Middle East Tacos

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 16, 2015
Yield: 10 tacos
Time needed: 45 minutes including 30 minutes resting time

The filling here is essentially a homemade hummus and once that has sat long enough for the flavours to blend, the meal is a cinch to put together. In fact, it’s a perfect occasion for letting folks make their own at the table. I used taco shells, but you can also use pita breads cut in half to hold the filling, or simply spread on crackers and serve beside the salad fixings.

Middle East Tacos

Middle East Tacos

Middle Eastern Tacos
3 cups well-cooked garbanzo beans, aka chick peas (1 cup uncooked) with reserved bean cooking liquid
1/2 cup ground toasted sesame seeds or 1/4 cup tahini
2 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. ground coriander
salt to taste
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 to 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
10 pitas or wheat tortillas
Garnishes: shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, chopped cucumber, chopped onion
1 1/2 cups yogurt or grated cheese

Purée together the beans, sesame seeds, garlic, lemon juice, coriander, salt, cumin and cayenne pepper, adding bean cooking liquid (or water) if necessary to make blending easy.
Let stand at room temperature at least 30 minutes.
Meanwhile prepare your garnishes.

If using pita, cut each in half, fill pockets half-full of bean mixture. If you like, heat them in the oven, then add garnishes.

If using tortillas, fry the tortillas until soft but not crisp.

Let everyone add garnishes as they please.
Top with a scoop of yogurt or grated cheese.

Joan’s Brazilian Rice

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: May 26, 2014
Yield: 6-servings
Time needed: 50 minutes

A delightful easy-to-make rice pilaf suitable for a family supper. I had only red pepper so the colour contrast green chilies would make with the tomato does not show up in this picture, but I will certainly make this dish again soon and remedy that.  Toasting the rice and sesame seeds before adding the liquid contributes to a nutty taste.  The recipe is attributed to Joan Francis of Wisconsin.

Joan's Brazilian rice

Joan’s Brazilian rice

Continue reading

Sesame Crisp Crackers

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: July 15, 2013
Yield: 3-4 dozen
Time needed: 20 minutes

I do about as well with crackers as I do with pastry, which is not well at all.  However, the method for these is quite simple and quick.  Though I do hate recipes that say “bake until crisp and golden” without giving you any idea of how long that will take.  I guessed at ten minutes, and found 12 minutes did the trick.

I don’t have any cookie cutters, so these are not pretty:  just basic squares.  But they are tasty morsels.

Sesame Crisp Crackers

Sesame Crisp Crackers

Continue reading

Curried Wheat and Tempeh Salad

Source: Ecological Cooking
Date tried: April 22, 2013
Yield: 6 servings
Time needed: 20 minutes plus time to chill.

Prior preparation needed:
Steam, cool and shred the tempeh
Cook and cool the bulgur wheat

This is very like the more familiar tabouli.  A great introduction to tempeh, if you have never tried it before.

Curried Wheat and Tempeh Salad

Curried Wheat and Tempeh Salad

Continue reading

Rice Cream and Sesame Cereal

Source: Diet for a Small Planet
Date tried: March 3, 2013
Yield: 4 servings
Time needed: 15 minutes

Prior preparation needed:
Roast ¾ cup brown rice in a dry skillet, stirring until browned (3-5 minutes). Grind in a blender or food processor until fine.  Roast again 1-2 minutes in a dry skillet.  Store cooled powder in a tightly covered container.

This is another smooth cream-style porridge.  Be careful how long you leave it simmering.  It thickens very quickly.  As with most cereals of this type, I find it best to mix the powder with cold liquid first and add it to the simmering milk as a paste.  This prevents lumping.

Rice Cream and Sesame Cereal garnished with fresh strawberries

Rice Cream and Sesame Cereal garnished with fresh strawberries

Continue reading

Surati Salad

Source: Indian Recipes Under 30 Minutes
Made: December 22, 2013
Yield: 2-4 servings
Time to make: 5 minutes

A very attractive side salad combining the refreshing taste of cucumber with the sweetness of coconut and the crunchiness of roasted beans, peanuts, and sesame seed.

Surati Salad

Surati Salad

Continue reading