’ll share my experience with you.

Lentil Wraps (1280x960)

To make these delicious wraps you will need:
Red lentil koftas (you know where to find the recipe)
Shredded lettuce
Sliced onion
Lemon wedges
Olive oil
Wraps (I used organic rye wraps that I picked up from Taste Organics)

Take one piece of rye wrap or any other wrap of your choice and place the lentil koftas -3 koftas per sheet- and mash the koftas with fork. Spread the koftas in the middle of each wrap, leaving a 2cm border on the sides and bottom. Add the salad ingredients, drizzle with lemon juice and olive oil. Now you’re not ready to rock but certainly ready to roll. Fold the bottom and the top ends of the wrap up and over the filling and start rolling from the other end -the unfolded end. Once rolled, cut in half and serve!

Avocado Spread with Chives

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I have been planning on using avocados with Parmazano as a spread here and there instead of butter, margarine or mayonnaise. So I managed to fulfill all of that in one go the other day and had a fantastic lunch as a result.

Ingredients:
1 large ripe avocado, halved and stoned
Juice of ½ lemon, freshly squeezed
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 tsp Parmazano or onion powder
1 tbsp snipped chives
Salt and pepper

Method:

  • Mash the avocado with a fork in their skin and transfer into a bowl. Pour over the lemon juice.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and stir well -if you are using Parmazano I recommend you take right amount out on a plate and break the lumps first and then use it.
  • Smear the buns with Avocado Spread with Chives. Place and Bounty Burgers on top and further top it all up with a slice of tomato, lettuce or even wild rocket (aragula) like I did.

Note: Avocado Spread with Chives can also be served as a dip and is great with crackers.

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And enjoy!