Berbere Spice Basics

Course: Main Dish

Cooking with Co-Op Basics: African Spiced Lentils & Greens

Serves 4

Gluten Free, Vegan

  Berbere Spice is used in many traditional Ethiopian dishes and recipes can vary. I relied on paprika rather than chiles de arbol, which are usually used.

Berbere Spice is used in many traditional Ethiopian dishes and recipes can vary. I relied on paprika rather than chiles de arbol, which are usually used.

Starting in November 2017 the East Side Table project began partnering with Mississippi Market for their Cooking with Co-Op Basics classes. Each recipe is an adaptation of a recipe used in the East Side Table meal delivery kits by Local Crate.

The challenge is to stay true to the heart and culture of the recipe while remaining in the $10-ish range to feed a family of four. This recipe was used for the January 2018 class and is adapted from this Local Crate recipe: Red Lentils & Greens with Toasted Almonds and Brown Rice. The best version of this recipe comes from it's original creator, Nessib Negusse who is a caterer at Kitchen On The Bluff.

Berbere Spice Blend Ingredients:

  • 2 teaspoons fenugreek seeds
  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2-3 cardamom pods
  • 1 Tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 3 Tablespoons sweet paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Entree Ingredients: $9.40 (with full Berber Spice Recipe: $10.64)

  • 1/3 cup Olive Oil* $1.00
  • .66lb (3/4 cups) Long Grain Brown rice* $1.05
  • 5 oz Red lentils (3/4 cup dry)* $.80
  • 2 Tbsp. Berbere Spices* $1.26
  • 2 Tsp Granulated Garlic* $.20
  • 1 Tsp Ground Ginger* $.20
  • 1 Small Yellow Onion (6-8oz) $.90
  • 2 1/2 cups Water
  • 1/2 Bag Sno-Pac Spinach $1.50*
  • 2 oz Whole Almonds* $1.24
  • 1 Lemon $1.25

*Denotes Co-op Basics or bulk item

Preparation:

  1. Prepare your spice blend:

    • Set a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the fenugreek, coriander, peppercorns, and cardamom pods. Toast the spices, moving the skillet around the burner constantly, until the smells are released, 3 to 5 minutes. (Older spices are drier and take less time)

    • Let the toasted spices cool. Add them to a clean spice grinder, along with the chili flakes, and grind fine. You can do this in several batches in a mortar & pestle if preferred. Add 10 minutes for hand-crushing.

    • Pour the ground spices into a jar. Add in the smoked paprika, paprika, dried basil, ginger, and cinnamon and shake or stir to combine. This will keep in an airtight container for 3 months.

  2. Place spinach in bowl to thaw partially. Dice onion and set aside.

  3. While preparing lentils, cook your rice: Bring a 2-quart pot of water to a boil. Salt the water generously and add the rice. Reduce the heat to a simmer for about 25 to 30 minutes. Drain the rice in a fine sieve or colander and return to pot to stay warm if it finishes before your lentils.

  4. Heat half your oil over medium heat in a large frying pan or saucepan (you want a lot of surface area so the bigger the better). Add onion and saute for 4-5 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add your spice blend and lentils. Sautee for 2 minutes, stirring often to prevent spices burning onto bottom of pan.

  5. Add water. Stir to remove any seasoning from bottom of pan. Cover and reduce heat to a very low simmer (only a few bubbles).

  6. Cook the lentil mixture 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, check on your rice and zest and juice your lemon. Zest is best used frozen in tablespoon portions for future recipes.

  7. Squeeze excess water out of your spinach. Heat remaining oil in your almond pan over medium heat and saute spinach with a pinch of salt, dried garlic and ginger for 3-4 minutes. When lentils are cooked, add spinach, salt to taste and juice of lemon.

  8. Use your spinach pan to toast your almonds over low heat, constantly shaking the pan to prevent burning. They should deepen in color but will become very hot so use caution when tasting. Set aside to cool.

  9. Serve with rice, topped with almonds and a sprinkle of lemon zest or lemon pepper salt if desired.

Notes & Variations:

    • To make your lemon pepper salt: 1-2 Tablespoons Fresh Citrus Zest, 1 Tbsp Kosher Salt, 1/2 Tbsp Black Pepper, & 1/4 Tsp Garlic Powder/Granules. Mix in a small bag or jar and shake thoroughly. Keep the mixture in your fridge for best results.
      • Other uses for berbere spice include sprinkling on fruit, roasting with vegetables, using on blackened meats or fish, or for a different take on guacamole or for a deeply flavored vinaigrette or marinade.

Peasant's Pie

Course: Main Dish

Cooking with Co-Op Basics: Not Shepherd's Pie

Serves 4

Gluten Free, Vegan Adaptable

  One of our working group partners kindly pointed out that traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, thus the title. This recipe would be a loose interpretation of a Peasant's Pie and relies on lentils to add healthier plant based protein, reduce the food cost, and allow flexibility for whatever lentils you have on hand.

One of our working group partners kindly pointed out that traditional Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb, thus the title. This recipe would be a loose interpretation of a Peasant's Pie and relies on lentils to add healthier plant based protein, reduce the food cost, and allow flexibility for whatever lentils you have on hand.

Starting in November 2017 the East Side Table project began partnering with Mississippi Market for their Cooking with Co-Op Basics classes. Each recipe is an adaptation of a recipe used in the East Side Table meal delivery kits by Local Crate.

The challenge is to stay true to the heart and culture of the recipe while remaining in the $10-ish range to feed a family of four. This recipe was used for the December 2017 class and is adapted from this Local Crate recipe: Beef Marsala with Scalloped Potatoes.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup (4oz) Bulk Green Lentils $.50*
  • 3 Cups Water
  • 1/2 Package Thousand Hills Ground Beef $3.24*
  • 1/4 of one small onion (about .30lbs) $.60
  • 1 Tbsp Bulk Thyme $.15*
  • 2Tsp + 1Tsp Bulk Granulated Garlic $.15*
  • 1/2 bag Our Family Frozen Peas & Carrots* $.90*
  • 2 Tbsp UNFI Raisins, chopped finely $.30*
  • 1/2 Can Tomato Paste $.75
  • 3 Medium Russet Potatoes (about 1.5lbs) $1.50
  • 4-5oz Smith Field Cream Cheese $1*
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Bulk Parsley $.10*
  • Larry Schultz Egg Yolk   $.29*
  • Salt & Pepper To Taste
  • *Denotes Co-op Basics or bulk item

Preparation:

  1. This recipe can move quickly with a few things cooking at once. It’s best to get all your ingredients ready at the start so you don’t lose time.

  2. Start 3 Cups of water and 1/2 Cup lentils to boil over high heat (reduce to a simmer once boiling).

  3. Dice onion, finely chop the raisins, and set both aside. (Save your ends and skins in the freezer with other scraps for stock). Not sure how to dice an onion? This video is a good resource for learning how to dice an onion (something we show in almost every CWCB class): http://video.bonappetit.com/watch/dice-an-onion-in-no-time-flat

  4. Cut potatoes in quarters and slice into 1” pieces - cover with 2” water, sprinkle 1 Tsp salt, and bring to a boil.

  5. Over  medium heat in a large frying pan (with no oil), add the beef and save the rest for another recipe (pasta, tacos, grain bowls, etc). When the beef begins to brown slightly, add the chopped raisins and onions with a pinch of salt. Stir occasionally and break up the beef into smaller pieces using your spatula.

  6. Reduce heat to medium low. The beef and onions will release enough water and oil to prevent sticking but add a tablespoon or two of potato water if they stick.

  7. When potatoes are easily pierced with a fork, save 1 cup of water from the pot in a jar or measuring cup and drain the potatoes. Add the potatoes and cream cheese back to the pot and stir to melt and mash together. Add egg yolk, 1/2 tsp granulated garlic and 1 Tbsp parsley. Salt to taste and reserve for later.

  8. Add granulated garlic, thyme, tomato paste and 1/2 cup of potato water to beef mixture. Stir to remove any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.

  9. When lentils are mostly soft (about 20-25 minutes), mix them and their water to the beef mixture along with half the bag of frozen vegetables. Cover and reduce heat to low and cook for another 5 minutes or until lentils are soft throughout. Salt to taste. If the liquid dries out, add remaining potato water in 1/4 cup portions until entire mixture is covered in a thick sauce. Meanwhile turn on your oven’s broiler to 425 or 450 degrees Farenheit.

  10. Spoon the beef filling into a pie pan or several small pans. Top evenly with mashed potatoes. (Placing several spoonfuls around the pan and smoothing together is the easiest approach)

  11. Place your pie(s) under the broiler until golden brown (5-8 minutes). Let cool slightly and serve.

Notes & Variations:

  • This would be a great recipe for using up kale/chard/collard green stems you froze from other recipes or other wilted greens that seem unsaveable (avoiding any rotting or liquidized leaves). Chop very finely and add to the beef mixture when you add the frozen vegetables.
  • You can substitute 1/4 C olive oil for cream cheese and omit the egg yolk to make this recipe dairy and/or egg free.

  • Add or substitute parsnips, apples, sweet potatoes, or other root vegetables to the mashed potato portion. Plan on 1.5lbs total but mix it up however you like. Beets and parsnips will take a bit longer to cook.

  • Substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef or use chopped medium texture tofu in 1/2” squares. You may need to add 2-3 Tbsp of oil if using tofu. You can also use only lentils or other beans if preferred. Plan on using about 1 cup dried beans if no meat or tofu. You will need to pre-cook beans in advance or use canned.

Simplified Pozole

Course: Main Dish

Cooking With Co-Op Basics: Budget Rojo (Red) Pozole

Serves 4

Gluten Free, Vegan Adaptable

 Pozoles can be white, red, or green. This website has a good amount of information about each as well as other tips and history of the dish.

Pozoles can be white, red, or green. This website has a good amount of information about each as well as other tips and history of the dish.

Starting in November 2017 the East Side Table project began partnering with Mississippi Market for their Cooking with Co-Op Basics classes. Each recipe is an adaptation of a recipe used in the East Side Table meal delivery kits by Local Crate.

The challenge is to stay true to the heart and culture of the recipe while remaining in the $10-ish range to feed a family of four. This recipe was used for the November 2017 class and is adapted from this Local Crate recipe.

Ingredients:

  • ½ can Field Day Double Fire Roasted Salsa
  • 3 ½ cups water
  • ½ Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp smoked paprika (to reduce cost of a can of Adobo peppers)
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp oregano (essential for pozole flavor)
  • 1 30 oz. can Hominy
  • 1 lb cabbage (about 1/4-1/2 of a head)
  • 1 small lime
  • ¼ lb bulk radishes
  • 1 lb ground Ferndale Farms ground Turkey
  • 2 Tbsp oil

*Denotes Co-op Basics or bulk item

Preparation:

  1. Heat the water and salsa in a medium saucepan and keep warm on low.

  2. Heat the oil the bottom of a large stock pot over medium if you have one. Brown the turkey until no pink is visible, sprinkle with garlic powder and smoked paprika.

  3. Pour the water/salsa mix into the turkey mix and stir to release any crispy portions from the bottom of the pan. Reduce heat to a simmer and allow to simmer uncovered.

  4. Drain the hominy and wash the cabbage. Add hominy to the soup base and continue simmering while you prepare your garnishes

  5. Thinly slice your cabbage and radishes (tip: try using a vegetable peeler for the radishes to make them very thin!)

  6. Quarter your lime into wedges

  7. Serve the soup hot with cabbage, limes, and radishes to garnish according to taste.

Notes & Variations:

If your budget allows other traditional garnishes include: green onion, avocado, tortilla chips, dried pepper flakes, and cilantro! Medium texture tofu can be substituted for turkey as can ground chicken or pork.  You may want to increase your oil content if using tofu by 2 Tbsp and add additional spices while sauteeing your tofu.

Healthy Zucchini Parmesan

Course: Main Dish

Cooking With Co-Op Basics:Zucchini Parmesan

Serves 4

Gluten Free Adaptable, Vegetarian

 Cereal can be used for breadcrumbs to make gluten free or extra crunchy along with oat or wheat germ for added heartiness and nutrition.

Cereal can be used for breadcrumbs to make gluten free or extra crunchy along with oat or wheat germ for added heartiness and nutrition.

This recipe was used for my September 2017 Cooking with Co-Op Basics class at Mississippi Market.

As with all my recipes, it is meant to be adapted for what is in season. See notes at the end of the recipe for variation ideas.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb zucchini or summer squash $4.99
  • 1 Tbsp bulk lemon pepper spice blend* $.25
  • 1/4 cup oat or wheat bran* $.50
  • 1 cup puffed rice or other whole grain cereal ($.30 of a $2.99 box)
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese $2.00 (1/3 cup for topping and 2/3 for layering)
  • 1 Jar Field Day Pasta Sauce* $2.99
  • 1/4 cup olive oil*
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450ºF. Slice your squash into 1/4” round slices. Toss in a bowl with 2 tbsp oil to coat, then spread into an even layer on two sheet pans lined with parchment or a silicon mat.  Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on each side. Roast for 10 minutes. Remove pans from oven and set aside.
    Reduce oven to 400ºF.

  2. Meanwhile, make the topping: Use a blender to pulse the cereal and bran. Mix in a bowl with the 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese, remaining 2 tablespoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper to taste. Set aside

  3. Into a circular gratin dish (about 9 inches in diameter) or a 9-by-9-inch or similar baking pan, spoon a small amount of sauce (about a heaping 1/3 cup), then add a thin scattering of Parmesan, then a single layer of zucchini, shingling the slices slightly. Repeat until all ingredients are used, ending with a little sauce and cheese—you should have about 3 layers of zucchini. Top with the crumb mixture.

  4. Bake until the mixture is bubbly and top is golden, 25 minutes or so depending on size of pan and thickness of layers. Remove from heat and allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. This also tastes great at room temperature.

Notes & Variations:

You can use dried bread or cooked grains that dried and cooled overnight in the refrigerator. Try other vegetables too, cooking until they are easily pierced with a fork during the first cooking step. 1-2 layers of leafy greens or fresh basil can be added too.