Post 102: Yiddish explanation of Obama, Day 2 Starting Vegan/Macro, Stocking a Healthy Vegan/Macro kitchen, lentil lasagna

I had a conversation across continents and as usual,President Obama’s name  came up.

being delusional, deceiving oneself, believing in something that doesn’t exist, having a pipe dream, blowing smoke, having a God complex, wishful thinking. All of these  images are  described in Yiddish.

First in Hebrew:

בעל דמיון, אחד שיש לו אילוזיות,  fantasy פנטזיות,   wishful thinking רצון לא בר מימוש, פרי הדמיון הביטוי  ביידיש הוא

אַן אײַנרעדעניש איז ערגער ווי אַ קרענק

an aynredenish iz erger vi a krenk

Being delusional is worse than being sick. (And I’ll add destructive, dissembling, dishonest when the delusional person is the President of the United States).

אשליה יותר גרוע ממחלה

 Day 2 Starting Vegan/Macro: Stocking a Healthy Vegan/Macro kitchen; All of the dry ingredients, spices and herbs should be part of your pantry in plastic bags, boxes or tins. The parmesan will stay well in your freezer. These are just a few basics.

Healthy Dry Foods-All easy to combine

Brown rice: Just reheat or briefly heat with water already cooked varieties. Consider buying a rice steamer for a no-hassle way to use uncooked rice. Serve as a whole grain side dish alone or mixed with veggies or tomatoes. Use rice as a base for meats. Add to thicken soups or casseroles. You can also cook other whole grains like quinoa in a rice steamer.

Cereal (whole grain): Whole grain cereals are a fast healthy breakfast or a mid-day snack. As a crunchy topping, they quickly make yogurt or fruit more appealing.

Nuts: Nuts are rich in healthy fatty acids and phyto chemicals. Eat a small handful of nuts as a snack, or sprinkle over cereal, yogurt, fish, or casserole dishes.

Pasta (whole wheat or whole grain): Try all shapes and sizes of whole-wheat  or soba (buckwheat pasta — rotini, penne, medium shells, extra-wide noodles, linguine, and spaghetti. Few meals are faster than heating a jar of pasta sauce or a sauce that you have prepared and frozen, or canned tomatoes, pouring it over some steamed noodles, and topping with a bit of cheese or substitute.. Steamed veggies and pasta with the broth of your choice is another tasty, fast treat.

Tomato, lentil and spinach vegetarian lasagne

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy

Ingredients

  • 200g dried, red lentils (or a can of lentils)
  • bay leaf
  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • 1 400g tin of tomatoes
  • a large handful of oven-dried tomatoes or fresh tomatoes chopped or a small tin (227g) tinned tomatoes
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped for Vitamix cooking or finely if conventional
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (or to taste)
  • 1/2 dried chilli
  • dash of Worcestershire sauce (optional)
  • 50g butter/olive oil
  • 50g spelt flour
  • 400g milk/almond milk
  • pinch nutmeg, fresh grated
  • sea salt and black pepper
  • 500g leaf spinach, washed and tough stalks removed
  • 9 dried, green lasagne sheets, non-precook type (approx depending on the size and shape of your pan)
  • 300g Parmesan, Grana Padano or vegetarian hard cheese (grated) plus extra

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 220 C and get out large oblong or square baking dish or lasagne dish (minimum 20cm x 20 cm)
  2. Put the dried, red lentils in a medium-sized pan with the bay-leaf and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer until cooked (about 25 minutes). Drain, remove the bay-leaf.  Skip this step if using canned lentils.
  3. Saute the onion until softened but not brown (about 5 minutes), add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. Put into a Vitamix or power blender with the tinned tomatoes, carrots, oregano, chilli and Worcestershire sauce (if using). If you want a smooth sauce add the oven-dried and/or fresh tomatoes at this stage. For a chunkier sauce, stir them in at the end. Switch the Vitamix on, turn up to 10, then cook on full power for 7 minutes until the sauce is warm and smooth. Alternatively continue to simmer all the above ingredients in a pan with the onion and garlic until the carrots are tender (blend if desired). Add sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
  4. Pour sauce into a jug and rinse out the Vitamix. To make the Bechamel, melt the oil in a non-stick pan, stir in the flour and cook the paste for a few minutes. Add the almond milk and pour into the Vitamix adding a good sprinkling of freshly grated nutmeg. Blend on high until warm, thick and silky (about minutes). Season to taste. If using a pan, add the almond  milk a splash at a time stirring constantly until all incorporated and thickened (then add seasonings). You can also put the butter, flour and milk directly into the Vitamix and blend but I think you can still taste the uncooked flour this way.
  5. Wilt the spinach over a medium heat in the same pan you sautéed the onion. Remove and chop roughly.
  6. Stir the lentils into the tomato sauce. Spread a layer over the base of the baking dish. Place 3 lasagne sheets in a row. Spread a thin layer of Bechamel over the pasta. Sprinkle with parmesan and dot over half the chopped spinach. Repeat this using the other half of spinach. Repeat so that the last layer is Bechamel and a good sprinkling of cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes until the lasagne is soft and the top is brown.

A note on making this strictly vegetarian. Animal rennet is always used in traditional Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano so find a cheese that specifically mentions it is without this. Lea and Perrins Worcestershire sauce is not vegetarian as it contains anchovies, but you can buy vegetarian alternatives or make your own. I have one that is fish free (Wellington)

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