Victoria's Kitchen

Red Lentil Hummus

Who knew! Red lentil hummus is not… red. It’s not orange, nor is it pink. 

So it’s a mystery where the color goes. 

But man is it creamy. I’ve also used a Middle Eastern spice here called za’atar. It’s a mixture of sumac, sesame seeds, and thyme. It’s worth hunting down to give this a really tangy and fabulous taste. If you can’t find it of course you’ll be fine with just the tahini in the same way that regular hummus is made. 

Red Lentil Hummus
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Prep Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup red lentils, rinsed and picked through
  2. 3/4 cup water
  3. 3 large spoonfuls of tahini
  4. A large drizzle of olive oil
  5. A big squeeze of lemon juice
  6. A large pinch of fleur de sel
  7. A large pinch of za'atar
Instructions
  1. Cook the lentils with the water until mushy- about 10-15 minutes. Add a touch more water if you need to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pan during the cooking process.
  2. When done, pull off the heat, and smash with a spoon to soften further.
  3. Mix in the remaining ingredients, in whatever ratio strikes your fancy, this recipe is very adaptable.
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Endives with Pomegranate & Goat Cheese

This is a great appetizer, very pleasing to the eye, healthy, and delicate. 

Also, very easy to make and can be made ahead of time. 

You won’t get any points for making something uber complicated, but sometimes that’s ok. 

Endives with Pomegranates & Goat Cheese
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Prep Time
10 min
Prep Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 Endives, washed
  2. Seeds from a half a pomegranate (eat the rest for breakfast!)
  3. A small piece of goat cheese, any type, as long as you can crumble it somehow
Instructions
  1. Gently tear off each endive leaf and arrange nicely on a plate.
  2. Crumble the goat cheese evenly across the leaves, and sprinkle the pomegranate seeds on top.
  3. Enjoy!
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Hearty Turkish Red Lentil Soup

This is a Turkish soup, which is really somewhere between soup and daal. 

It’s got rice and bulgar already in it though, so it’s a one-pot dish. 

It’s hearty and comforting, and most importantly beyond simple, as long as you can wait for the lentils to cook themselves.

It’s originally from a book called ‘The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian’, by Sally Butcher (which is just a fantastic book- buy it now). In the book it’s called ‘The Soup of Ezo the Bride’, and the story behind it is that a woman named Ezo Gelin, who basically had two horrendous marriages, the first was a bum, and the second had a monster mother-in-law. This soup apparently stemmed from her efforts to please this mother-in-law.  

I’m surprised it didn’t work- it’s amazing! 

Hearty Turkish Red Lentil Soup
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Ingredients
  1. Butter/oil for frying
  2. 1 large onion, finely chopped
  3. 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  4. 3 tomatoes, diced
  5. 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  6. 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  7. 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  8. 1 1/2 cups red lentils, cleaned and rinsed
  9. 1/4 cup long-grain rice
  10. 1/2 cup bulgar
  11. 8 cups vegetable stock
  12. Salt & Pepper
  13. Juice of 1 lemon
  14. 1 tablespoon dried mint
Instructions
  1. Melt then butter in a soup pot, and add a bit of oil. Fry the onion until it starts to soften, and add the garlic. After a minute or so add the tomatoes, cumin and paprika.
  2. Stir for another minute and add in the tomato paste followed by the lentils, rice and bulgar. Store in the broth, and bring to the boil. Turn down to a summer and cook for 30-40 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the dried mint.
  4. When ready to serve, squeeze a half a lemon over each bowl, and stir. You can also top with a dollop of yogurt.
Adapted from The New Middle Eastern Vegetarian
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Tomato Rice with Homemade Meatballs

This is a super easy weeknight meal. Don’t be turned off by the ‘homemade’ part of the meatballs, it’s really an overstatement, all you need to do is open up some sausages and roll the meat into meatballs. 

You can also get totally wild with the vegetables, throw in whatever you have. The only thing that must be in there is the tomatoes, but if you’ve got leftover green beans on hand or a giant handful of parsley, go go go. 

Tomato Rice with Homemade Meatballs
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 4-6 sausages, your choice, I love Italian sausages with fennel seed
  2. 1 small onion
  3. 2 carrots
  4. a handful of frozen diced pumpkin or squash
  5. 3 garlic cloves, finely hopped
  6. 1 teaspoon cumin
  7. 1 teaspoon coriander
  8. 140g or 3/4 cup long grain rice
  9. 850ml vegetable stock
  10. 1 400g chopped tomatoes
  11. 1 small bunch of coriander
Instructions
  1. Cut the sausage skins open with a knife and peel off. Roll the meat into small meatballs about the size of a large olive. Heat the oil in a large pan, then brown the meatballs well on all sides until cooked. Set aside.
  2. Add the onion and garlic to the pan. Soften for 5 mins, and then stir in the carrots and pumpkin. Mix for another few minutes, and stir in the spices and rice. Cook for 1 more minute and then pour in the stock and tomatoes.
  3. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer for 10 mins until the rice is just cooked, then stir in the meatballs with some salt and pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls, and scatter with coriander.
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Adapted from BBC Good Food
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Steak with Soba, Zucchini & Edamame

The steak here is not the main act. It’s delicious, but the whole thing works very well without it. 

This is equally good cold as it is just after cooking it, so it’s an easy thing to serve when you have people over because it’s not very fussy. 

There are quite a few adaptations you could make if you wanted, I can easily picture chicken or tofu instead of steak. 

Steak with Soba, Zucchini & Edamame
Serves 3
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
10 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 8oz bag of soba noodles
  2. A large spoonful of toasted sesame oil
  3. 3/4 cup soy sauce
  4. 3/4 cup mirin
  5. 1 large spoonful of sugar
  6. 6 thick slices of fresh ginger, peeled)
  7. 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
  8. 1 tsp salt
  9. 1 large or two small steaks
  10. 2 small zucchini, cut into thick matchsticks (in half lengthwise, in long slices, and then in 2-inch chunks)
  11. 2 cups of edamame (frozen or fresh)
  12. 4 spring onions, sliced thinly
  13. 2 large spoonfuls toasted sesame seeds
  14. 1 large bunch coriander, washed and chopped
Instructions
  1. 6-12 hours before you want to cook, combine the soy sauce, mirin, sugar, ginger, garlic, salt and 1 cup water in a small pan, and bring to the boil. Let cool, and marinate the steak(s) in this mixture until you are ready to eat.
  2. Toast the sesame seeds in a small frying pan.
  3. When you are ready to go, boil the water for the soba noodles, with plenty of salt. Cook the soba noodles for 4 minutes (or according to the instructions on your package), when done strain, rinse well, and toss with the sesame oil so that they don't stick.
  4. In a sizzlingly hot pan fry the steak(s) 3 minutes on each side, or as you like to eat your steak!
  5. When done, take the steak out and set it aside, pour the marinade into the pan and bring to the boil. Once boiling throw in the edamame and zucchini and cook for 2 minutes or so. You want them tender but not overcooked.
  6. In a large bowl mix the soba with the sesame seeds, spring onion, and coriander. When done, add the zucchini and edamame, leaving the marinade in the pan to boil for another few minutes, until it's a bit thicker.
  7. Toss the salad well, top with slices of steak, and once reduced drizzle with the sauce.
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Old-Fashioned Gingerbread

Made this for a wonderful weekend in the Ardennes with a great group of friends. Pure heaven. 

It’s a firmer gingerbread, not a ginger cake, so keep this in mind. In fact it’s a bit Christmassy, so would be nice to make around the holidays. 

Try it hot out of the oven with a giant slather of salty butter. 

Old-Fashioned Ginger Bread
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
1 hr
Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup molasses
  2. 6 tablespoons butter
  3. 1 Egg
  4. 4 tablespoons buttermilk
  5. 2 cups flour
  6. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  7. 2 heaping teaspoons ground ginger
  8. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  9. 1/3 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  10. Pinch of salt
  11. 3/4 cup dried currants or raisins
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. and line the bottom of a buttered 8-inch round tin (2 inches deep) with parchment paper.
  2. Melt the molasses with the butter.
  3. Beat the egg with the buttermilk.
  4. Sift together flour, baking soda, ground ginger, cinnamon, brown sugar, and a pinch of salt. Mix in the currants or raisins.
  5. Add the egg mixture, then add the syrup mixture and mix well.
  6. Bake 10 minutes in the 375-degree oven, turn the heat down to 325 degrees F. and bake 35 to 40 minutes more.
  7. A few crumbs will stick to a tester when the cake is done.
Adapted from More Home Cooking: A Writer Returns to the Kitchen
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies

Not much to say here. It’s a classic chocolate chip cookie. 

I’m unable to find chocolate chips in Belgium so I always wind up chopping up a bar of chocolate instead. Of course I get impatient and wind up with giant chunks of chocolate, but that’s fine, these cookies are pretty adaptable. 

Classic Chocolate Chip Cookies
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
15 min
Ingredients
  1. 2 cups/260g all-purpose flour
  2. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 3/4 cup/170g unsalted butter, melted
  5. 1 cup/190g packed brown sugar
  6. 1/2 cup/100 grams granulated sugar
  7. 1 tablespoon/15ml vanilla extract
  8. 1 large egg
  9. 1 large egg yolk
  10. 2 cups/roughly 12 oz semisweet chocolate chips, or a dark chocolate bar, all chopped up by hand
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended.
  3. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended.
  4. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon. Drop cookie dough 1/4 cup at a time (for giant cookies) or a tablespoon at a time (for smaller cookies) onto the prepared cookie sheets. Cookies should be about 3 inches apart.
  5. Bake larger cookies for 15 to 17 minutes, or 10 to 12 minutes for smaller ones (check your cookies before they’re done; depending on your scoop size, your baking time will vary) in the preheated oven, or until the edges are lightly toasted. Cool on baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
Adapted from All Recipes
Adapted from All Recipes
Victoria's Kitchen http://kitchenbyvictoria.com/

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