Smells evoke memories, especially foods. They can remind you of a relative, a place you’ve lived, or a holiday. For me one such meal is lentil soup and salad. They remind me of my travels around the Mediterranean.

While I was living in Egypt I had the option to take a cooking class once a week and wish I had (I couldn’t pass up a belly dancing class instead). But lucky for me those that did take the class created a list of recipes provided by our program’s wonderful cook.

Lentil soup was one of those recipes. I’ve made it several times since my semester abroad and the smell of tomatoes, lentils, and cumin always bring me back to living in a flat in Cairo.  I make it from scratch, requiring some peeling and cutting of veggies but is well worth it (see I told you I don’t always use a box).

carrots, onion, potato, and celery leaves
carrots, onion, potato, and celery leaves

This time I chose to put it in the crockpot to slowly simmer all day. It ends up tasting more like a stew than a vegetable soup because the lentils fill you up.

The stars of the show are the lentils
spicing it up-we like red-pepper can you tell?


Most nights-out on my college choir tour in Italy we ate large several course meals. But  during the day we would find lighter things to eat. One of my favorites was caprese salad: chunks of fresh mozzarella, basil, and little tart tomatoes in balsamic vinaigrette. Well my Mediterranean salad is a cross between this and a Greek salad.

I use small tart tomatoes, basil, and balsamic vinaigrette, but substitute feta cheese for the mozzarella (less cheese and less fat) and add some quartered cucumbers.



More color in your meal=healthy. You definitely get your 5 servings of veggies for the day.

I usually add hummus and pita bread (for those who crave some carbs).

And that is my vegetarian Mediterranean meal.

Do you have foods that when you smell them evoke memories?

Do you have a favorite veggies-only dish you would like to share?

11 thoughts on “A Vegetarian Mediterranean meal

  1. Sounds absolutely delicious! Unfortunately, my husband is a terrible eater. He is also very picky. Goodness that sounds good though! Maybe I will try it one day for me. On second thought, what time should I be home for dinner?:)

    Sent from my iPhone

    1. How far would be your commute to be our guest for dinner? Unfortunately I don’t think soup and salad travels well enough for me to pack some up for you either lol.

  2. Pecan pie means Thanksgiving or Christmas….it’s so caloric I never make it any other time, lol.
    Arabic rice, pungent homemade cheese, tiny stuffed eggplant preserved in oil, zaatar, and 7 spice mixture reminds me of my boyfriend’s house. His mom cooks incredible things, which I am learning and adapting to be vegetarian.
    Lots of non-food items remind me of things too. I keep a dragonfruit chapstick (which doesn’t smell like dragonfruit at all) to remind me of the January I used it in Vietnam. Fruity anise reminds me of epic double apple hookah tobacco, which scented the summer I spent in LA goofing off and doing my senior project.
    Are you going to have a recipe section in the blog at some point?

    1. Thanks for sharing your food-memories we me! I am recognizing how popular my food transcend posts have been and am considering whether a recipe section would be a positive addition to the blog. Thanks for your feedback!

  3. Oh, to create the time to experiment with different food. My hubby would love it. I’m actually waiting for him to retire and get the bug, so a recipe section would be good for him! LOL! We’ll have to try some of these dishes when you visit. I’m hoping that will be in May :>)

    1. Luke recently commented that a Greene recipe book is conceivable down the line, especially since I love to tweak/create new recipes.

      I will consider whether a recipe section in this already diverse blog would be a positive addition. I appreciate the feedback and ideas!

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