Friday, December 28, 2012

Homemade Bread

At Thanksgiving, Jon and I really wantedIMG_7078 some good homemade bread. Certainly, we are able to buy bread in Tanzania, but it is always just white bread and not great for a Thanksgiving dinner. So, the day before everyone came over to our home to celebrate Thanksgiving, we made bread. It turned out great and I want to share the recipe with you.


  • 3 1/4 cups flours
  • 1 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/8 cup room temperature water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil


  1. Dissolve the yeast in the water and let it sit for about ten minutes. It is ready when the yeast water has become foamy.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast water, milk, sugar, salt, and oil. Add 1.5 cups of flour and start stirring until well blended.
  3. Stir in additional 1.5 cups of flour. The dough will become stiff and sticky.
  4. Knead the dough for about ten minutes. To decrease the stickiness, during kneading, dust the top of it with about 2 tablespoons flour.When the dough becomes sticky again, add another 2 tablespoons flour. You may need to use more flour than the recipe calls for. If your hands become covered with sticky dough, use flour to remove it into your dough ball.
  5. Knead your dough into a ball and brush the top with 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Place into a large bowl and cover with a wet towel. Let the dough rise in a warm place for 60-90 minutes. After about 60-75 minutes, your ball should have doubled in size.
  6. After 90 minutes, remove the dough from it’s rising place and back onto your work space. Punch in the risen dough. You are trying to remove all of the air out of the dough with your hands.
  7. Knead again for 5 minutes.
  8. Place it into a greased bread pan. Put a wet towel over the bread again and place it back in a warm spot to rise again. Allow to rise again for 60-90 minutes. Again, the dough will double in size.
  9. When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. and bake the bread for 45 minutes. It is finished when the loaf has a golden brown color. You can also test it by tapping on the crust. If it is ready, the bread sounds hollow.
  10. Allow the bread to cool before removing from pan.

Notes: You can add spices or vegetables to this dough. This picture you see above has onions and garlic added into the dough. Simply add to the dough when you knead for the first time. Some options include: minced onion, garlic, dill weed, rosemary, basil, roasted sesame seeds, poppy seeds, cinnamon, raisins, etc.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

New Vegetarian Cookbook!

For Christmas this year, Santa brought me an exciting new cookbook. Not only do the dishes look fantastic, but the book is inspirational for me as well. I am not a full-time blogger nor do I really have realistic access to be a full-time blogger from Tanzania, however, I do have some small pipe dreams of maybe making it as a blogger. Well, the author of this cookbook started out his success as a blogger. I really enjoy that he has also done all the photography for his own book. That is something else I would be interested in doing. In addition to all of this, I love that he has chosen to create vegetarian dishes that come from all over the world. As most people know, I have lived on several continents and indulged in flavorful vegetarian dishes from all over. I love his worldly approach to vegetarian food.

Based on his book, he is admittedly a better chef than I. This is the first time I have ever seen Chiang Mai noodles in another cookbook. His recipe looks far more complicated and far more delicious than my own. My version can be found here:

I can't wait to try his. I think the first recipe of his that I will try first will be chickpea fritters. I tried a version of this recipe a few months back and it failed. I am anxious to use his. The other dishes that immediately caught my eye and will be the first to attempt are his Spanish lentil and mushroom stew, asparagus with nori butter, and his kimchi dish.

If you're looking for a good new cookbook that will take your vegetarian taste buds all over the world in your own apartment, might I suggest Herbviracious by Michael Natkin?

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Top Vegetarian Recommendations in Cape Town, South Africa

I thought I would give this blog a bit of a unique twist. One of my passions of being a vegetarian of course is creating mouth-watering, unforgettable vegetarian food. That's why I created this blog; to share easy and delicious recipes of tasteful food. It is, however, also a real pleasure to go out to eat and find restaurants that are not only vegetarian-friendly, but also create vegetarian food that makes you green with envy that you can't make it in your own kitchen! If I am eating out with a large group of people, I am never opinionated on where we go, as long as there is one vegetarian option. Many other vegetarians will agree that the common dishes in these "we offer one dish of vegetarian" places is often spaghetti, salad, or a vegetarian wrap. But, there are so many restaurants these days whose chefs have designed innovative and fantastic vegetarian menus. It gives vegetarians an idea of what it must be like to be omnivorous with a plethora of delicious looking dishes to choose from. When I am going out to eat with my husband alone, I am very picky on the place we eat at. I will not have spaghetti, salad, or a vegetarian wrap. I want a delicious concoction of vegetables, sauces, and a meat-free protein (my favorite? lentils). Recently, my husband and I vacationed in Cape Town, South Africa where we ate at several restaurants. I would like to share my top 8 restaurants that were vegetarian friendly and budget-conscious. If you ever find yourself vacationing in the mother city of South Africa, please keep these restaurants in mind! They are not ranked in any order, simply just listed as great options for vegetarians. Click on the names of the restaurant for a menu, if the restaurant offers it on the internet:

1. Takumi - Japanese food with some Asian fusion. Unique sushi options that cater to the vegetarian lifestyle, especially with their starters. Located in Gardens, Cape Town.

2. Timbuktu Cafe - contrary to what the name suggests, this is a cafe' devoted to Ethiopian food. It offers a vegetarian sampler for only 55 rand and you will not leave hungry. There's cute balcony dining. We ate here twice. They are located at 76 Long Street on the second floor of the Pan African market. Follow the loud music.

3. Galbi - a Korean/South African infusion. Come for authentic Korean food or a South African braii or both! They offer bimbimbap - a Korean vegetarian staple or a vegetarian braii for 2 platter. I was excited to learn they make all of their cocktails out of soju - the great Korean alcohol! Located in an arcade off of Long Street.

4. Saigon - as the name suggests, it offers Vietnamese dishes and a whole section of the menu is vegetarian. It is Asian fusion, however, so you can still get sushi or other Asian dishes. Might I suggest the rainbow noodles? Located in Gardens.

5. Jewel of India - Indian food is an easy answer to all your vegetarian dining woes. Thanks to the beliefs of Buddhism within India, there are always a great variety of vegetarian options at Indian restaurants. The Jewel of India located at the V&A waterfront offered great Indian food for a reasonable price.

Around Cape Town

6. Knead - located in Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula, this bakery offered a large variety of vegetarian options and great cafe' options for the coffee lover as well. I was pleasantly surprised with the many options available to vegetarians!

7. Cafe Caprice - located at Camp's Bay this hip cafe' offered pricey but tasty vegetarian options. The service was mediocre, but the location was perfect.

8. Empire Cafe - located in Muizenberg on the Cape Peninsula, I passed by this cafe' after looking over and considering their few vegetarian options on their chalkboard menu. At first glance and without a description of each item, the vegetarian options looked overpriced and boring. I really only gave this cafe' a second chance because they offered free wi-fi. I ordered their vegetarian option and it was so flavorful, my omnivorous husband ordered it right after tasting mine even though he wasn't even hungry. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Apple Crisp

A few weekends ago, when I visited my mother-in-law, not only did she teach me how to make applesauce using a food mill, she also showed me how to make her version of apple crisp. We made it together and it was so amazing. I brought this recipe home and made it for my cousin's wedding rehearsal dinner and for my family in general. Everyone loves this recipe and my mom specifically asked for me to put the recipe here. Now, as mentioned, lately my recipes have been catered to fit her pre-diabetic diet. I will list the original recipe and the substitutions I use for my mom to make it little healthier. Of course, the best way to serve apple crisp is warmly out of the oven with a dollop of vanilla ice cream! Happy fall!


  • 8-10 apples, peeled, cored, and sliced 
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup cold butter (1/2 cup for a healthier dessert)
  • 3/4 cup flour (whole wheat for healthier version)
  • 1 cup oatmeal (don't use quick oats for a healthier version)
  • 1.5 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. Peel, core and slice the apples
  3. Slice the butter into about 1/2 inch slices
  4. In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients except for the apples
  5. Cut butter into the other ingredients or just put your hands into the mixture and squeeze the butter into small pellets with the dry ingredients. Eventually the topping will combine well.
  6. Layer the sliced apple pieces on the bottom of an 9x13 pan
  7. Sprinkle the topping over the apples
  8. Place into oven for 45 minutes
  9. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream

Monday, October 8, 2012

Old fashioned applesauce

This is a food mill
This is the season where it's apple everything! Apple crisp, applesauce, apple pie, you name it. A few weeks ago, I went apple picking with my mom and aunt. We bought some cortland, fuji, and MacIntosh apples. It was fun and took quite a while picking 3 half bushels of each! So far, I have made two apple crisps (recipe to come later) and applesauce. I got quite excited because recently my mother-in-law gave me her old food mill. I had never seen anything like it before and when we made applesauce together, I loved the process much better than the other way which includes peeling and coring apples before cooking them. So, this is the process of how to make applesauce using a food mill. The benefit of using a food mill is you get more nutrition out of the apples since you cook the apples with their skins on.
Use about 8-10 apples which yields about 6 cups of applesauce
 Step 1: Take a large pot and fill the bottom with water. Take care to cover just the bottom of the pot with water about 1/4 inch deep. Put the pot over low heat.

Step 2: Meanwhile, quarter 8-10 apples leaving the skins on and the cores inside.
Step 2: quartered apples
 Step 3: Add the quartered apples to the pot and cover. Allow to cook for approximately 15-20 minutes. The water should be boiling at the bottom. You will notice the water amount increasing from the apples. When the majority of the apple has separated from the skins, you are ready to use your food mill.
This pot of apples is ready to start using the food mill
Step 4: Add the apples to the food mill and place over a bowl to catch the applesauce. Crank the handle clockwise. When it seems the apples are sticking and need to get moved, crank counter clockwise. When the only stuff left in the food mill are apple peels and apple seeds, dump them in the garbage and add more cooked apples to the food mill. Continue this process until all of the cooked apples have been turned into applesauce.

Step 4: apples inside the food mill over a bowl
Collecting the apple peels on top of the blade. You can begin to see the applesauce in the bowl at the bottom.

Completed bowl of applesauce: 8-10 apples yield approximately 6 cups of applesauce

Delicious bowl of applesauce topped with cinnamon
You can add some cinnamon to your tasting. I don't think sugar is necessary with the food mill. Some people tend to add some lemon juice to prevent the applesauce from turning an unappetizing flavor, but I don't do this.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Vegetarian Jumbalaya

This recipe came to me by way of pinterest, the new, cool way to find recipes! I changed up only a few ingredients to make this a pre-diabetic friendly recipe for my mom. The original comes from this blogger here. I think the recipe was good for my mom because she does not like spicy food. If I were making this for my husband, I would up the chili powder to make it spicier. The picture you are seeing is my mom's beautiful handiwork. She made this recipe all on her own (and for any new cooks out there, that's telling you that you could do it, too!)


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 3 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4-5 okra stalks, cleaned and chopped OR one cup frozen okra
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (might I recommend Full Circle Organic Vegetable broth - it is more expensive than regular broth, but it has significantly less sodium than other vegetable broths - 570 mg for 1 cup)
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (up this if you like spicy!)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley, to taste
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet. Add onion, pepper, carrot, celery, garlic, and fresh okra and cook for about 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large casserole dish. Cover and cook for about 45 -60 minutes, or until all rice is cooked and broth is absorbed.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Split Pea Soup

I told my mom that I really wanted to make her split pea soup because it's really low-fat and healthy for you. She responded with "how do you make split pea soup without a hambone"? Of course, I responded easily, you just don't add the hambone :) In all seriousness, I love split pea soup and I have never had it with the hambone. This recipe is adapted from the New Moosewood Cookbook. I liked it because according to this book, this soup is fat-free and that's key for my mom's diet!


  • 3 cups dry split peas
  • about 7 cups of water (more, as needed)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt (or more to taste)
  • 2 cups minced onion
  • 4-5 medium cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 1 small sweet potato, diced
  • pepper to taste
  • 3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
Topping (optional):
  • fresh, ripe tomato, diced
  • freshly minced parsley

1. Place split peas, water, bay leaf, and salt in a soup pot. Bring to a boil, lower heat as much as possible to simmer, partially covered for about 20 minutes.

2. Add onion, garlic, celery, carrots, and sweet potato. Partially cover, and leave it to simmer for about 40 minutes with occasional stirring. If necessary, add more water.

3. Add black pepper and vinegar, to taste. Serve topped with diced tomato and minced parsley.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Asian Stir Fried Rice

This meal is a quick and easy dish that never fails on tasting great! The key ingredient to making this taste so good is using full sodium soy sauce. I do not recommend using the reduced sodium flavors, it will ruin the taste of this dish. I always use the Kikkoman  brand flavor when I make this dish. I prefer a type of soy sauce that I am unable to find in America, but Kikkoman is definitely the closest thing to it. I think that in terms of soy sauce flavor, I would discourage you from buying the La Choy soy sauce, I find the flavor to not be the best to cook with. Enjoy the dish!


  • 3 cups cooked white rice (1 cup uncooked rice, leftover rice works well in this dish, brown rice can be substitued if you are unable to eat white rice)
  • 3 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 1 cup peas, cooked
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons oil or butter
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ginger root, chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  1. Cook rice according to instructions on package
  2. Boil the carrots and peas until soft
  3. Stir fry the garlic, onions, and ginger in hot oil until cooked
  4. Add the cooked rice, peas, carrots, and soy sauce to the onion mixture and mix well
  5. When the rice is fried a little and all ingredients are warm, make 3-4 holes in the middle of the rice mixture. Add the beaten eggs to the holes
  6. When the eggs begin to cook, stir the egg into the ingredients. Allow mixture to sit and then stir about every 25 seconds to ensure the egg is being cooked throughout the dish
  7. If the eggs are completed cooked, the meal is ready to be served

Friday, September 28, 2012

Hug a vegetarian day!!!

Adopting a meat-free, vegetarian diet can save up to a hundred animals per year. That’s a pretty hefty toll when you add it up over the course of a lifetime, so here’s to those who stick it out as vegetarians – Hug A Vegetarian Day aims to combat the stigma of vegetarianism and to recognise and reward those who undertake the challenges of maintaining a vegetarian diet.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Old-fashioned butter cookies

Surprise, I can bake and not just cook! This post is going to be a lot more different from most of my other posts. The biggest reason is this was my first attempt at any real baking. I am not the baker in my family, let me tell you that much. I don't enjoy baking nearly as much as I enjoy cooking. With cooking, I can be more creative and experimental to get what I like. Baking has a small element of chemistry, where you do really need to measure out some ingredients because they will interact differently with other ingredients. Cooking allows more room for mistakes. I enjoy eating food better than snacks. For all these reasons, I always tend to cook and not bake. I only ever bake to give someone else the goods. Likewise, I'll bake if I am expecting company. Rarely do I bake and do a great job. So, when I decided to bake to make my sister-in-law cookies decorated like medicine for a get well care package, it was an overly ambitious project for me to take on. But, I did it! The cookies turned out great and the decorating was better than I expected, but still looks not that professional. I completely stole this idea from this sugardotcookies blog. All creativity came from her and I am astounded by how great hers look!

So below in this blog, I will share with you the cookie recipe I used and the links to learn how to do royal icing.

Ingredients for cookies:

  • 3 cups sifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup soft butter
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 slightly beaten eggs
Method for cookies:
  1. Sift dry ingredients and cut in butter
  2. Add egg, milk, and vanilla
  3. Chill dough if desired (not necessary)
  4. Roll out on a floured surface 1/8 inch thick (or thicker if desired)
  5. Bake on a lightly greased baking sheets in a 400 degree oven for 5-6 minutes
  6. When cool, decorate

When it's time to decorate cookies, if you are up for making royal icing and flooding your cookies, I highly encourage you to check out this website to learn more about making the icing and the beginning ideas to the consistency to decorate:

I don't have nearly enough experience to try to pretend how to tell you the best way to do icing! Maybe in a few months!

royal icing

can you find eggy?

the finished project: making it look like a prescription jar !

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lentil and Vegetable Soup with Spiced Yogurt

This soup is one of those recipes that I tried and didn't know what to expect, but then instantly became a hit. If you've ever had mulligatawny soup at an Indian restaurant, this is definitely a form of that soup. Make sure you have a tasty garam masala because I think that is what makes this soup taste so great. The yogurt topping adds to the flavor and makes it a soup you will want to eat weekly!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 4 cups stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup yellow lentils (yellow split peas)
  • 1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 1 small carrot, diced
  • 2 large tomatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup peas
  • 2 cups water
Yogurt topping:
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 3 dashes hot sauce (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook 4-5 minutes until soft and lightly golden. Add the curry powder, cumin, and garam masala and cook for 1 minute or until the spics are fragrant. Add the stock, bay leaf, lentils, sweet potatoes, and carrots. Bring to a oil, then reduce heat and simmer 10 to 15 minutes until the lentils are tender.
  2. Add the tomatoes, peas, 2 cups water, and simmer for 20 minutes or are vegetables are tender.
  3. To make the spiced yogurt: place the yogurt, cilantro, garlic, and tabasco in a small bowl and stir well. 
Serving: Dollop a spoonful of the yogurt on each serving of soup.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Eggplant Parmesan

My thoughtful aunt gave me two beautiful eggplants and some cherry tomatoes. She gave me two eggplant Parmesan recipes and said she thought I could make some eggplant Parmesan with them. I decided to use the recipe she provided that came from a Martha Stewart cooking website. I can't take complete credit for this delicious meal since I did the first half and my mom did the second half. I am trying to show her how to cook meals from scratch and she was willing to try this on her own. She did a great job!


  • Olive oil, for baking sheets
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup plain dry breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan, plus 2 tablespoons for topping
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 6 cups (48 oz) chunky tomato sauce (I used my own homemade recipe here, minus the mushrooms)
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

1. If preparing homemade chunky tomato sauce, do this first.

2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush 2 baking sheets with oil; set aside. In a wide, shallow bowl, whisk together 2 eggs and 2 tablespoons water. In another bowl, combine breadcrumbs, 3/4 cup Parmesan, oregano, and basil; season with salt and pepper.

3. Dip eggplant slices in egg mixture, letting excess drip off, then dredge in breadcrumb mixture, coating well; place on baking sheets. Bake until golden brown on bottom, 20  to 25 minutes. Turn slices; continue baking until browned on other side, 20 to 25 minutes more. Remove from oven, raise oven heat to 400 degrees.

4. Spread 2 cups sauce in a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Arrange half the eggplant in dish; cover with 2 cups sauce, then 1/2 cup mozzarella. Repeat with remaining eggplant, sauce, and mozzarella; sprinkle with remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan. Bake until sauce and cheese is melted, 15 to 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving. 

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Lentil Soup

Whenever I would go to a restaurant and see lentil soup, I would get incredibly excited and always order it. Finally, I decided it was time to make my own lentil soup since I love it so much. I was lucky when I came across this recipe and it was perfect. I have been using this recipe for years now and I don't know where it originated from anymore. The first time that I made it, my husband and I ate the entire pot. We've never even become close to eating the whole pot again! Recently, I made it for my mom and aunt and they both loved it, too. I am posting it on my blog so that my mom can easily locate the recipe to make it for herself!


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 14.5 oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups dry lentils 
  • 8 cups water
  • 1 cup fresh spinach 
  • 2 tablespoon vinegar
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1.  In a large soup pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrots and celery; cook and stir until vegetables are tender. Stir in garlic, bay leaf, oregano, and basil. Cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in lentils and add water and tomatoes. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes - 1 hour or until lentils are soft. When ready to serve, stir in spinach and cook until it wilts. Stir in vinegar and season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more vinegar if desired.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Tomato Sauce


IMG_4089Everything in Tanzania is made by scratch. One food that I don’t really love in America is spaghetti. This is because often times as a vegetarian, spaghetti is your only option. Well, I found a sauce that makes spaghetti a craving of mine quite often. I think it’s the sweet flavor this tomato sauce that makes it super good. I’ll never have ragu again when I can easily have this tomato sauce!


  • 8-12 medium tomatoes, grated (it’s worth grating them instead of using canned tomatoes for their flavor) – if you want to try, you can try a 14.5 oz can of crushed tomatoes, thought you might need to increase some of the spices.
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon sugar or honey
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons basil
  • salt and pepper to taste


1) Heat oil in a pan and add onions and cook until translucent
2) Add garlic and cook for an additional minute or two
3) Add tomatoes, salt, pepper, herbs, and sugar/honey. Simmer over medium heat the sauce thickens a little and becomes your desired consistency

Serve over any cooked pasta.

Variations: add other vegetables during step 3. Some examples include: green peppers, carrots, zucchini, or mushrooms.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Nepalese Dahl

This recipe is amazing. I didn't nepalese dahlrealize until after I took the picture that I forgot eggy, but I am too excited to share this recipe to care at this point. It's so simple and so delicious!


  • 1 cup lentils
  • 3 cups hot water
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder (or more to increase the spiciness of the dish to your desire)
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon oil


  1. Sauté onions in oil for 5 minutes or until soft/translucent
  2. While sautéing the onions, mix all the spices together in a small bowl
  3. Once the onions are soft, add the spices and fry 30 seconds
  4. Then add the lentils (not the water yet!) and stir heating them for 5 minutes
  5. Add the mixture to the hot water, cover, and simmer until lentils are soft and most of the water has evaporated. It is okay to leave a little water, but it should not be too watery.  It will take around thirty minutes to cook, however, some lentils can take up to 45 minutes
  6. Serve with naan or over rice!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Italian Dressing

This recipe for Italian dressing is very delicious.  After having lived over 6 months in Tanzania, I was craving a salad and needed to create my own dressing.  After a few failed attempts, I finally got the proportions right with a little help from the internet!

  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 1/3 cup oil of your choice (canola, vegetable, sunflower)
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3-4 gloves garlic, minced (or 1/2 tablespoon garlic salt)
  • 1/2 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 onion, chopped (or 1/2 tablespoon dried onion powder)
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon parsley (optional)
Mix all ingredients together and allow to sit at least 24 hours.  If you use fresh onion and garlic, the vinegar will preserve them.  You do not need to refrigerate.  Be sure to mix again before using on a fresh salad!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Lo Mein

I really miss having Chinese food here in Tanzania.  TIMG_3862hat salty, soy sauce goodness is something your body really begins to miss (or is it just the MSG?).  There’s a great little store where we bank and use internet that has some non-Tanzanian goods to sell.  I was psyched to find soy sauce and make Lo Mein.  I was even happier to discover that this soy sauce is far better than the soy sauce purchased in America.  We make Asian fried rice and Lo Mein with it mostly.  This recipe is so good that if you ever decide to not order Chinese and to try to make it, here it is:
  • 1/2 pound uncooked spaghetti noodles
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1” piece of ginger, peeled and minced
  • green onion and cilantro optional
  • 1/2 cup cooked green peas
  • mushroom (optional)
  • oil for frying
Sauce Ingredients:
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (optional, but I would recommend starting out with less and seeing if you want to add this much)
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 4 teaspoons sesame oil
  • salt to taste (I’ve used as little as 1/4 teaspoon and as much as 1 teaspoon)
  1. Cook noodles according to directions on the packet.
  2. Heat tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan and add the garlic and ginger, then add onions, green peppers, carrots.  Then, add cooked peas and any other veggies you may have chosen to include.
  3. Mix all the ingredients of the sauce together in a large bowl
  4. Add boiled noodles and sauce to the large frying pan.  Stir fry for five minutes.  If you wish, you can add cilantro and green onion at this point.
  5. Stir for a few more seconds with all ingredients together and remove from heat!
Serves approximately 2-3 adults.