Thursday, August 8, 2013

Day 470 Survivor's Kitchen

In the last few years, I have come to love the flavors of India and that part of the world.  Amazingly enough, most of the spices used in that cooking are very similar to those used in Mexican foods which are a staple here in Texas.   When I open my pantry, I'm not sure whether I'm smelling Mexican or Indian but either way I love the smell.

Going back to the list of foods that are considered to be antiangiogenesis - foods that starve the blood vessels that feed cancer cells -  I am constantly looking for recipes that include several at the same time.   I recently tried a recipe by Aarti Sequeira from the Food Network and it is a winner.   There is such an explosion of flavor when I put a forkful in my mouth that it surprises me every time.   Delicious.   Here it is.   Please try it.  Also, this is a large dish for someone cooking for just one so I can attest it freezes well and does not lose any of its flavor in the thawing and reheating process.

Lebanese Lentils, Rice and Caramelized Onions
1 cup brown or green lentils, sorted and rinsed (AA)
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (AA)
1 tsp. cumin seeds
1/2 tsp. cracked black peppercorns
3 medium red onions, thinly sliced (AA)
Kosher salt
3/4 cup basmati rice
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1-inch piece cinnamon stick (AA)
1/2 tsp. cayenne
2 tbsp. pinenuts (AA)
Squeeze of fresh lemon juice (AA)
Greek yogurt, for serving, optional (AA)
Throw the lentils into a medium saucepan.  Fill with enough cold water to cover the lentils by about an inch.  Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn down to a simmer and cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, about 20 minutes.  Drain and set aside.
As the lentils cook, put a skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil.  Allow the oil to warm and then drop in the cumin seeds and cracked peppercorns and cook, shaking the pan until the cumin seeds darken a little, about 1 minute.
Add the onions, sprinkle with a dash of salt and cook until they turn dark caramel brown, stirring often.  This will take about 15 minutes.  (Took longer for me)  Splash the onions with a little water if they stick to the bottom of the pan.  You'll know they're done both by their deep chestnut color and by the slight crispiness developing on some of the onions.
Using a slotted spoon or spatula, remove about half of the onions to a paper towel-lined plate, these are for garnish later.  Into the remaining onions, sprinkle in the ground cumin, cayenne and then add the cinnamon stick, saute about 1 minute.  (Oh my goodness, the aroma at this point is mouthwatering)
Add rice and cook, stirring gently until some of the rice grains start to brown.  Quickly add the cooked lentils, 3 cups water and 1 1/2 tsp salt, bring to a boil.  Reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook 30 minutes.  (Only needed about 17 minutes to the perfect consistency when I made so check frequently)
The water should be completely evaporated and rice should be tender.  Turn off the heat, keep the lid on, and allow the rice to steam undisturbed for about 5 minutes.  In the meantime, toast the pinenuts and used for topping along with reserved onions, a squeeze of lemon juice and dollop of yogurt.
I did not have the pinenuts on hand and did not use either the lemon juice or yogurt.   However, there is a little heat from the cayenne and next time, I'll make the Indian yogurt condiment, Raita,  to accompany.  Also, I used only two onions and mixed all of them into the dish rather than reserving some to use as a topping.   I am thinking that I also want to try this as a filling for a Mexican tamale.  Yummmmmm Yummmmm...........   Hope you'll try and let me know if you like this as much as I do.

Precious Lord, Jehovah Rapha,
I know that You have incorporated healing into the foods You created to feed, satisfy and nourish us.  That You for the research that is revealing more and more of the intelligent design You incorporated into every aspect of this world that You spoke into existence.
Father, we thank You for the supernatural healings that You make part of our lives as well.  We ask today that You touch the life of every person fighting the enemy cancer.  Guide us to the right foods, the right exercise, the right lifestyle that will fight that enemy and enhance our quality of life.
Remind us daily, Father, that the best quality of life is in knowing and loving You.
Thank You Father.  Thank You.
These things we ask in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.


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