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A Turk, an Italian, and an Indian walk into a…

A Turk, an Italian, and an Indian walk into a… Just kidding. But these nationalities do have something in common. A dish from each was featured on our dinner plate! We had tabouli, baked cannellini beans in tomatoes, and baked samosas. Oh, and I gave those sweet potato and millet muffins a trial run. Success!

The muffins were simple and tasty. The millet in them added a little crunch, similar to that of a poppyseed. They were slightly sweet and any fresh fruit would be a great addition. They were great as is, but I bought some fruit preserves that will even make them tastier tomorrow for breakfast before church.

Sweet Potato & Millet Muffins: For these delicious, fiberlicious, vitamin packed muffin, you will need:
2 1/4 cups whole grain flour (I used spelt pastry flour and whole wheat bread flour)
1/2 cup millet (uncooked, but if you wanna go crazy, toast it for a nutty flavot)
2 tb flax seeds (whole or ground)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp fresh grated ginger
1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (1 large sweet potato)
2 eggs (or 1/2 cup liquid egg substitute)
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2-3 Tbsp maple syrup
3 oz milk and 1 tsp vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix together the flours, millet, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, and ground ginger. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the sweet potatoes, eggs, applesauce, maple syrup, and milk until smooth. Add the liquid mixture to the dry and stir just until combined. The dough will be fairly thick. Divide the dough into about 16 muffin cups. Bake for 17 minutes, until the tops are slightly browned and the muffin springs back from a light touch.
Baked Cannellini Beans in Tomatoes:
1 lb or 1 1/2 cup  dried Cannellini Beans, soaked overnight (in cold water)
1 Sage Sprig
1 Bay Leaf
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Medium Red Onion, finely diced
3 Tbsp Chopped Italian Flat Leaf Parsley
2 Cloves Garlic, chopped
1 ½ tsp Smoked Sweet Paprika Powder
1 Can (28 oz/1 lb 12 oz/794 g) Diced Tomatoes
3 Tbsp Tomato Paste
Sea Salt to taste
Fresh Ground Black Pepper
Put the beans in a large pan, cover with plenty of cold water and bring to the boil, lower the heat and add the sage sprig and bay leaf. Simmer for about an hour, uncovered, topping up with hot water if it seems necessary. Add about a tsp of salt towards the end.
Preheat the oven to 350˚.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish over medium heat. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until it is golden and a bit sticky. Add parsley, cook for a few minutes and then stir in the garlic and paprika. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and simmer for about 15 minutes or until they melt into a sauce. Season the mixture well with salt and pepper.
Drain the beans and add to the dish. Bring to a fast boil and boil for a few minutes. Put the dish, uncovered, in the oven for about 45 minutes, or until it looks golden on the top. It’s not necessary to stir, but check a couple of times that nothing is sticking. Eat & enjoy this flavor-packed, protein rich dish alone, or alongside some Indian vegetable samosas (yes, i realize they don’t go together, but the samosas are sooo good dipped in the tomato sauce and beans)!
 Baked Samosas, phyllo dough works best, but my phyllo was not thawed and I had wonton wrappers I needed to use up. Saute an onion and garlic. Cook down 1 large, peeled & diced potato in the mixture and add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Add 1 tsp curry powder, 1 tsp garam masala (an aromatic blend of spices), and 1 tsp fresh grated ginger. When the potatoes are mushy, add 3/4 cup of green peas (frozen, canned, or fresh). Fold the filling into the wonton wrappers or squares of phyllo. Brush with water and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown.
Tabouli:
1 1/2 cup cracked bulgar wheat (I like #2 grind) soaked in 2 cups of HOT water
I chopped cucumber
1 bunch of scallions, chopped
1 large tomato (with juice), chopped
1 white onion, chopped
1 bunch flat leaf parsley, stems removed & chopped
Enough lemons to yield about 1/2 cup of lemon juice (5-6 lemons)
1/4 cup of EVOO
Sea salt & pepper to taste   Some recipes add mint, I don’t, but that’s up to you.

Be sure to rinse bulgar wheat 2-3 times before soaking in hot water. Rinse again after the wheat has absorbed all of the water. Your chopped veggies can be chunky, not finely chopped. Toss everything together and let sit at least 2 hours before eating. Willkeep several days in the fridge (if it lasts that long). Now go make your tummy happy and make all this stuff 🙂 Just kidding. Ciao a tutti!

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