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).
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.
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?