Greek Faki Soup ~ Lentil Soup

In My Kitchen/ Nicholas Tanis

MAR'13 003


1 pound (454 grams) lentils

3 medium yellow onions, chopped small                    

1 small green bell pepper, chopped small                   

3 stalks celery, chopped small

4 small carrots, chopped small

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 can (8oz) of tomato sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

a dash of paprika

4 whole cloves

3 bay leaves

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste


Soak the lentils in cold water overnight; rinse in cold water and drain. (If you don’t soak, cook the lentils, after bringing to a boil, for 40 min on simmer, while covered, in the 6 Qt water, as indicated below, before proceeding!)

Add the lentils into a large (at least 8Qt./ @8L / 32 cups) soup pot, with 6 quarts (@6L/24 cups) cold water.

Stir, and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, continue cooking.

Add all of the vegetable ingredients, plus the tomato sauce, olive oil, and spices.

Stirring occasionally, continue to cook for about another 30-45 minutes; until soup broth begins to slightly thicken (when the lentils are tender).

Remove from heat, and allow to sit uncovered for approx. 15-20 minutes before serving.

Using a deep ladle, pour soup into individual bowls.

You may add red wine vinegar to each soup serving as per taste.

Serve with a hearty crusted bread – either French or Italian.

MAR'13 013

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Quinoa Stuffed Peppers With Tamarind Marinated Halibut


SERVES 4– (I cook in bulk and save left overs for lunch/dinner;can keep in fridge for a week at least)


1 Deep skillet

1 sauce pan

cutting board

kitchen knife; wooden sauce spatula



1 cup quinoa

2 very large or 4 large sized peppers of any color, mix and match colors 😉

1 can (28oz/794 g) of crushed or diced tomatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 whole onion

1/2 of a 10 Oz/ 284 g container of Baby Bella or porcini mushrooms diced

10 oz of mozarella


olive oil

spices: salt, pepper

3/4 of a 16 oz/454 g jar of Mexican salsa–can vary, mild or hot to your liking

1 bottle (10oz/300g) of tamarind sauce for marinating  the four halibut filets







1)Preparing the fish

marinate over night in tamarind sauce (can substitute with home made 50:50 soy sauce:balsamic vinegar)

In an oven grilling pan or stove-top searing pan grill/sear the fish on both sides

(Tip–use Al foil in the botom of the grilling pan to collect drippings and make cleaning easier)

2)Swell the quinoa first, as cook the sauce to fold the quinoa into:

a)Swell the quinoa:

measure 1 cup of the quinoa and put in sauce pan with two cups of water

bring to a boil and then let simmer covered for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally as the quinoa absorbs the water and swells

turn fire off when ready until ready to fold into the sauce prepared below

b)Prepare the Sauce:

chop up the onions, garlic and mushrooms and stir fry/saute in 1/8″ or 3mm extra virgin olive oil in the deep skillet

add the diced/crushed tomatoes reserving the tomato juice in the can

add the Mexican salsa

cook over medium heat for 10 minutes

add 2TBSP of sherry or red wine and simmer for 10 more minutes

fold in with constant stirring the quinoa

3)Put 2a and 2b together and bake at 325F :

pre-heat oven to 325F

place pepper halves in a baking pan that has half of the tomato sauce/juice left over from the crushed/diced can of tomatoes

fill peppers with the quinoa mixture (should take half the mixture, depending on the size and number of peppers)

thin remainder with rest of reserved juice and pour around the peppers

sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the peppers and bake uncovered in the oven for 30-35 minutes (15 min in a convection oven)

remove form oven and let rest for 15 minutes

plate with the halibut and serve with fresh basil and enjoy!

Check out another serving of our quinoa stuffed peppers:

Turkish Style Bulger Wheat Vegetable Tabbouleh Served Up With Grilled Tilapia And Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

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Turkish Style Bulger Wheat Vegetable Tabbouleh Recipe


Tabbouleh as a side to simply grilled, skinless, breaded, chicken thighs, wings, and legs



1 onion

3-4 muschrooms

1 carrot

3 scallions

fresh cilantro chopped rinse and wash sand off it)

3 cloves garlic

Extra Virgin Olive Oil

2.5 cups of bulger wheat

5 cups chicken stock (1 cup = 236.5 mL = @1/4 L)

1 can (15.5 oZ/439g) Goya Black Beans and/or 1 can mixed vegetables

1 can (14.5 OZ/ 411 g) DelMonte Stewed Italian Recipe with Basil & Oregano


chop the garlic, scallions, mushrooms, carrot and onions to your liking (fine for the garlic, rings for onion)

add 3 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil or Cannola Oil to a saucepan (4 Qt./@4L/ 16 cups)

stir fry the vegetables for 5 minutes on high

add 2.5 cups of bulger wheat (I like the coarser #3, you can use the finer #2, cooking times will vary on grain size)

and 5 cups chicken stock

bring to a boil

add 1 can of  black beans, fill the can with water and add to the mix

add 1 can (14.5 OZ/ 411 g) Del Monte Stewed Italian Recipe with Basil & Oregano; fill the can with water and add to the mix

Bring to a boil

Add chopped mushroom and cilantro (to taste)

Simmer, slowly and partially covered for 25 to 35 minutes, depending on the coarseness of the grain, checking every 10 minutes that the water is not totally absorbed and stirring! Add more water if needed; should end up with a creamy consistency not a soup!  Stir from base of pan to top as it sticks to the bottom otherwise.  Be careful–lower heat and stir–son’t burn! Let rest covered for 10 minutes.

Can serve hot as a side dish to meat, chicken and fish.  Store left over in the fridge; can re-heat or serve cold as a pilaf. Serve with a decorative sprig of cilantro on top.


IMG_00001779 IMG_00001780 IMG_00001781 IMG_00001782 IMG_00001783 IMG_00001785


Check out the following:

Turkish Style Bulger Wheat Vegetable Tabbouleh Served Up With Grilled Tilapia And Quinoa Stuffed Pepper

Quinoa Stuffed Peppers With Tamarind Marinated Halibut

And don’t forget our general knowledge section on quinoa and tabbouleh:

Turkish Style Bulger Wheat Vegetable Tabbouleh Served Up With Grilled Tilapia And Quinoa Stuffed Pepper


The tabbouleh dish we are going to make is a Turkish variant served as a “mezze” in much of the Arab world.  I like it served hot as a side to fish or chicken, where it is a great and healthier substitute to rice.  Serve it cold as a salad with a squirt of fresh lime juice. I make it in bulk, and what I don’t use I store in the fridge to re-heat later or use cold as a side salad/pilaf dish.

In the above dish, tilapia was simply marinated in a soy/lemon/lime sauce and grilled in the oven. I use a convection oven, so 15-20 minutes works well, at 375F.  Check out the actual Tabbouleh recipe here:

and the recipe for our quinoa stuffed peppers here:

Bulgur is a common ingredient in ArmenianAssyrianTurkishMiddle Eastern, and Mediterranean dishes. It has a light, nutty flavor. In Turkey, a distinction is made between fine-ground bulgur, called köftelik bulgur, and a coarser grind, called pilavlık bulgur. In the United States, bulgur is produced from white wheat in four distinct grinds or sizes (#1 Fine, #2 Medium, #3 Coarse and #4 Extra Coarse). The highest quality bulgur has particle sizes that are uniform thus allowing a more consistent cooking time and result.

Bulgar is also known as “Dalia” in India. Dalia is popular all over India, especially North India. Because of whole wheat contents it is prescribed by physicians nutritionist while patients are recovering or ill. It can be consumed as sweet dalia or regular dalia.

Compared to unenriched white rice, bulgur has more fiber and protein, a lower glycemic index, and higher levels of most vitamins and minerals. One cup of dry bulgur contains approximately: 

  • Energy: 2003 kJ (479 kcal)
  • Dietary fiber: 25.6 g
  • Protein: 17.21 g
  • Carbohydrate: 69 g whereof 0.8 g sugars
  • Fat: 1.86 g whereof 0.2 g saturated fat
  • Potassium: 574 mg
  • Iron: 3.44 mg
  • Glycemic Index: 48


Tabbouleh traditionally made of bulgur, tomatoes, cucumbers, finely chopped parsleymintonion and garlic, and seasoned with olive oillemon juice and salt, although there are various other variations such as using couscous instead of bulgur. Traditionally served as part of a mezze in the Arab world, it was adopted by Cypriots, variations of it are made by Turks and Armenians, and it has become a popular ethnic food in Western cultures.


What is quinoa?
“While quinoa is usually considered to be a whole grain, it is actually a seed, but can be prepared like whole grains such as rice orbarley. Try a quinoa pilaf salad recipe, or serve a vegetable stir-fryover cooked quinoa instead of rice. Quinoa is many people’s favorite whole grain for three reasons: First, it takes less time to cook than other whole grains – just 10 to 15 minutes. Second,quinoa tastes great on its own, unlike other grains such as millet or teff. Add a bit of olive oil, sea salt and lemon juice and – yum! Finally, of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. Quinoa is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover, and is almost always organic.

Culinary ethnologists will be interested to know that quinoa was a staple food for thousands of years in the Andes region of South America as one of just a few crops the ancient Incas cultivated at such high altitude.”


1 cup quinoa/taboulleh in two cups water/chicken stock brought to a boil and left to simmer for 15 minutes, forms the basis for any pilaf or salad.

add a can of stewed tomatoes, 1 can of goya pinto beans/ mixed vegetables and voila a healty side is born!  Be imaginative!


The simple things in life are good!

Home Made Hashed Browns or “Kartoffeln Pouffe” mit Eggs Vegetable Medeley

Home Made Hashed Browns or “Kartoffeln Pouffe” mit Eggs Vegetable Medeley


1 large potatoe per person; the bigger the person the larger the tatoe!

1 small onion


3 or 4 carrots

2 cloves garlic


2 to 3 borccoli spears

Cheddar cheese

canola oil

extra virgin olive oil



large pan for kartofellen

smaller pan for scrambled eggs

wooden spatula

flat for flipping potatoe pancake


vegetable peeler

PREP TIME: 30 minutes, start with potatoe pie first and then prep and cook the egg medeley


A)Start by hashing/shredding the potatoes into pan with 3mm 1/8 inch canola oil


seaon with salt and pepper to taste

add some shredded cheese (optional)

flatten in pan and cook about 15 min until brown on the bottom and then flip; the time to brown will depend on type of potatoe. I like yukon gold for a creamey pancake.

B)Prepare the Vegetable Medeley


This is a good chance to scour the fridge for vegetables that need attention!

Dice all the vegetables, onion and garlic and toss in a pan coated with 3mm or about 1/8″ of extra virgin olive oil and stir fry the vegetables to desired crunch level.

Beat one egg per person and add half as much milk as egg white and mix the batter.

Toss batter over vegetables, season with salt and pepperl grate some cheddar cheese, scramble or make as an omelletre.

C)Plate egg vegetable medeley with kartoffeln and enjoy!



The simple things in life are good!


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Spinach Neufchâtel Cheese Cream Sauce Tossed Over Fettucine

Spinach Neufchâtel Cheese Cream Sauce Tossed Over Fettucine

Note:  This dish will easily serve and satisfy four people as a main course; add breaded chicken, salmon or a pork chop as a side dish.  I cook in bulk and use left overs throughout the week for lunch and/or dinner. as needed, even just for myself.


2 one lb (454 gram) boxes/packs of Fettucine

1 slab of  Neufchâtel Cheese (this is less fattening than cream cheese which can also be used)

taragon as a spice  ( I like using hte frsh taragon)

pepper s a spice


extra virgin olive oil

1 large bag of spinach

1 large onion

3 cloves garlic (use less if you prefer)




1 large stir fry pan or wok

1 deep pot for cooking pasta

cutting board

sauce utensil for stirring and mixing ingredients

PREP TIME: 20 – 30 minutes


set the pot of water to boil for the pasta to cook

add olive oil to the wok or stir fry pan–enough to coat the bottom with 1/8 of an inch, 2-3 mm

chop the onion, scallions, garlic, and sautee in skillet

re-wash spinach (even if pre-washed) and drain in collander

add spinach to the skillet when onions are golden brown

chop 12 mushrooms or as many as you like and add to stir fry

stir while seasoning with taragon, pepper and sea salt to taste–remember that you cannot remove a seasoning, but can always add more individually to a dish

chop the Neufchâtel Cheese into small cubes and let dissolve or mix in with the spinach stir fry, stirring on low heat

cover the stir fry and let cook on  low heat

add the pasta to the boiling water and season with iodized salt or sea salt no more than a tea spoon

save a cup or two of the starchy water from the pasta mix before draining water from it to add to cream sauce to change consistency, as needed, add 1/8 of a cup of the starchy water until it is to your liking

cook pasta to taste following package instructions for tender or al dente

drain pasta

mix into the cheese sauce

serve and enjoy!


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