Say whaaaa?

Not really sure how I stumbled across this recipe idea, but I’m pretty sure it was the result of an internetz-travaganza of sorts to see how I could use up random ingredients in my kitchen… typical?

Koshari. An Egyptian dish of rice, lentils, chickpeas and macaroni. Toppings include tomato sauce, garlic sauce and fried onion. A vegetarian dish that is very popular in Egypt and an inexpensive food served at roadside stalls and restaurants.

Familiar ingredients. Unfamiliar tastes + combinations. I like it already.

Plus double the carbs and tasty legumes all topped with a smothering of onion-y tomato sauce?

Ummm yea, you had me at hello 😉

Now I’m not very well-versed (or at all versed) in Egyptian cooking and/or recipes, so I have no idea how authentic this particular version of the recipe truly is. 

But what I do know is that whatever my at-home interpretation of this dish ended up being, it turned out pretty darn delicious 😀

And not much like anything I’ve ever had before!

The Sauce.

Onion, sliced thin.

Cooked in olive oil until golden brown and super sweet.


Seasoned with salt & pepper then topped with fresh garlic & cooked some more.

Finished with simple tomato sauce.  And spicy red pepper flakes.

Then simmered until the flavors have some time to get to know each other.

The Rest.

Brown lentils. 

Cooked until almost done.

Whole wheat penne (didn’t have any macaroni).

Added right into the lentil pot and cooked until both are done.

Combined with cooked basmati rice and canned chickpeas.

Quite the mixture, right? 😛

To Serve.

Lentil-rice-pasta-chickpea mixture. 

Topped with tangy tomato onion sauce. 

And additional red pepper flakes and/or hot sauce and/or this stuff


And p.s. this would be a great way to use up leftover cooked rice and/or pasta too, just sayin’…

Always something new around here, now isn’t there…?

The folks at the new job are getting into the routine of asking what I’ve brought for lunch leftovers each day too now haha. Love it!

Not sure they were expecting this as a response however… 😉

But as I say, what fun is cooking if you can’t be adventurous?!  Not much if you ask me! 😛

Have you ever had / heard of this dish before? If not, would you give it a try if given the chance?

Do you ever have a taste of somethin’ new & delicious and just know that it’s going to make its way into your own kitchen at a point in the very near future?!

That’s what happened with this new-to-me spicy chili paste called sambal, which I tried just a few short days ago…

Have you ever had this stuff before? 

If not, I highly suggest you try it.  Seriously.

If the smell of fresh sweet yet spicy chilis isn’t enough to entice you, then I can almost guarantee that the spicy sweetness that this chili paste delivers in the taste department sure will.

I can’t get enough of this stuff.  But really.

Especially when used to top this sweet coconut chicken and rice soup. 



Fresh mint and green onion too. 

I can’t even explain how much fabulous flavor that these lend to the sweet hearty coconut soup.  I love incorporating herbs into dishes like this!

This soup comes together so easily, and delivers so many different flavors that just make it irresistable in my opinion!

So let’s do this, shall we? :)

Fresh garlic.  Chopped. 

Added to a hot soup pot with a bit of coconut oil (or any oil), until fragrant.

Shredded chicken.  Which I simply boiled in a few cups of water, shredded and seasoned with sea salt & black pepper.

Reserved chicken cooking liquid.  Which when combined with homemade (or store bought) chicken stock, creates the soup broth.


Coconut milk.  Not sure how full fat would work here, but the light version was the perfect level of richness for this soup.

Jasmine Rice.  So fragrant!

Into the pot we go.  Cooked until fluffy & soft.

Finished with a handful of fresh green onion and additional salt and pepper, as needed.

Something about chicken and rice is just so warm & comforting now isn’t it? 

And here, somehow the traditional becomes exotic and tropical with the addition of unconventional flavors like coconut and mint…

To serve – now this is the important part! – top with additional fresh green onion, fresh mint and spicy Sambal.

And stir it up!  The heat from the soup brings out the flavor of the mint and onion too, so serve this sucker h-o-t 😛

These toppings are what really bring this soup to a whole ‘notha level my friends.

Fresh mint, sweet coconut, spicy chili and tangy green onion.  Ooooo oooo ooooo was this good!!!

And probably my favorite recipe of 2012 thus far…. even though it’s only the 8th day of the month yea yea yea 😉

But seriously, if you’re feeling like something different in the kitchen then I would totally recommend trying this soup.  Exotic flavors with ingredients that you can find at pretty much any grocery store too.  How’s that for easy n’ flavorful?

And yea, sambal.  Put it on the “must try” list for the new year.  Trust me, you’ll be glad ya did!!

Have you ever had Sambal before?

P.S. You can find sambal at any Asian market and I even spotted it at our local World Market.

I ran across this recipe a few weeks ago and flagged it immediately on the “must try soon” list…

I mean seriously:

 ++   !!

Only a few of my favorite things everrrrr.

Plus, throw coconut into any savory recipe mix and you know I’m immediately swooning 😉

The original recipe is from Food & Wine and just another instance of a “fancy sounding” recipe being super simple yet extremely flavorful!

I’d highly recommend giving this one a try.  Even though it’s hot outside this dish has some super tropical & summery flavors and was an instant hit in our house 😀 

Brazilian Shrimp Soup

Original recipe from Food & Wine

Serves 5-6 based on the recipe below.

  • 1 large sweet Italian pepper & 1 green pepper, chopped
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 14.5 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup medium white rice (uncooked)
  • 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup light coconut milk
  • 40 peeled shrimp (51-60 count)
  • juice of half a lemon
  • cilantro (about 1/4 cup)
  • sea salt & black pepper to taste

Start with a quick chop of the peppers, onion and garlic.

Throw the peppers and onions into a medium sized pot with 1 tblsp olive oil (over medium heat) and saute for 7-8 minutes, or until they start to get tender.

Then add the garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. 

At this point you want to add in the crushed tomatoes, uncooked rice, water, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil, turn down to a simmer, cover and let cook for 10 minutes.

Now goes in that amazingly delicious tropical goodness — coconut milk!

I have a deep love affair with anything coconut.  Just can’t get enough 😛 

Best stated by my good friend Fergie –> song of the summer?  I. Think. So.

Give a good stir and then enter the shrimp.  Let them take a swim in the hot soup and cook for about 3-5 minutes.

The final touch to this dish is a squeeze of fresh lemon juice and a handful of freshly chopped cilantro.

Cilantro.  You either love it or hate it? 

I’m a cilantro lovahhhhhh. 

Coconut + cilantro, oh yea, this recipe had my name written ALL over it.

I just let the soup relax for another 5 minutes or so over low heat before serving it up.

Tender shrimp, soft n’ sweet peppers all swimming in a broth of deliciously sweet n’ tangy tomatoes and coconut with a kick of spice from the red pepper flakes.

Partaaaayyyyy for the tastebuds!!!!  Bring it.

What a great dish to impress a few guests with or to just have on a basic Tuesday night!  Pair with some white wine and you’ll have some happy diners, that’s for sure :)

Tell me, are you as big of a fan of coconut as me?!  Or am I alone on this one 😉 

P.S. Is anyone having trouble seeing my post updates in google reader? I noticed the other day that the new ones weren’t showing up marked as new so was curious… thanks ya’ll!!