Simple Foods

November 7, 1985

Appetites are perking up with the cool fall weather. It’s time to get out the big kettle and cook some simple food that takes a while to be done. You’ll warm the kitchen and get supper ready at the same time.

The recipes today are all meatless, but they are still high in protein and low in fat. Also high in fiber and low in cost.

The Mung Bean Dal and Lentil Soup are authentic recipes I got from an Indian friend who babysits my Connecticut grandchildren, Kaberi Chakraborty.

Lentil Soup

8 ounces dry lentils

Water to cover

2 onions, chipped

4 celery stalks, chopped

4 carrots, sliced

1 clove garlic, minced

4 cups grated zucchini

2 quarts canned tomatoes

Cook beans in water 20 minutes. Add onions, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook 30 more minutes. Add zucchini and tomatoes and cook 15 more minutes.

Any kind of dry beans may be substituted for lentils. Adjust cooking time so they are tender before adding other ingredients.

Makes 4 large servings, 300 calories each.

Mung Bean Dal

1 cup mung beans

4 cups water

2 teaspoons salt

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon oil

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 hot yellow or green pepper

4 tablespoons ghee

Cook beans and next 5 ingredients until beans are sot. Add chopped pepper and cook five more minutes. Add ghee Mix and serve. Makes four servings.

In India the chapati (a form of bread) is dipped into the dal and eaten with the fingers.

Butter may be substituted for the ghee.

Refried Beans

2 cups cooked pinto beans with juice

1 six ounce can tomato paste

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 onion, chopped

2 teaspoons oil

Mash beans. Add tomato paste and chili powder. Saute onion in oil.

Stir in beans and cook, stirring frequently until beans are hot. Serve with flour tortillas and cheese, if desired.

Mexican Rice and Beans

1 pound red kidney beans

3 quarts water

2 15 ounce cans tomato sauce

4 tablespoons chili powder

4 teaspoons oregano

4 onions, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

8 ounces brown rice, raw

1 tablespoon oil

Soak beans in water overnight. Cook till tender. Saute onions and garlic in oil. Add tomato sauce and spices. Simmer 15 minutes. Add to cooked beans. Add rice and stir. Cook one hour. Makes eight serving. 350 calories per serving.

White rice may be substituted for the brown rice.

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