Category Archives: Grains

Spiced Lentils and Rice with Fried Onions (Mejadra)

I recognize that early January is a time of year traditionally reserved for repentance and asceticism, but I’ve never been much good at either of those.  After many years of making my never-changing Annual New Year’s Resolution (yeah, I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours), this year I didn’t make one at all.

So while better women are perfecting their green smoothie technique or annoying the regulars at the gym, I’ve been getting over my fear of deep frying.Lentils and Rice with Fried OnionsAnd I’m so glad I did.  This dish is spectacular for a few reasons.  The flavors are deep and rich and sweet, beautifully spiced but not at all spicy.  You probably already have all the ingredients in your cupboard, but I bet it won’t cost you $2 if you have to restock anything for this recipe.  And the leftovers just get better and better as the days go by. Continue reading

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Bob’s Red Mill Breakfast Bundle Giveaway, and Savory Oatmeal with Tomatoes and Parmesan

You probably imagined that I’d move on from oatmeal after yesterday’s savory Oatmeal with Mushrooms, Parmesan, and Thyme. I mean, two days in a row? Oatmeal?! That just isn’t done.

Oh, but I’ve never been one to play by the rules. At least not always. Well, at least not that one rule that I just made up about the acceptable frequency for discussing oatmeal. In any case, I give you one last savory oatmeal to get you through the winter. Savory Oatmeal with Parmesan and Tomatoes

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Savory Oatmeal with Mushrooms, Parmesan, and Thyme

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can find some of my favorite recent recipes by visiting “My Favorite Recipes” (here are September, October, and November).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your blog reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

I think it’s safe to say that J and I have made hundreds of pots of oatmeal in the past decade, if not more.  Now I wish that I had counted, so we could celebrate that 1,000th pot properly.  It’s coming soon, if it hasn’t already come and gone unnoticed.

Oatmeal is good for you, I know.  And I love oatmeal.  Oatmeal with berries, apples, bananas, raisins.  With brown sugar, maple syrup, butter, peanut butter.  I like a sweet bowl of oatmeal as much as the next person.  But you know what else is good for me?  Variety.  I can’t get enough of these savory oatmeal combinations right now.  Savory Oatmeal with Mushrooms, Parmesan, and ThymeSo did you make the Savory Oatmeal with Curry, Greens, and Caramelized Onions?  Did you make the Savory Oatmeal with Black Pepper, Blue Cheese, and an Olive Oil Fried Egg?  Am I getting to be a broken record here?  Good news, friends, I’ll be moving on soon, I promise.  To…sweet oatmeal!

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Kimchi Fried Rice

I have to tell you, friends, I’m feeling a little pressure here. Like I need to choose my words carefully to convey to you how good this dish is. (How’s this? So good.) Most of the time I feel like I’m preaching to the choir when I write here–I mean, who among us doesn’t love baked chard stems and butternut squash tacos and raw Brussels sprout salads? But here, with this dish, maybe we’re going out on a limb a little bit together. It’s fermented. It’s a little spicy. And I used white rice.

Be fearless. This is the kind of food that makes your mouth tingle with happiness (maybe it’s all the salt, but still). The texture is crunch and chew, the flavors are savory and bright. If you’re not already mad for kimchi, you will be soon.

Kimchi Fried Rice

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Overnight Oats with Peanut Butter and Banana (and Chocolate)

You guys are the best!  All day today, I felt like we were all standing around in the kitchen together, chatting about how to pull off a last-minute Thanksgiving dinner.  It’s easy, you reminded me.  Stuff a winter squash, roast some veggies, make a soup or a good salad, put out cheese or olives. Easy is perfect.  And just as perfect were the reminders that it’s not the food that makes a holiday special; it’s the excuse to gather as a family and enjoy each others’ company.

And…that’s good.  Because we arrived to find our rental-with-kitchen unsavory, and decamped to a hotel suite with only a mini-bar fridge instead.  So no kitchen, no Thanksgiving cooking.  We’re going to have our Thanksgiving dinner this weekend instead, back in Seattle.  Which I already have planned now, days in advance—I’m so uncharacteristically organized!  But seriously, thank you–I am so lucky to have met so many wonderful cooks and epicures and readers and writers in this little place called the internet (interwebs?) and I’m thankful to know you all.In celebration of life with a mini-fridge, and especially for those of you on the road this weekend, I’m sharing my favorite hotel-room breakfast today.  Continue reading

Savory Oatmeal with Curry, Greens, and Caramelized Onions

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see some of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are July, August, and September).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your own reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Seasoned readers of this blog will probably not be surprised to learn that most of my photographs are taken standing on one leg while I use the other to block my children out of the frame.  This dish was so irresistibly good, however, that I failed entirely.The baby (should I start calling her something else now that she boxes me out to dig into a dish of curried oats and caramelized onions?) could not keep her (meaning my) spoon out of the bowl.  And I can’t say I blamed her at all. Continue reading

Lentil Chili

At this time of year, I have chili on the brain.  It’s is basically everything I want in a winter meal: hot, filling, a little spicy, and a perfect vehicle for avocado.  I know that in the meat-chili world, there is a beans-or-no-beans question.  That question does not exist in my vegetarian chili world.  Yes, there will be beans (or, in this case, lentils).  Continue reading

Road Food, or, Quinoa Salad with Crunchy Veggies and Avocado

What food do you take travelling?  Airport and roadside offerings are universally dire, as far as I can tell, so we usually try to think ahead and pack food to sustain our family on travel days.

Today was a travel day.  We’ve been in California, visiting my family (including my 98-year-old grandfather), soaking up sunshine.  We headed home tonight on a late flight with three sleepy children, a suitcase full of new crop walnuts, and this salad. Continue reading

Green Olive and Celery Salad

Welcome to Emmy Cooks!  You can see more of my favorite recent recipes by clicking the “My Favorite Recipes” category on the sidebar (here are July, August, and September).  If you like what you see here, you can sign up on the sidebar to receive a daily recipe by email, add the RSS feed to your blog reader, or follow Emmy Cooks on Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest.

Here’s a funny little thing, while we’re eating bits and bobs this week.  Not quite a salad, not quite a relish, full of flavor and crunch and brine and pop.

I found it via Lottie + Doof, where Tim says he found it in a Sicilian cookbook.  It’s kind of weird.  Whatever.  It’s great.We scooped spoonfuls onto the baguette rounds we ate alongside our shakshuka the other day.  I had a little pile of it beside my sandwich.  I daresay it could go right into a sandwich of the right sort quite happily.  Or serve it as part of an antipasto spread, of course.  Or just with a fork. Continue reading

Baked Rice with Tofu, Corn, Tomatillos and Tomatoes

As a mostly-vegetarian (if you’ll forgive the term), I tend to organize my meals a bit differently from omnivores.  And frankly, I am occasionally envious of the ease with which a meal comes together around a piece of meat (and we do sometimes cook fish), because then all you have to worry about are salads and sides.  And hey, I sure do like salads and sides.

So I get excited when I can have it all in one place: my vegetables and my whole grains, nestled in with tofu and cheese, scented with garlic and spices.  Maybe even with a great salsa on the side.  Yes, it’s true: I made a casserole.

The basic premise here is that flavorful, doctored-up brown rice and tofu are layered with tomatillos and tomatoes.  The rice and tofu sop up the juices as the tomatoes and tomatillos soften and it all bakes up into one big pan of late-summer comfort.  There are a few more steps involved here than in our usual recipes, but it’s quite manageable if you take it a step at a time: Make rice.  Chop vegetables.  Cook onions, garlic, and corn, then add tofu, spices, rice and cheese.  Layer this mixture with thickly-sliced tomatillos and tomatoes, and scatter feta on top for an extra bite of tang and salt.  Bake.  You can do that.

The last thing I’ll recommend is that you try making this dish with tofu that has been frozen and then defrosted.  It gives the tofu a bit of a spongy texture, which is more appealing than it sounds.  Nobody will expect to find tofu in this dish, but it contributes flavor and texture as well as protein.  If you’d prefer to leave it out, you could whisk a few eggs into the rice instead, but then I’d recommend baking the dish covered and maybe for a little longer. Continue reading