This delicious Middle Eastern mix of lentils and rice, simmered with fragrant spices and mixed with caramelized onions, is also nutritious. Varying spellings include mujaddara, mujadarah, mjadra, majadra, mjaddara, mejadra, mudardara, mjaddara, mjaddaret, or megadarra. No matter how you spell it, mejadra is a tasty and hearty vegan dish. This can be made without oil in a non-stick skillet. The no-oil version has a slightly different texture, but it is delicious.
PREP: 30 min. COOK: 30 min MEDIUM SAUCEPAN, MIXING BOWL, SERVING BOWL SERVES: 4
OLIVE OIL, 2 Tbsp ONIONS, 3 medium, thinly sliced LENTILS, 1/2 c green or brown, dried CUMIN, 1/4 tsp RICE, 1/2 c TURMERIC, 1/2 tsp, ground ALLSPICE, 1/2 tsp, ground CINNAMON, 1/2 tsp, ground SUGAR, 1 tsp SALT, to taste BLACK PEPPER, to taste WATER, 1 c
1. Wash the LENTILS, cover with water, bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 12-15 minutes until tender but not mushy; set aside
2. Caramelize the sliced ONION in the OLIVE OIL until transparent and golden brown; drain on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt
3. Wash the RICE thoroughly; toast it lightly in the oil from the onions until it is slightly brown
4. Stir in the CUMIN, ALLSPICE, CINNAMON, SUGAR, and BLACK PEPPER
5. Add 1 cup of WATER and stir lightly; bring the rice mixture to a boil, add SALT, then lower the heat, cover the pan, leaving air space so it doesn’t boil over.
6. When the RICE mixture has cooked for 10 minutes, stir in the LENTILS, taste to adjust salt, replace the lid, and continue cooking for 5 more minutes
7. Remove from heat, cover with a clean dish towel, and replace the lid tightly; let set for 10 minutes
8. Pour mixture into a large mixing bowl, and add half the ONIONS; mix lightly
9. Move to serving bowl and top with the remaining ONIONS
Cumin (español: comino) is a flowering plant in the family Apiaceae, native to a territory that stretches from the Middle East to India. Its seeds, which are contained within a fruit are dried and used whole or ground in the cuisines of many cultures. Cumin has a high content of nutrients such as iron (512% of the Daily Value in 100 g), thiamine, magnesium, and manganese, it is used in tiny quntities (less than 1/2 teaspoon in a typical recipe). Although cumin is thought to have uses in traditional medicine, there is no high-quality evidence that it is safe or effective as a therapeutic agent. It is, however, indispensable in many Mexican dishes.
Cucumber (español: pepino) is a widely-cultivated creeping vine plant in the Cucurbitaceae gourd family that bears cucumiform fruits, which are used as vegetables. There are three main varieties of cucumber—slicing, pickling, and burpless/seedless—within which several cultivars have been created. The cucumber originates from South Asia, but now grows on most continents, as many different types of cucumber are traded on the global market.
Nutrition Facts: 3.5 oz (100 g) of unpeeled cucumber
calories 16 carbohydrates 3.63 g fat 0.11 g fiber 0.5 g calcium 2% DV folate 2% DV iron 2% DV magnesium 4% DV manganese 4% DV niacin 1% DV pantothenic acid 5% DV phosphorous 3% DV potassium 3% DV protein 0.65 g riboflavin 3% DV thiamine 2% DV zinc 2% DV vitamin B6 3% DV vitamin C 3% DV vitamin K 16% DV
Corn smut (español: huitlacoche) is a plant disease caused by the pathogenic fungus Ustilago maydis that causes smut on maize and teosinte. The fungus forms galls on all above-ground parts of corn species. It is edible, and is known in Mexico as the delicacy huitlacoche, usually served in soups or as a filling in tacos and other tortilla-based foods. It has been called Mexican truffle and Aztec caviar.
Nutrition Facts: 100 g of corn smut
calories 40 carbohydrates 7.88 g fiber 4.4 g potassium 334 mg
A clementine (español: clementina) is a citrus fruit hybrid between a willowleaf mandarinorange and a sweet orange named for its late 19th-century discoverer, French Missionary Brother Clément Rodier. Clementines are said to have appeared spontaneously in an Algerian orphanage garden tended by Brother Clément. The exterior is a deep orange colour with a smooth, glossy appearance. Clementines can be separated into 7 to 14 segments. Like tangerines, they are easy to peel. They are typically juicy and sweet, with less acid than oranges.
One small fruit provides 40% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin C.
Nutrition Facts: 1 clementine (74 g)
calories 35 carbohydrates 9 g fat 0 g fiber 1 g folate 5% DV protein 1 g thiamine 5% DV vitamin C 40% DV
Corn, or maize (español: maiz) is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are ground into corn meal or masa.
Nutrition Facts: 3 oz (100 g) of sweetcorn
calories 86 carbohydrates 18.7 g fat 1.35 g fiber 2 g folate 11% DV iron 4% DV magnesium 10% DV manganese 8% DV niacin 12% DV pantothenic acid 14% DV phosphorus 13% DV potassium 6% DV protein 3.27 g riboflavin 5% DV thiamine 13% DV zinc 5% DV vitamin A 1% DV vitamin B6 7% DV vitamin C 8% DV
PREP: 20 min COOK: 1 hour, or until beans are soft COOKING POT SERVES: 4
FAVA BEANS, dry, 1 cup WATER, 2-3 cups TOMATOES, 2 medium, finely chopped ONION, 1/2 medium GARLIC, 1 clove, minced CILANTRO, fresh ANCHO CHILE, 1 dried GREEN CHILE, 1 small, finely chopped SALT, to taste
1. Clean the FAVA BEANS and soak them overnight
2. Pour off the soaking water, rinse the beans, and add 2-3 cups of water
3. Cook the beans until tender with 2-3 slices of onion, 1 diced tomato 1 clove of minced garlic, a few sprigs of cilantro, and the ancho chile (remove the seeds); add salt to taste when they finish cooking
4. In a large pot, saute the other TOMATO, diced, with the rest of the onion, diced, and the GREEN CHILE, finely chopped with the seeds removed
5. Add the cooked BEAN mixture to the sauteed vegetables, stir well, and heat through; you can mash the beans lightly or serve them whole
Fava beans, sometimes called horse beans or broad beans (español: habas) come from a species of flowering plant in the Fabaceae pea and bean family. It is widely cultivated as a crop for human consumption. Eating these beans regularly may have benefits for symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, help prevent birth defects, boost immunity, aid weight loss and lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
A serving of fava beans packs 106% of the daily requirement of folates, important for preventing birth defects.
Nutrition Facts: 3.5 oz (100 g) of fava beans
calories 341 calcium 10% DV carbohydrates 58.29 g copper 41% DV fat 1.53 g fiber 25 g folate 106% DV iron 52% DV magnesium 54% DV manganese 77% DV niacin 19% DV phosphorous 60% DV potassium 23% DV protein 26.12 g riboflavin 28% DV selenium 12% DV sodium 1% DV thiamine 48% DV zinc 33% DV vitamin B6 28% DV vitamin C 2% DV vitamin K 9% DV
Hominy (español: nixtamal) is fundamental to Mexican cooking. Tortillas (and all their variations–enchiladas, gorditas, tostadas and sopes to name a few) tamales, and atole, a thick drink, are made from nixtamal masa (dough). Pozole features the nixtamal grains. Hominy, or nixtamal is produced from dried maize (corn) treated with an alkali in a process called nixtamalization. Hominy is also a favorite in the southern United States, often served in the ground-up version known as hominy grits.
Nutrition Facts: 1 cup of hominy (165 g)
calories 119 calcium 6% DV carbohydrates 24 g fat 1.5 g protein 2.4 g vitamin B12 7% DV
When I switched to plant-based living after a lifetime of meals planned around a main course of meat, I immediately felt positive effects and found it surprisingly easy, even fun, to change my habits and explore new ways of enjoying food. Fruit and Stuff is a collection of some of the many things I have learned since I started the journey.
Even if you are not ready to give up meat, you will benefit from adding more plant foods to your daily meals. I hope you’ll find something useful here.
The most recent articles appear first on the Home page, and the tabs at the top of every page are for locating any article, past or present. The Glossary links to facts about plant-based foods, the Recipe tab will direct you to the recipe index, and the Resources consist of news and opinions about plant-based living.