Vegan Split Pea Khoresht Recipe

What do you think of a recipe that begins with making french fries?  You’ll want to make extra to account for the snacking you’ll do while cooking everything else.  In fact, the day I photographed this I made fries with our lunch and prepared the khoresht for dinner.  Khoresht is pretty much a term to encompass anything you’re making as a sauce or stew to serve with rice.  Like  lot of Persian cooking there are many steps but when you are in a food allergy household long cooking times stop being as big of an issue when you’re faced with the prospect of a new(ish) mix of the usual suspects: potatoes and rice.  You can’t sub frozen fries here because I’ve tried, in the interest of shortcuts, and it just wasn’t the same.

See here for how to make Persian Rice (just make the white rice, omit the steps with the lima bean mixture).  You could probably just serve this with your favorite style of rice if you prefer.

Supplies

Measuring cups

Knives, peelers, cutting board

Large pan for frying and large saucepan for the split peas

Bowls

Ingredients

2 cups of dried split peas, rinsed and drained (you can soak these overnight if you like or start them dry)

2 very large russet potatoes (peeled and sliced into fries, soaked in hot tap water in a bowl for 10 minutes, then drained and patted dry)

11 large white mushrooms, sliced (you can use an egg slicer for this, here is my favorite that can handle mushrooms: (amazon affiliate link))

1 1/4 cups canola oil

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, minced

2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

1 tablespoon turmeric

1 teaspoon salt

Salt to taste on the fries

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon dried parsley

3 cups of vegetable broth (I use a tomato free version)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Directions

Take your rinsed 2 cups of split peas and put them into 9 cups of boiling water.  You’ll want to skim the foam that comes to the top because you don’t want your pot to boil over.  I believe it is just denatured protein coming off the split peas.  Boil them until they are pretty much falling apart, from dried split peas without soaking this took 45 minutes.  Drain and set aside.  Wipe the pot you used to boil them, you’ll be making the khoresht in that pot.

While your split peas are cooking, prepare your russets for frying (you’ll also want to peel and slice your potatoes for tahdig if you’re making persian rice as mentioned above, you can also rinse and soak your rice right now, it just needs to soak for two hours at a minimum).  Soak them in hot tap water for ten minutes, this is a tip from Cook’s Illustrated to get them crispy when they are cooked.  Drain them and pat them dry.  You’ll want to heat your oil on high and when the oil is hot you’ll add one layer of potatoes.  Watch them, I start with high heat and then adjust one setting lower (on my electric stove) so they don’t burn or cook too quickly.  It takes some practice to get them how you want them.  When they are nicely golden, put them on some paper towels in a dish to cool, add salt while they’re still hot.  A sprinkling will do.  Continue until all your fries are made.

Now, remember the saucepan you wiped down?  Heat it on medium high and swirl your tablespoon of olive oil around, add your minced onion and cook for a few minutes until they are soft.  Now add your garlic and splices (turmeric, paprika, salt, pepper, parsley) and stir to coat.  After a minute or two, add your sliced mushrooms.  I read in Martha Stewart Living that you don’t want to stir mushrooms too much while they cook or they release their juices and don’t brown.  So don’t stir too often but no big deal if you do.  If things get sticky on the bottom of the pan, feel free to deglaze with a bit of water.  Cook on medium now for 5-10 minutes until the mushrooms are cooked.  Add your fries, if you think you’ve made too many, hold off on putting them all in and see how the pan fills with your other ingredients first.  Now add your split peas, broth, and lemon juice, stir and bring to a simmer and adjust the heat so it simmers steadily.  I put a lid slightly off kilter on the pot and reduce to low.  Now let it simmer, stirring from time to time, for 2 hours.  I told you this was a long one!

You can make this the day before and it will be great, an hour before you’re ready to serve, get your rice going (if you’re making persian rice as linked to above) and you’ll see that this sauce gets nice and thick.  I know the pictures make all the beautiful fries look like they are hidden but the flavor is all there and the russets help thicken your sauce.  My mom makes this with dried lemon and tomato in it as well but she helped me adapt this because we’ve been mostly tomato free because of R’s allergy.

Slow Cooked Refried Beans Recipe

The first time I made this recipe I told the friend that shared it with me (I followed most of her suggested variations though I used more salt) that I felt empowered.  That may seem silly but every time I make something from scratch I feel better and better about the food I make for my family.  Do I mess up?  Often!  I think you have to keep trying though.

One of our “fast” food options is rice and beans so making refried beans from scratch kind of goes against the “fast” aspect of things but this is easy to throw together and you can freeze it so I think it is still a fast recipe.  You’ll need a slow cooker, something I thought as a vegetarian family we’d never get real use out of!  More photos here.

Supplies

Knife, cutting board

Slow Cooker

Sieve

Food Processor/Blender/Potato Masher

Ingredients

3 cups of rinsed dry pinto beans (no need to soak!) (about 1 lb. 3 oz.)

1 onion, quartered

4 ounce can of hatch chiles

5 cloves of minced garlic

4 teaspoons of salt

1 1/2 teaspoons of black pepper plus 1/4 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

9 to 10 cups of water (I do 10 because when you’re filling cups quickly under running water they don’t fill up entirely)

Fresh lime juice

Directions

Put the beans, onion, chiles, garlic, salt, pepper, and cumin in the slow cooker then add the 9 cups of water.  Stir, close the lid and set your slow cooker on high for 6 hours.  My friend remarked that hers takes only 4 or 5 hours on high and the recipe calls for 8 on high but my cooker only has a 6 hour high setting and it worked well.  You’ll need to add more water as needed, you don’t want too much to evaporate so maybe adjust your heat settings as needed as well.

The beans are so very good, you drain them and reserve the liquid.  I run mine through the food processor and add liquid until the consistency is as you like it.  I also add lime juice for flavor.  Now that we’ve made this a few times I can estimate you’ll get 3 pounds of beans if you run them all into the food processor but we’ve been reserving whole cooked beans to eat because they are so good that way.

I love that this is tomato free, flavorful, and much cheaper than canned beans.

Check out the other recipes on the 7/22 Allergy Friendly Friday at CybelePascal.com!  This week the theme is farmstand recipes so I was hesitant to include refried beans but I got the go ahead (on twitter) to post it.

Marinara Sauce Recipe

This one is simple but very handy and cost effective (under $5 for ingredients)!  I originally started making Deborah Madison’s version for a pizza sauce in Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone (amazon affiliate link, it is on page 507) but it has changed a lot, especially with the six pound Costco sized can of crushed tomatoes ($2.69 each).  You can make the equivalent of about 7 jars of store-bought marinara (they’re usually a pound a jar) for a fraction of the cost.  I make a batch put it into freezer ziploc bags, get as much air out as possible, then lay them flat until frozen.  Laying them flat helps with defrosting later on.

My mother in law and I call this one of our “fast food” options because you can take out some sauce, some white rice pasta (tinkyada is our favorite, amazon affiliate link) or quinoa and frozen veggies and you have yourself a dinner you can make with a baby on your hip.

Sometimes I put in mushrooms or red peppers, there are many options, but this is the cheapest and easiest.  If I have fresh herbs I use those, if I am out of fresh garlic I use granulated garlic, so it is flexible.  Here are the photos.

Supplies

5 quart saucepan with lid or splatter screen

Cutting board, knife

Ingredients

6 pound 10 ounce can of crushed tomatoes

6 ounce can of tomato paste

1 medium onion, diced

1/2 a head of garlic (about 12 cloves) crushed

4 tablespoons of olive oil

4 tablespoons of sugar

3 tablespoons of dried basil

3 tablespoons of dried parsley

1/2 tablespoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon pepper

2 teaspoons salt (and to taste)

Directions

Heat your pan on medium, add oil and heat until shimmering.  Add your diced onion and fry until translucent.  Then add your sugar, garlic, and spices.  Fry another minute or two and then add the crushed tomatoes slowly (they will splatter coming out of the can).  Add the whole can of tomato paste.  You’ll see a picture below with additional basil and parsley, I started with two tablespoons of each and it wasn’t enough so I added more.  Adjust your spices and seasonings to taste after they’ve had a chance to cook together a little.  Get the sauce to simmer and then reduce to low, put the lid on a little off kilter so that your sauce doesn’t splatter but air can get out.  Cook it for an hour to meld and  reduce the liquid, then taste and adjust your spices as you like.

Once it has cooled, put a quart ziploc bag inside a measuring cup (I use a 2 cup pyrex, amazon affiliate link) on a kitchen scale (amazon affiliate link to the one I use) and set it to zero.  Then you can measure one or two pounds of sauce per bag.  I actually do 2 pound bags because rice pasta soaks sauce up really fast and you need more of it for a meal.  Mark the bag with the date so you make sure to rotate batches in and out of the freezer.  You can also mark if they have extra ingredients, this one is good for wheat free pizza but I make versions with veggies inside for other dinners.

You can also add oregano but I find dried oregano makes my food taste dusty (anyone else find this?) so I use it sparingly or not at all.  It is quite nice fresh but even brand new dried oregano is not my thing.

Persian Lima Bean Rice Recipe

This recipe has gradually been something I’ve made my own.  First, I made it vegetarian by leaving out the beef.  Then, when E’s allergies became fully known I left out the margarine/butter and didn’t serve this dish with cucumber yogurt (there exists ricera’s rice milk yogurt which we do eat but it is vanilla and isn’t suited for this sort of thing).  I took lots of photos to help show this process.  You’ll want to do some prep here and there to make the final assembly easier.  I’ve posted photos here so do look through them to get an idea of all the steps to follow.

Supplies

Large 5 quart saucepan (I use all clad but it can be nonstick)
Large mesh strainer
Bowls
Frying pan

Ingredients

2 large peeled and sliced russet potatoes (enough to cover the bottom of the saucepan)
2 15oz cans of lima beans (or 1, or a 10z bag of frozen lima beans, this is really flexible, my daughter loves to eat the beans so I put extra)
1/2 a large onion (use the other half to make tomato onion salad to serve with this)
3 cloves of garlic
1  tablespoon turmeric
6 tablespoons dill weed
1 teaspoon salt and  1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons canola and 2 tablespoons olive oil
Three cups of basmati rice (Costco sells nice large bags of this, it is a great deal), rinsed until the water runs clear and then soaked at least two hours or overnight

Directions

This makes tons of food so you can halve it or use leftovers for lunch the next day.

You have three layers to make, the tahdig (which is the potato crust at the bottom of your pan), the rice, and the lima bean mixture to put between layers of rice.

As stated above, the rice has to be rinsed until the water runs clear, then soaked overnight or at least 2 hours.  I usually do the overnight method.  So, you run water into a bowl with the rice and swish it around with your hand gently.  Drain and repeat until the water is no longer cloudy.  This may take quite a few times.  Cook’s illustrated suggests when rinsing rice you can just run water over it in a sieve but I feel like that would take more water though I’ve never tested the difference.

To make the lima bean portion fry the diced onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft, add turmeric, your crushed garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the dill & salt plus pepper too.  Fry more and then add the rinsed beans if using canned beans or your frozen beans.  Fry until a little brown.  Set aside for now (I sometimes make this in advance and cover it in the fridge until I need it when preparing the rice.

Put rice in the saucepan and fill water to an inch above it.  Bring to a boil and boil about a minute.  Check the rice, put a grain on your finger and use your nail to break it in two.  You want the inside to still be a little hard.  Drain as soon as possible if this is the case and run cold water on the rice so it stops cooking.

Put the saucepan on the stove and put the canola oil to cover the pan bottom.  Heat it on medium high and cover the pan bottom with the potatoes (I put in extra because E likes the soft potatoes but you really just need to cover the bottom of the pan).  Then layer a third of your rice, then 2 tablespoons of dill, then half the lima bean mixture, then rice, 2 tablespoons of dill, lima bean mixture, and then rice on top.  Poke 4 holes in the rice and put a bit of olive oil in each hole (a tablespoon of olive oil total).

Put a dish towel over the pan lid and hold it on with a bowl when it goes on the pan.  Increase the heat to high until when you test a wet finger on the top of the pan’s bottom third it hisses.  Then turn to low for 40 mins to an hour.  When you remove everything to serve you mix the rice and beans and top with the potatoes.  I serve this with a tomato and onion salad with a lemon and olive oil  dressing (recipe to follow).

It gets easier to make but it is kind of a lot of steps. Persian cooking is not usually quick.  Arguably this is far removed from the real thing but people enjoy eating it when I serve it for company.  My siblings don’t mind it either and they are not vegetarians at all.

I am linking this to Cybele Pascal’s allergy friendly friday, here!  I am also linking to Diet, Dessert and Dogs’ Wellness Weekend, click through from some great allergy friendly and vegan ideas!

Salad With Cilantro Lime Dressing, Brown Rice Couscous, and Roasted Curry Chickpeas Recipe

(Linked to Cybele Pascal’s 3/25/11 Allergy Friendly Friday, click through for other allergy friendly links!)

I posted pictures (note the expert mushroom slices above, they were done by my husband, I still have a lot to learn about using a knife properly but mushrooms taste better when he chops them so thinly), the cilantro lime dressing recipe, and the roasted curry chickpeas recipe.  Here’s where it all comes together!  Maybe it is silly to have a recipe for a salad as I suppose this is more like a “meal idea” but at any rate, here goes nothing. . .

Supplies

2 quart saucepan

Knife, Peeler, Cutting Board

Ingredients

Green Leaf Lettuce

Mushrooms

Onions

Red Peppers

Tomatoes

Cucumbers

Carrots

(Any other veggies you like, we’ve used Jicama even)

1 cup brown rice couscous cooked to package directions or quinoa (red or regular: amazon affiliate link) and water or veggie broth

Directions

To make the quinoa, you just need to use 2 cups of liquid to every 1 cup of quinoa.  Rinse the quinoa, add it to the liquid in the pot and heat until boiling.  Reduce heat to low, cover and set your timer for 15 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.  Fluff with a fork before serving.  We usually eat this salad with quinoa but for the pictures we used brown rice couscous by Lundberg because we’d had quinoa tabbouleh the day before.  My husband likes this with red quinoa over the regular sort and I do enjoy it that way but most people say there’s not a difference between regular and red quinoa.

Make a base of lettuce, add your grain of choice, top with veggies, then salt to taste, add roasted chickpeas, and finally drizzle with dressing.

Trust me, it is delicious!  I don’t even miss ranch dressing with this one.