Thursday, April 29, 2010


These crispy tortilla strips and sweet mini bell peppers make a colorful garnish for the Rustic Tomato Soup which I have listed. Since I have started my cooking adventure, I have gotten excited about the little things: toasting croutons, little pieces of pita, and these rajas. It is such an easy process and the taste is great. The worst part is that you will want to eat all the leftovers.

Serves 8

Vegetable oil for frying
4 4-inch corn tortilla squares (cut from round tortillas)
halved, cut into 2" x 1/4" strips
1 5-ounce package mini bell peppers, stemmed, seeded,
cut into thin strips

Pour enough oil into a heavy medium saucepan to reach
a depth of 3/4". Heat oil over medium heat 4 mins.
Fry half of torilla strips until just golden. Using a
slotted spoon, transfer strips to paper towels to
drain (color will darken slightly). Repeat with the
remaining strips.

Heat 1-1/2 tbs tortilla-frying oil from saucepan in
medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add mini
peppers. Toss until tender, about 2 mins. Sprinkle
with salt and freshly ground pepper.

DO AHEAD: All rajas can be made 2 hours ahead. Let
stand at room temperature.

Recipe from: Bon Appetit, December 2009 by
Selma Brown Morrow


This recipe calls for a few kitchen tools that you might not have on hand, but with a little ingenuity, you can find substitutes. If you are really interested in gourmet cooking, a mortar and pestle is an inexpensive purchase. I just bought a great ceramic set (3 different sizes) from Amazon. In this recipe you will toast, blend, and grind the ingredients. I found the extra work worth it. If you don't have lots of time to cook, perhaps you can make this meal for a special occasion. It is certainly a change from the typical Latin meals I was accustomed to. Don't forget, this soup can be made in stages ahead of time. Most Latin ingredients are very inexpensive and generally last a long time.

I post the recipe servings as is and will leave it up to individuals to change accordingly.

I made this smokey tasting soup as part of a Latin meal. I have posted Watercress Guacamole and Rajas (strips of tortillas) with mini peppers, which I made as side dishes.

Serves 8

2 tbs cumin seeds
6 tbs olive oil
4 cups chopped onions (about 2 large)
6 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp achiote paste*
1/4 tsp ground allspice
2 28-ounce cans peeled whole tomatoes
with basil in juice, diced, all
juice reserved
4 cups vegetable broth
1 3" to 4" dried guajillo chile**
stemmed, seeded, coarsely torn
Cayenne pepper (optional)
Coarse Kosher salt

Stir cumin seeds in small skillet over medium
heat until starting to smoke and pop, about
4 mins.

Pour seeds onto plate, cool. Grind finely in
spice mill or mortar & pestle (ceramic)

DO AHEAD: Can be made 1 week ahead. Chill in
airtight container.

Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add
onions. Cover and cook until tender but not
brown, stirring often, about 8 mins. Remove
from heat.

Using garlic press, squeeze in garlic. Add
achiote and allspice. Stir over low heat
1 minute.

Add tomatoes with juice, broth, and guajillo
chile. Bring to simmer. Reduce heat to low;
cover and simmer 15 mins.

Working in 2-cup batches, blend soup in
processor to coarse puree (some texture
should remain.) Return to same pot. Mix in
1-1/2 tsp toasted cumin; season with
cayenne, if desired, and coarse salt and
freshly ground pepper.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Chill
uncovered until cold, then cover and keep

Recipe: Bon Appetit, December 2009 from
Selma Brown Morrow

Suggested Wine: Chardonnay, Gruner Veltliner or
Pinot Gris. I prefer the Pinot Gris for it's
cool fresh flavor which would balance the spicy
smokey flavor of the soup. The Gruner Veltliner
would be next, but I don't care for it as much.
I think for the Chardonnay, I would stick with
unoaked as opposed to an oaky one. I am
only a beginner wine student, but I still stick
with the Pinot Gris. And, of course, beer would
be great, as well.

*Sold at Latin Markets
**Dried peppers are very inexpensive and last
a long time. Can easily be found at Latin
Markets. This pepper is a maroon-colored,
fairly hot dried chile up to 6 inches long and
about 1-1/2" wide.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Guacamole isn't one of my favorite Mexican sides. I'd rather eat a whole avocado, sprinkled with lemon, but guacamole prepared like this was really different. The watercress gives it a very unique flavor - I loved it. I am not sure if I would make it as a side with typical Mexican: refried beans, salsa, etc. It tastes much too special for that. I made it as a side with smokey tomato soup, which I have posted.

Serves 8

3 large avocados, halved, pitted, peeled
2 tbs fresh lime juice
1 cup chopped fresh watercress tops*
Coarse Kosher salt

Cube avocado into medium bowl of cold water, drain well.
Place in large bowl.

Add lime juice and mash coarsely.

Mix in watercress; add salt & pepper to taste.

DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 hours ahead. Cover & chill.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, December 2009 by
Selma Brown Morrow

*Watercress turns yellow pretty quickly, so I would
suggest buying it the same day you plan to make it.


Dal (Dhal) is a typical Indian soup generally eaten with rice, veggies, or nan bread. There are many variations using different peas and beans. This recipe is very easy to make. I mixed it in a blender because I wanted it creamier. I always preferred chunky soups, but now I am discovering the simple, yet richly flavored taste of blended soups. Plus, in the case of this soup, I couldn't imagine crunching the mustard seeds in my teeth. I think I made the right decision.
The original recipe calls for optional butter, which I eliminated. A delicious soup, not too spicy.

Serves 4

2 tbs peanut oil*
1 large onion, chopped
1 cup dried red lentils (split lentils), washed
and picked over
2 tbs minced fresh ginger
1 tbs minced garlic
1 tbs mustard seeds
2 cloves
1 tsp cracked black pepper (If you use regular
pepper, go easy because I think it might be
too much)
Chopped fresh cilantro leaves for garnish
(I think the soup was better without it)

Put oil in a skillet over medium high heat;
when hot, add onion and cook until soft, about
10 mins. Set aside.

Meanwhile, combine all remaining ingredients in
a saucepan. EXCEPT SALT AND CILANTRO. Add water
to cover by about 1", and bring to boil. Adjust
heat so mixture bubbles gently, and cook stirring
occasionally. Add more water if necessary. Cook
until lentils are tender, 15 to 20 mins.

Sprinkle with salt & pepper and keep cooking to
desired tenderness. Lentils should be saucy but
not soupy.

Remove cloves from pan and add reserved onion.
Put in blender and blend until smooth.

*I keep all my oils in the fridge. They last longer.

Recipe from New York Times ( January 6, 2010


For so many years I ate only steamed cauliflower, but since I started cooking gourmet vegan I have discovered so many wonderful ways to enjoy cauliflower. This recipe was part of my Indian month, but I think it has it's own flavors that are not necessarily Indian. Food & Wine magazine calls it "Indian meets California".

Serves 4

TOTAL TIME: 40 mins

One 2-1/4 pound head of cauliflower cut into 1" pieces
1 red onion, cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 pound green beans cut into 2" lengths
1 tbs vegetable oil
2 slices of white sandwich bread torn into small pieces
(This bread is for croutons. I used leftover french bread
without the crust)
1 tsp mild curry powder

Preheat oven to 425. In a large bowl, toss cauliflower and
onion with 3 tbs of the oil. Season with salt & pepper.
Spread the beans on a baking sheet. Save bowl.

In the same bowl, toss the beans with remaining 1 tbs of
olive oil and season with salt & pepper. Spread beans on
a baking sheet. Roast all veggies until crisp and lightly
browned, stirring once or twice (do not overcook beans or
they will shrivel up)

Beans: 14 mins Cauliflower & onions: 16 minutes

Meanwhile, in medium skillet, heat the vegetable oil.
Add the bread and cook over moderate heat, stirring
constantly until golden and crisp. About 5 mins.
Don't overdo the oil or croutons will be too oily (and
fattening). Transfer to a plate to cool and season
with a bit of salt. (Save skillet)

In the same skillet, toast the curry powder over
moderate heat, stirring constantly, until fragrant,
about 2 mins. Scrape curry over vegetables,
season with salt and pepper. Toss to coat.

The veggies and the croutons can be kept
separately overnight. Keep croutons in an air-
tight container at room temperature.

Wine suggestion: Pinot Gris or Albarino.

Recipe from Food & Wine, May 2010 Chef: Mark Peel of
Los Angeles' Campanile Restaurant and owner of the
Point in Culver City.


This month I cooked nothing but Indian food and one dish was worse than the other. I was so surprised because I love packaged Indian food and I love the lunch buffets at Udipi Vegetarian Indian Restaurant in Sunrise. Then I realized I did not like curried dishes without coconut milk. Indian spices are very strong and eating veggies with little liquid is just too much for me. Once I started using coconut milk, which I think can be used with any combination of spices, the dish took on a whole new taste. There are many ingredients in this recipe, but it is easy to make. Read about curry at the end of recipe.

Serves 4

TIME 1 hr 15 mins (includes 35 mins prep)

The recipe called for one large eggplant cut into 1" cubes which I did not use as I am not too fond of eggplant.

2 tbs vegetable oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 fresh green chili/chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped
(Regular green chili/chile peppers are hard to find except for
canned which I don't use, but a good substitute is Poblano Peppers.
For one green chili/chile pepper I use 1/4 Poblano.*
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 onion, finely chopped
2 tsp garam masala**
8 cardamom pods**
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 tbs tomato paste***
3 cups vegetable stock****
1 tbs lemon juice
1-1/2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups small cauliflower florets
2 cups okra, trimmed*****
2 cups frozen peas
2/3 cup coconut milk
salt and pepper to taste

(If you use eggplant, layer it in a bowl, sprinkle with salt.
Set aside for 30 mins. Rinse, drain, dry. Set aside)

Heat oil in a large pan and gently cook the garlic, chili/chile pepper,
ginger, onion, and spices for 4-5 mins.

Stir in the tomato paste, broth, lemon juice, potatoes, and cauliflower
and mix well. Bring to a boil, cover, and simmer for 15 mins.

Stir in eggplant, okra, peas, and coconut milk. Season with
salt & pepper to taste.

Continue to simmer, uncovered for 10 mins or until tender.

Discard the cardamom pods. Serve with nan bread.

Recipe from Cooks Library: Vegetarian, UK 2002

*Publix has the best selection of peppers
**Whole foods has the best selection of spices
*** I buy the tomato paste in the tube as there is no waste
**** Vegetable broth: dry (for simple veggie dishes) or paste (for richer flavor/replacement for beef broth) can be purchased at any supermarket. Must mix with water. Never use canned. Besides lack of rich flavor there is always waste.
*****Always buy smaller okra. When they are large they are old.

NOTE: Curry is a blend of different spices - as few as 5 or as many as 20. The word curry comes from the Indian language of Tamil, in which the word "kari" means gravy or sauce. Essential curry spices include cumin and coriander for fragrance and flavor; turmeric for rich yellow color; cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, and nutmeg for sweetness; and ginger, pepper, and chili powder for heat. Other spices could include saffron, anise, mace, poppy seeds, sesame seeds, and fenugreek. No single flavor should dominate. The goal of all curry powders should be balance.

While Indian curry is very popular there are other ethnicities that cook with curry:
Thai curry gets its tongue-tingling bite from chili peppers, lemongrass, shallots, garlic, and ginger. Curry of the French West Indies (columbo) contains spices and roasted ground rice, which acts as a thickener.


If you like garlic you will love this dip. But don't think if you add more garlic it will be better. In fact, it will be too garlicky. You know that taste when you bite into raw garlic, well that is what it will taste like if you add too much garlic. I love eating this dip with italian bread or french bread. Crackers and crudites will be great also.

Serving 1 Cup

2-3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup olive oil
12 ounces soft tofu
2 tbs lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/4 cup oil-cured black olives pitted and cut into slivers
1/8 cup small capers, drained

Peel and mince the garlic. Add the oil, tofu, lemon juice, salt,
and pepper and process until very smooth. Taste and
adjust seasonings. Transfer to bowl.

Stir in the olives and capers just before serving.

Recipe from The Natural Gourmet by Annemarie Colbin 1989

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


The first time I ate Pad Thai was when I first became a vegan and ate at a Vietnamese restaurant. I kept asking the waitress if she was sure there was no cheese in it. It was the creamiest dish ever. It is a wonderful substitute for those bv (before vegan) cheesy pasta dishes. This recipe is a cold version of Pad Thai, but you can certainly eat it warm like I did. This is a fast recipe that can be made ahead. Try eating Asian foods with chop sticks - it makes it that much more enjoyable. Instructions can be found on the internet.


1/2 pound firm tofu, cut into 1/2 inch dice
1/4 cup plus 2 tbs soy sauce
3/4 pound thin eggless linguine
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1/2 cup vegetable stock
1 tbs rice vinegar
3/4 tsp Chinese chile-garlic sauce
1 tbs chopped fresh ginger
1 garlic clove
3/4 tsp Asian sesame oil*
2 large red bell peppers, thinly sliced
3 large scallions cut into 2" lengths and julienned
Cilantro sprigs for garnish, if desired.

In a large bowl, toss the tofu with 2 tbs of the soy sauce
and let stand for 10 minutes.

Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add the linguine
and cook until al dente. Drain and rinse under cold water.
Shake out excess water and add the noodles to the toful and
soy sauce.

Meanwhile, in a blender, combine the remaining 1/4 cup of soy
sauce with the peanut butter, stock, rice vinegar,
chile-garlic sauce, ginger, garlic and sesame oil and
puree until a smooth sauce forms. Pour the peanut sauce
over the noodles, add the sliced red bell peppers and
scallions and toss.

Recipe from Grace Parisi, Food & Wine, July 2007

Wine: Nutty zesty Orvieto Classico

The difference between regular sesame oil and dark sesame oil
is the seeds are roasted first then pressed for the dark oil.


Oyster mushrooms are used in Japanese and Chinese cooking. You can find them in Asian grocery stores, but if you can't find them I think regular cremini mushrooms will be fine. Oyster mushrooms are very meaty and they look a little weird but when they are very fresh they are delicious. While this is listed as an Asian dish, I think it tastes very French, because of the wine and rosemary. If you are a mushroom lover you must try this recipe. And if you're not, like me, you will be in for a surprise.

8 ounces fresh oyster mushrooms (rinsed)
1 tbs garlic (minced)
2 tsps olive oil
1 tsp rosemary (minced)
1 tsp vegan butter (Earth Balance)
2 tsps all purpose flour
1 tsp dry white wine (or sherry)
1 tbs soy sauce

Slice mushrooms into pieces. Saute garlic in olive oil for 15 seconds.
Add mushrooms and saute 3 minutes.

Add rosemary and butter and stir fry until butter is melted.
Sprinkle mushrooms with flour and stir fry.

Add wine and soy sauce and cook until liquid slightly thickens and
the mushrooms are tender.

Recipe from Bobby, Recipes,


I was introduced to this recipe almost twenty years ago when I first became a vegan. My friend Caren's mom, Sandi, turned us on to this incredible substitute for the real thing, which I ate while growing up, so I knew how real chopped liver tasted. If you didn't like liver bv (before vegan) or can't stand the thought of eating something similar, fear not. This has it's own flavors that you will love. Makes a great spread for entertaining, breakfast, lunch, or snacks. Thanks Sandi!

2 cans of 17 ounce sweet peas, drained
3 medium onions
2 gloves of garlic
1/4 pound walnuts
1/2 pound tofu
salt & pepper
garlic powder

Saute onions and garlic in oil. Cook until onions are dark brown.

Blend tofu with a little water in food processor until smooth, but not watery.
More like a thick spread. Remove to large bowl.

Put walnuts in food processor and blend down to little pieces.

In a large bowl add peas, tofu, onions and walnuts. Add salt,
pepper, and garlic powder to taste.

Spoon mixture into food processor little by little until smooth.

Makes approximately 10 ounces.

You can probably use a blender for this recipe, but I think you will
have to chop the walnuts into small bits with a hand chopper. Not sure
if a blender will chop the nuts. Try it. Nothing to lose.


I cooked this dish as part of a Latin meal and I fell in love with it. It is so different and such a great way to eat green beans (string beans.) Makes a great veggie side dish or a snack. So simple but so yummy. I think it would be a great way to get kids to eat string beans.

8 Servings

1 pound slender green beans, trimmed
2 tbs olive oil, divided
1/2 cup (about 2-1/2 ounces) pepitas (shelled raw pumpkin seeds)*
Coarse kosher salt
2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
1 large clove garlic, minced

Cook green beans in large saucepan of boiling salted water until crisp-
tender and still bright green, about 5 minutes. Drain and cool in colander.
Cut beans into 1" pieces.

Heat 1 tbs oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pepitas.
Toss until starting to pop and brown, about 8 minutes. Sprinkle with
salt and pepper. Transfer to plate. Reserve skillet.

DO AHEAD: Green beans and pepitas can be prepared 2 hours ahead.
Let stand at room temperature.

Heat remaining 1 tbs oil in reserved skillet over medium-high heat.
Add rosemary and garlic, stir 15 seconds.

Add beans and pepitas. Toss until heated through, about 2 minutes.
Season to taste with salt & pepper.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, December 2009

Note: shelled raw pumpkin seeds can be found at Latin Grocery Stores,
Health Food Stores, and many Supermarkets.

Herb ratio: 1 fresh to 1/3 dry. Fresh is always better if possible. To use
up leftover rosemary check out my red potato skewer dish.


This is a classic Syrian nut dip called Muhammara. There are many different variations of this very healthy dip, but this one contains ingredients that are easily obtainable. It's a nice option for entertaining, but also tastes great for lunch. The leftover nuts can be used on breakfast cereal, pasta, fruits, veggies, or just for snacks.

30 minutes

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup walnuts
1/4 cup unsalted roasted pistachios
1/4 cup unsalted roasted cashews
3 medium red bell peppers (one pound) cut into 2" pieces
1 mediium sweet onion, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup toasted bread crumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
Cayenne pepper

In a small skillet, heat the vegetable oil. Add the pine nuts and almonds
and cook over moderately high heat, stirring until lightly golden. About
2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the nuts to a plate.

Add the walnuts to the skillet and cook, stirring until toasted, about 3
minutes. Transfer the walnuts to a food processor and let cool
completely. Add the pistachios and cashews and pulse until the nuts
are finely chopped. Scrape the nuts into a bowl.

Add the bell peppers and onion to the food processor and pulse until
finely chopped. Transfer the pepper mixture to a fine-mesh sieve and
press to extract as much liquid as possible. I used a thin towel instead
of the sieve.

Add the mixture to the chopped nuts. Stir in the pine nuts, almonds,
bread crumbs and olive oil. Season with salt and cayenne.

Serve with warm pita or crackers.

Recipe from Food and Wine, May 2009
Original recipe by Anissa Helou's Syrian chef-friend Mohammed Antabli


This recipe is a nice change from mashed or baked potatoes. It has a rich flavor and is very easy to make. With a salad on the side this makes a quick tasty meal. Green beans and cauliflower go well with mustard dishes.

6 Servings

1-1/2 pounds small-red skinned potatoes (about 1 to 1-1/2 inches in
diameter), scrubbed, halved

3 tbs olive oil
3 tbs Dijon mustard
3 garlic cloves, minced
1-1/2 tbs finely chopped fresh rosemary*
1/2 tsp coarse kosher salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper

6 metal skewers or wooden skewers soaked in water 30 minutes

Line baking sheet with heavy-duty foil. Cook potatoes in large pot of
boiling salted water just until tender when pierced with sharp knife
about 10 minutes. Drain; cool 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, whisk oil and next 5 ingredients in large bowl to blend.

Add potatoes to dressing and toss to coat. Thread potatoes onto
skewers, cut side up. Place on prepared baking sheet. (Skewers can
be assembled 4 hours ahead. Cover and let stand at room temperature.)

Preheat broiler, positioning rack 6 inches from heat source. Broil
potato skewers until browned and bubbly, turning halfway through
cooking time, about 10 minutes total.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, August 2003

Note: Herb ratio - one third dry to one fresh

Cooking, like any other art or craft, should have the proper tools.
Using a whisk rather than a fork to mix dressings blends ingredients
much better. I buy many of my gadgets from thrift shops or garage
sales when they look unused. But many are inexpensive if bought new.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I hated zucchini until I learned how to cook it this way. This is great for a sandwich or side dish - I even eat it as a finger food. It's simple, easy and inexpensive. I dedicate this recipe to Emerald, the teenage vegan daughter of my friend Lacey.

Serves 6

3 tbs olive oil
2 pounds zucchini, halved crosswise, then each half cut lengthwise into
4 flat slices
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper flakes
Sea Salt
1 tbs chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add zucchini. Saute until slices
are light golden and tender, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic and red pepper. Stir 1 minute. Season to tast with salt.
Sprinkle with parsley, if desired.

Recipe from Bon Appetit, August 2003

Note: The ratio for fresh herbs vs dried herbs is 1/3 tbs dried to 1 tbs fresh

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This recipe can be used for days after it is made and it just keeps tasting better. It is a great dish for entertaining because it is easy, filling and one-dish. If you don't have a food processor just beat the nuts in a plastic bag with a book or some other hard object. Before I bought a processor I used an old fashioned nut chopper which can be bought at a home store. Many times, rich tasting vegan food is made with some type of nut, so it is probably a good investment. I bought a blender that has a 3 or 4 cup processor on top. I think it was around $40 compared to a full processor which costs over $100. Anyway, just chop cilantro, parsley & garlic as small as you can if you don't have a processor. I don't think a blender will work.

1-1/2 cups lightly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup lightly packed flat-leaf parsley leaves
3/4 cup walnuts
2 garlic cloves
1/2 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
3/4 pound large pasta shells (mix will fill the shells automatically)
1 small head of cauliflower
(1-1/2 pounds cut into 1-inch florets)
(about 4 cups)
1 small red bell pepper, cut into 2 by 1/4 inch strips
Freshly ground pepper

1. In a food processor, pulse the cilantro, parsley, walnuts and garlic
until finely chopped.

Add 6 tbs of oil and process until smooth. Season with Salt.

2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve 1/4 cup of the water. (If you forget, like I probably did, it is no big deal. Just use regular hot water)

3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbs of oil. Add the cauliflower and season with salt. Cook over moderate heat until browned in spots, 5 minutes or more. (usually more). Add the red bell pepper and cook until tender and browned in spots. Scrape vegetable into a large bowl.

4. Add the pasta, pesto, and reserved pasta water to the cauliflower. Toss until the pasta is coated. Add salt & pepper if desired.

Recipe from Food & Wine September 2008

WINE: A good wine to drink with this is an oaky Chardonnay (which is true for all pesto dishes)

Note: Kosher salt is used in gourmet cooking because it is easier to gauge the taste of the salt. Regular salt can get lost in the cooking.

Monday, April 12, 2010


We've all had barley soup, lentil soup, and split pea soup. But have you had all three at the same time? I couldn't imagine it tasting good, but I loved it. The original recipe is from a recipe dated 1982. I don't know who published it. The original recipe calls for beef stock and stewed beef, but I eliminated both. I never use canned vegetable broth (See note) Recipe serves 4-6.

1/3 cup barley
1/3 cup split peas
1/3 cup lentils
2 tbs vegetable oil
3 cups chopped onion (3 large onions)
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped carrot
8 cups vegetable broth
3/4 tsp cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup uncooked rice
1 cup canned, drained chick peas
3 tbs lemon juice
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley

Soak barley, split peas and lentils overnight. Next day, in a large pot heat oil and add onion, celery, and carrot. Saute until tender. Add stock, cumin, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, partly cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Add drained barley, split peas, and lentils. Simmer 15 minutes. Add rice and chick peas. Cook 15 minutes. Add lemon juice to individual bowls (to taste) which gives it a unique flavor. Adjust seasoning, if desired. Serve garnished with parsley.

Notes: (1) I used left over cooked rice that I already had in the fridge (2)There are several very good vegetable broths that are powdered, pastes (for richer broth), or containers. They can all be found in supermarkets and health food stores. Canned broths like Swansons are tasteless. You are better off stewing a few veggies and making your own broth instead of the canned. It is probably cheaper and less wasteful to buy the powdered and the paste.