For dinner tonight, after teaching spinning, taking Anna to music class, attending a wake, personal training, and making dinner for neighbors, I was craving Aladdin’s Mujadara Plate.
The description: A bed of steamed lentils and rice topped with Lebanese Salata, and garnished with toasted onions.
The damage: According to a few websites (not sure they are credible sources) but I found that a serving of the specialty can pack about 500calories. Not sure how many servings are in the dish – which is a big factor. It it’s 500 calories for the entire dish, that’s not too bad considering all of the delicious and crunchy fried onions. If it’s for 2 servings, that will add up quick.
After a busy day, I considered just ordering it from the restaurant. I would scoop out a big serving and eat it on lettuce and it would be everything I dreamed of! But, after cleaning out my fridge and seeing how many vegetables, as well as millions of other things I have in my fridge, I decided my waistline and wallet would be happier with a remake of the dish. Healthier and free.
Well, not all the way free. To make it authentic, I stopped at Aladdin’s for an order of hummus with 2 hot sauces. This is what makes the dish taste so real!
I can’t wait for the leftovers already.
To make it easier, I will break it down by part.
In a large pot, bring 1-2 c. of lentils to a boil, and then let simmer for 15-20 minutes until cooked soft but not mushy.
Drain excess water and sprinkle with cumin, salt and pepper.
Make a batch of brown rice in your rice cooker.
Dice an onion into small pieces. Spray a pan with cooking spray and simmer the onion in the pan. Slowly add 1/2 c. water, 1 T. olive oil, 1 T. cumin, salt and pepper to onions and allow to cook. As water dries up, add more each time until onions are soft and start to carmalize. When they are soft and seasoned, remove from heat.
Chop tomato, and cucumber into small, diced pieces. Add 2 T. fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, 1 T. olive oil and a small handful of fresh chopped parsley. Feta + kalamata olives are optional!
Go to Aladdin’s right now and buy their hot sauce and their hummus. Mix the two together on your plate or ahead for dressing!
Things are looking good!
Then start with a bed of shaved lettuce on your plate for extra crunch, fiber, fill and greens. Top with lentils, onions, rice, salad and hummus. Enjoy!
Sitting on your counter with a big bowl of fresh watermelon if possible!