Vegan

Asian Ratatouille with Couscous By Ming Tsai

Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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Asian Ratatouille with Couscous

Hopefully you've already seen Ratatouille, a fantastic movie that my kids love. Ratatouille is a traditional country dish made of healthy vegetables that originated in Nice, France. Here's an Eastern spin on this French classic.

Ingredients
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1 small red onion, 1/4-inch dice
1 Japanese eggplant, 1/2- inch dice, skin on
1 red bell pepper, 1/2-inch dice
1 large heirloom tomato, 1/2-inch dice
2 cups (12 ounces) whole wheat instant couscous
2 tablespoon Wanjashan wheat-free organic tamari
3 cups water, boiling
12-15 Thai basil leaves, ripped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions
In a non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat coated lightly with extra virgin olive oil add onion and eggplant and season and cook until soft, about 3 minutes.

Add bell peppers and saute until slightly softened, then add tomato, stir and season.

Meanwhile, make couscous: in a large, heat-proof bowl, combine couscous, tamari and 2 tablespoons olive oil and season. Pour boiling water over and stir quickly to blend and immediately cover bowl with plastic wrap, sealing tightly.

Allow to steam until couscous is tender, about 5-7 minutes. Fluff couscous with the back of a fork and stir in Thai basil ribbons.

Check flavor and season if necessary. To serve, using a ring mold or similar, plate couscous in mold on plate and layer ratatouille on top.

Unmold and drizzle with more extra virgin olive oil and garnish with Thai basil sprig, if desired.

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chef ming tsaiMing Tsai is the host and executive producer of public television series Simply Ming and chef/owner of Blue Ginger restaurant in Wellesley, Mass.

Maha's Lentil Soup By Annie Copps

Monday, March 28, 2011
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sliced irish soda bread

My sister-in-law is a great cook and from a family of great cooks including her mother, three sisters, and sister-in-law. Every meal she has ever prepared for me, mostly traditional foods from her native Syria, is a feast for the senses—she is an instinctive cook and an artist by training and my personal favorite, her lentil soup is my favorite.

Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients
4 medium onions, finely chopped
½ cup olive oil
4 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
6 to 8 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons dry coriander
1 pound dry lentils, rinsed and picked through
2 to 3 tablespoons cumin
Kosher or sea salt
1 bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 tablespoon flour
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ pound vermicelli or angel hair pasta, broken into 1-inch pieces
2 fresh lemons
Serve with fried pita chips or unseasoned croutons

Directions
This is a traditional soup from Syria and Lebanon adas hisem (which translates to "unripe grapes/lentils") it is both vegetarian and vegan, and surprisingly hearty. Start with lots of chopped onions in a healthy amount of olive oil. Then add carrots and lots of garlic. Once the vegetables are softened, stir in some fragrant dried coriander and bright and lemony cumin, as well as dried lentils and enough water to cover the mix by a few inches. Once the lentils have cooked, add a bunch of Swiss chard and toasted vermicelli noodles that have been broken into bits—they cook up and add a creamy flavor and texture. Ladle into serving bowls and give the soup a healthy squeeze of lemon and you are good to GO.

In a large soup pot over medium high heat, saute onions until translucent.

Add garlic and carrots and cook 2 to 3 minutes.

Add coriander, stir well to coat the vegetables, and cook about 2 minutes or until very fragrant.

Add lentils and stir well to coat.

Add enough water to cover the ingredients by 3 inches (about 8 cups). Stir in cumin.

Cook about 30 minutes or until lentils are al dente (softened, but not completely cooked).

Season with salt (about 1 tablespoon).

Add Swiss chard and cook about 10 minutes.

Remove 1 cup of broth and whisk in flour, then whisk back into soup pot.

In a saute pan over medium high heat, saute pasta until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add pasta to soup mixture and cook about 8 minutes more. Ladle into soup bowls and squeeze about 1 tablespoon of lemon juice over the top.

(Courtesy: Yankee Magazine)

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annie coppsAnnie B. Copps is a senior editor at Yankee Magazine. Annie oversees the magazine's food coverage, both as an editor and as a contributor of feature stories and columns.

Slow Foods in Twenty Minutes

Thursday, March 29, 2012
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March 29, 2012

chefset

One of Ana Sortun's new Chef Sets /Brand New Partners

BOSTON — What if all the taste and nutrition of a pound of fresh carrots could be in a 3oz packet in your cabinet? What if you could have all the subtlety and richness of “slow foods” in a jiff – five nights a week? Two prominent area chefs – Barbara Lynch and Ana Sortun – are stepping out of the kitchen trying to change the way we eat.

Ana Sortun, chef and owner of Oleana and Sofra, has created a meal system called Chef Set. It requires you to "chop three fresh ingredients" and combine them with her pre-packaged herbs and grains for a meal in minutes.

Barbara Lynch is chef and owner of six Boston restaurants, including No. 9 Park, the Butcher Shop, and Menton. Her new startup product, BLinc, consists of dehydradted, vegan foods dehydrated and packaged, without additives, for the cook in a hurry to open and add to soup stock or toss with vinegar for an easy salad.

Both women were inspired to work with nutritionists and find solutions that meet their own standards for packaged food--taste, quality and low-calorie.

Lynch insists it couldn't be easier to have eggplant for dinner with her new system. Hardly any skill is required, but she warns, "If you don't know how to boil water, don't buy it!"


A History Lesson For Sarah Palin

By Adam Reilly   |   Tuesday, June 7, 2011
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About the Author
Adam Reilly Adam Reilly
Adam Reilly is a political reporter and associate producer for WGBH's Greater Boston.

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