Greetings from the Land of the Pharaohs!
We took a little break from sub-zero Colorado temps, to visit two countries this weekend! The first was Egypt. I was really stoked about this particular country, because as a student in elementary school I was absolutely obsessed with Egyptian culture and history. I pretty much thought I would become an Egyptologist at some point; after becoming an adult, I was obsessed with Indian Jones and the idea that I could be a kick-ass historian was that more of a reality. Alas, I never pursued that avenue. But, all the same, I am still in love with all things Egyptian– including this week’s food adventure!
THE DINNER: We had this craving for something warm, since it’s been so unbelievably cold this week. We looked for a recipe that was just that and found some really awesome soup recipes. Also, as an added bonus, we were able to find a vegetarian recipe, which suited my particular agenda for the week (gearing up for thanksgiving here in a few weeks so I can’t go all meat crazy yet!). The recipe in-cooperated red lentils, and they were almost too pretty to cook. Almost. Luckily. This is the type of meal/stew that is common to Arab nations (and a fair amount of African nations, as we are quickly finding.) It’s a meal that is hearty and filling, but requires very little effort and very little time: two things that nomads and farmers of these regions seek out. The meal is traditionally vegetarian as it doesn’t have to be refrigerated and can keep for several days without fear of spoiling.
This one is also gluten free for those of you with gluten allergies or sensitivities and it’s 100% vegan!! This was a first on both accounts for our cooking adventure. For an added treat, we had a traditional African dessert: Coconut! It was actually really pleasant and refreshing to munch on fresh coconut while it was snowing 😉
Egyptian Red Lentil Soup Recipe: http://www.food.com/recipe/egyptian-red-lentil-soup-94673
OVERALL COUNTRY SCORE:
Ease of prep and cooking: HALF STAR out of five for this Dinner.
This one was really easy. As mentioned above, it was not only simple, it was quick. If I’m a nomad in Egypt or a stone worker for one of the Pharaoh’s pyramids, I’m not going to need to come back to my home to make a huge and involved dinner! It was quick and not difficult. The ingredients were not abstract: Potatoes, lentils, broth, garlic and herbs. That’s it.
Best dish of all time scale: THREE STARS out of five for the Dinner.
This was exactly what the doctor ordered! We needed some soul warming soup and this was the prescription. It smelled so good. We certainly loved the taste. It wasn’t something that was earth stopping- no, it was simple, hearty and not really remember-able. But that was a good thing. It didn’t need bells and whistles. It was what it was. I loved that we took the recipe’s advice and left some of the potatoes with texture instead of pureeing it all in a blender. It was better this way. It left some heartiness to the soup. I don’t know about you, but often, soups that are silky smooth leave me feeling geriatric. I don’t need to gum my food just yet, thank you. Leave some texture!
We headed to Angola for the double header weekend! Check out our second meal!
– L & K