Guru Rabbit

Turn a new leaf (and EAT it)

Sharing is Yummy January 20, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 9:44 am
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I like to provide things when I can.  I try to be helpful, generous, solution-giving, etc.  I like to produce.

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So when someone asks for a recipe, because they so adored the dish when I first served it

2013-01-17 18.46.04   Damn right I’m gonna supply.

So yeah.  I made this Shepherd’s Pie for Thanksgiving.  And I kinda winged it, and didn’t record the recipe.

The “meat” portion is based on/inspired by my awesomely awesome chili.

The texture of the finely chopped veggies, legumes, and the wonderful blend of spices makes a great alternative to ground beef.

Lots of flavor going on, people.

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Then there’s mashedly mashed potatoes.

I boiled the tah-toes with their own skins, plenty of salt, and some peppercorns.

Can’t hurt to add a little extras when you boil something…

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(Can you see my reflection in the wonderful Professional Kitchenaid Mixer, Tia Malena??)

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Green things = chives.  Because everyone likes chives, right?

Yellow cube things: buttah.  Because, damnit.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie


for the filling-

1 medium carrot

1 pint mushrooms

1 medium tomato

1 small onion (or half medium

1-2 garlic cloves, depending on your liking for garlic

1/2 cup red lentils (you can use other types of lentils, but they may require longer cooking time)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp paprika

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp coriander

approx 1 cup liquid (broth, beer, water, etc.)

drizzle of soy sauce or tamari

salt and pepper to taste

for the mashed potatoes-

3 large Russet potatoes

2 tsp salt

1 tsp pepper or peppercorns (optional)

1 1/4 cup sour cream (maybe a little more if necessary)

1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) butter

1 bunch of chives, finely chopped

salt and pepper to taste

1) Make the filling.  Finely chop the carrot, mushrooms, tomato, onion and garlic.  Drizzle some olive oil in large pot and turn the heat to medium-high.  Now throw in all the veggies and lentils.  When things start to get hot, lower the heat to medium, and cover the pot partially.  Stir occasionally as the liquid from the shrooms and tomatoes evaporates.  Meanwhile, combine the spices in a small bowl.  When the mixture has lost most of its liquid, stir in the spices, then add the broth, or whatever you’re using (I used a combination of hard cider and water).  Also add the soy sauce.  Bonus: I had some fresh thyme and sage from my new patio garden and threw that in.  Allow to cook until the mixture has a chili-like consistency and the lentils are done.  Add salt and pepper to your liking.  Spread filling into a 9-inch pie plate, or an 8×8 inch baking dish (or something equivalent).  Set aside.

2) Make the mashed potatoes.  Peel the potatoes, and combine them with their skins, salt, and pepper (if using) in a large pot.  (The skin adds a bit of flavor).  Add enough water to cover the potatoes and put to boil for about half an hour, or until they are tender.  Once done, transfer the hot potatoes to a large bowl.  Reserve the water they were boiled in.  Break them up with a knife or large fork, then start mashing with either a mixer or potato masher.  Add the butter, and mix/mash it in until it’s melted.  Now mix in the sour cream, then the reserved cooking water as necessary until it’s smooth, creamy and fluffy.  Gradually add chives, salt and pepper to taste, and more sour cream if you feel it’s needed.

3) Spread the potatoes over the filling.  Make it fluffy!!  If you’re like me, more salt and pepper over the top.  Then we’re gonna be bad… and dot some little cubes of butter all over before this baby hits the oven.  And bake at 350°F, though you can turn the temperature higher if you’re lacking patience…  Until the potatoes are lightly browned…  And that butter has melted and adorned the crevices like rivers running through mountains…

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You can serve this right away.  Maybe along a nice salad like this one.

Or this one.

And for dessert, maybe some Cranberry Orange Banana Bread?

And/or irresistible Pumpkin Blondies?

Some notes…  This recipe can be adjusted in various ways.  For one, you can use different veggies than listed.  Just keep texture in mind.  You don’t want a mushy filling, so different types of mushrooms, root veggies, lentils, corn, quinoa, etc, are good options.  Second, you can use different types of potatoes, but some are more waxy versus starchy like Russets, so do your research and see what will be good for mashing.  Third, want to make this a little healthier?  Use Greek yogurt mixed with the juice of one lemon instead of sour cream.  And olive oil instead of butter?  Totally okay.  FOURTH!  Want to make it vegan?  There are plenty of vegan substitutes for butter and sour cream.  But if you have trouble getting them near you, just ask, I’ll help you out with what you got.

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And finally… Share =)


Hodgepodge January 10, 2013

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 3:31 pm
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The feeling that part of you slept through the end of the year..

chibi nap

And though good things happened


Those things are still too new to really grasp…


So you take what you got, or what you’ve made from what you got…




And layer it into the Pyrex dish you received  for Christmas :)

And bake.

You make comfort food.  You make something special out of things so ordinary,

or things that are “just there”… for whatever reason.

You make:

Rainbow Chard, Onion, and Lentil Panade

Panade is essentially a bread casserole.  It’s very versatile.  All you need is some stale or dried bread cubes, a filling of your choice, and soup stock.  Here’s my delicious version.


a couple cloves of garlic, minced

1 medium sweet onion, thinly sliced

1 lb rainbow chard, sliced into ribbons, and the stems diced

a tsp each of fennel and caraway seeds (you can use whatever herbs or spices you like, but I find this combination interesting and delicious)

about half a pound of stale or dried bread cubes (I used challah but brioche, sourdough, baguette, whole wheat, etc., should do just as well)

about 1 cup cooked lentils (any type– French, red, black, green, etc.)*

2 cups nice vegetable broth

1) Make your filling.  Over medium heat in some olive oil or butter, cook your garlic and onions until they start to soften.  Add the chard, and stir around until it’s wilted.  Add the fennel and caraway seeds, salt, pepper, and adjust flavors to your taste.

2) (If your bread cubes are not dry, you can pop them in the oven on the lowest temperature for a while.  You want them to be able to soak up the broth.)  When you have your fillings and bread ready, preheat the oven to 350°F.  Brush a medium sized baking dish (about 8×8 inches or the equivalent) with olive oil.  Spread half of the bread cubes on the bottom.  Drizzle them with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Fill the gaps with half the fillings.  Repeat with the remaining bread and filling.  I had some finely ground pecans and sprinkled some of those on top, but that’s not necessary.  Top off the casserole with an extra drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and anything else you feel like.


3) Pour the broth evenly over the panade.  Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 15-20 minutes, or until the top bread cubes are dry and crusty, and there’s some bubbling action on the bottom.  Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes.

*Cheese is often used in panade.  I had some cooked red lentils on hand and thought it a good idea to throw in something healthier than cheese, so there.  But by all means, whatever floats yer boat…


All you need now is a fork.  Plates are stupid.


A Cilantro Solution December 3, 2012

Filed under: Recipes — rabbit @ 6:40 pm
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Before I start going nuts about posting recipes for the holidays, I wanted to show yous guys this little impromptu project.

You know that dilemma when you buy fresh herbs… and they come in huge bunches…

and you only need a few stems for the reason you bought them?



Cilantro happens to me a lot.  Because it’s used quite a bit in some of my favorite cuisines: Mexican, Indian, Thai, Middle Eastern…

And my co-worker asked me to make salsa.  So I did… And you can only put so much cilantro in salsa.

I mean, come on.

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Red lentils, sweet bell pepper…

red onion, lime, jalapeño, a bit of unsweetened dried coconut…

Oh yeah, garlic, salt and pepper.  Essentials, y’know.

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Red Lentil, Sweet Pepper & Cilantro Salad

This is a do-as-you-please recipe.  Because that’s what salads are about.  Adjust quantities to your liking.

Here’s the approximation of what I did:

Cooked red lentils.  About 1 cup.

1 sweet bell pepper.  Yellow or orange would be best.

Half a small red onion.

A bunch of cilantro leaves (to suit your taste).

Two to three cloves of garlic.

1 jalapeño

1 lime

1/4 to 1/2 cup dried, unsweetened coconut (optional, but adds a touch of sweetness)

salt and pepper

Dice your bell pepper and onion.  Finely chop your cilantro, garlic and jalapeño.  Mix everything together in a bowl, and grate some lime zest in there.  Salt, pepper, and the juice of the lime to taste.  You can also drizzle in some olive or sesame oil.  Want more seasoning?  Try cumin, fenugreek, ginger, cinnamon.  But tread lightly.  Don’t want to overwhelm these bright and sprightly ingredients.

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Cookies.  Soon.

I promise.

But I think you’ll like this too.


Chili of the Gods February 5, 2012

Filed under: Interestin' Food Info,Recipes — rabbit @ 2:59 pm
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Hey, guys…

I have to tell you about this chili.


I mean, it just looks like a bunch of funky stuff.  Which it is.  But it’s an awesome bunch of funky stuff… tomatoes, onion, and garlic, naturally.  Cumin, cayenne powder, AND chili paste.  Yesss.  Black lentils and red quinoa, for heartiness and protein, but also because they are the perfect color for chili (thanks again, Tiiinnnaaa).  Cinnamon, cocoa powder, and peanut butter… wait!  Don’t make faces at me!  I know those last three are more like dessert ingredients, but trust me…

This chili is largely inspired by ancient Mesoamerican culture (damn you, inner Mexican).  If you are familiar with mole sauce in Mexican cuisine and how it’s made, the array of spices in this chili should not surprise you.  There are many versions of mole sauces, but the most accessible types are general mash-ups of chili peppers, sweet and savory spices, herbs, nuts, seeds, and unsweetened chocolate or cocoa.  The chocolate/cocoa adds a unique depth to mole, as well as this chili.  In fact, you may find that many chili afficionados support the addition of chocolate or cocoa.  Then there’s the quinoa, the “mother of all grains”, according to the Incas.  Although most associated with Peru in origin, various types of quinoa have been grown throughout South and North America, and is therefore, totally appropriate combined with Mexican flavors.  And I’m not gonna lie, black lentils just sounded cool to use in combination with red quinoa.



Vegan Aztec Chili


(Long list, yes, but easy to make.  You can use other veggies if you’d like– bell peppers, sweet potato, greens, summer squash, etc.  But definitely keep the onion, garlic and tomatoes.  Quinoa and lentils of any color will do, also.)

2 medium carrots, chopped into small pieces
1 1/2 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup black lentils
1 cup red quinoa
2 tsp cumin
1 1/2 tsp coriander
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
3 Tbsp cocoa
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp oregano
1 tsp thyme
2-3 Tbsp peanut butter (almond or cashew butter would probably work nicely as well)
2-3 Tbsp chili paste
2-4 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
2-4 Tbsp soy sauce
2-3 tsp vegan worcesteshire sauce

Seriously, this is the most laborious part.  If you have a food processor though…

1) In a large soup pot, combine the carrots, mushrooms, onion, garlic and tomatoes.  Bring to medium-high heat, and cook until reduced.

2) Add the quinoa, lentils, and EVERYTHING ELSE.  Oh, and six cups of water.  Simmer over medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  This should be enough time for the lentils and quinoa to cook thoroughly.

3) Add salt and pepper to taste, and adjust seasonings if need be.  If it’s not rich enough for you, add some olive oil or extra peanut butter (but be careful, you don’t want too much peanut flavor).  If you like it more saucy, add some plain tomato juice (or dark beer… that would be good… but let the alcohol cook out).  For ultimate awesomeness, let it sit for at least 15 minutes so the flavors can party together.  You can serve this with some avocado, corn chips, tortillas, pico de gallo, or if you’re not doing the vegan thing, some sour cream or farmer’s cheese.

Why, yes, you CAN eat chili from a mug!

But don’t eat the dried chili pepper…  You’ll die.