Preserved Lemons and Curried Grains

The lemons are ready!  I have been preserving lemons for the last few months and they are perfect!  I used them for the first time last week in a warm grain salad.  The best way to keep your preserved lemons is in the same container they started in.  When you are ready to use some, take out what you need, rinse the lemons off with water and remove the flesh, the skin is what you want to keep. 

Preserved Lemons are ready!

Preserved lemons are very versatile- from vinaigrette to a cocktail! 

Remove the flesh and pulp. The skin is all you need.

The first dish for the lemons was inspired by not having much in the refrigerator- another busy week at work.  Perfect timing to as it was Monday!  Have you heard about Meatless Mondays- I’m pretty impressed about how this initiative has gained steam.  Meatless Mondays, is a nonprofit initiative of The Monday Campaigns, in association with the Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School of Public Health.  Families across the country are joining in- whether their reasons are health based or financial based, 1/3 of the country has reduced their meat consumption in 2011.  Grains, tofu, soy are offering replacement proteins and a healthy alternatives.  This brings us to the popularity of grains- which can be seen all over the food magazines and in most restaurants.  Chefs are now wondering …what else can we do with grains?? 

Preserved Lemons Debut!

Here is the recipe that my preserved lemons made their first appearance-

All of this was in the kitchen- waiting to get used up!

Preserved Lemon and Curried Grains

  • 1 ½ cup uncooked spelt
  • 1 ½ cup uncooked kasha
  • 1 ½ cup uncooked lentils
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup diced onions
  • 2 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 24 oz. coconut curry broth
  • 6 tablespoon chopped preserved lemons
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 3 oz. roasted red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon ground red pepper
  • 1 ½ cup green beans, cut into bite size pieces
  • ½ pint grape tomatoes

    Preserved Lemon and Curried Grains Mise en Place

     

It’s pretty easy to cook grains- start by washing them off with water.  Put a pot on the stove and add the washed grains, add water or stock to about two inches above the grains.  Bring to a slow boil and cook until tender.  When the grains are a la dente, drain them from the pot with a colander.  You can cool them down and reheat them when you are ready to serve.  This is a great way to prepare meals for a busy week.

I had a few pots working 🙂

  1. Cook the grains to a la dente.
  2. Place a large stock pot on the stove over medium high heat; add olive oil, followed by the onions and garlic.  Sauté until translucent.
  3. Add the cooked grains to the pot and stir in broth.
  4. Mix in the lemons, curry, cilantro, roasted peppers and ground red pepper.  Allow to gently simmer, giving the flavors a chance to meld.
  5. Put the green beans and tomatoes into the pot about 15 minutes before serving- this will keep their beautiful, bright color. 

Add the bright veggies at the end so they keep there color and don't turn to mush!

Like with many other soups and stews, this dish gets better with time. Give it an hour or a day the flavor will deepen.  Another similarity to soups and stews is ingredients can be of the “clean the fridge” mentality- no beans? Use cauliflower- any vegetable or none will work!  The grains can also be switched up.

Flavorful and healthy- take that meatheads!

My favorite meals are alway the ones when I have “nothing’ to cook for dinner!

Preserved Lemon and Curried Grains

Cheers to Meatless Monday!

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Preserved Lemons- Week 3

Half way thru on the lemon preservation process- thinking about all the ways to use them up- 

Week 3 of Lemon Preservation

 
I have been stirring them once a week since I started the process-  You can read how to get started here!

Gooey and Juicy! Half way there!

Patience is key with preserving lemons, as well as planning ahead! 

Preserved Lemons

Anyone else on a healthy eating kick?  I don’t like to think of it as a diet- but in the end, I guess that’s what I am doing.  Admittedly, my pants are tight-all those darn cookies got me 🙂.  So, like many others across the country, I am back on the wagon again.  Exercising more, eating healthier, drinking less frequently and waiting for my pants to loosen up!

Over the holidays I took a trip to Alabama to see my In-laws, and happily returned with a large bag of lemons from their tree.  Faced with a busy start to the year at work and fearing the lemons might end up in the garbage, I have decided to preserve them.  Preserved lemons are a popular condiment in Indian cuisine but can be used in endless dishes- stews, spreads, as condiments to fish and chicken, even in Bloody Mary’s!  They are wonderful to have in your refrigerator when you are faced with another night of vegetables for dinner.  As long as our dinners aren’t boring and bland I can eat healthy every night!

Backyard Alabama Lemons

My husband brought this recipe home a few years ago and it never fails!  They do take six weeks to prepare so get started early- by the time you get sick of the same salad you’ve been eating every week they will be ready.  

Sir Duke likes some zest to his kibble too!

 Ingredients

  • 10 Lemons, wedged and seeds removed
  • 1 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 3 cinnamon sticks, broken
  • 1 tbsp whole cardamom

    Lemon Wedges

     

Preserved Lemon Mise en Place

Method

Place lemon wedges in a plastic container and sprinkle kosher salt evenly over wedges.  Pour olive oil into container and mix well.  Add cinnamon and cardamom and toss together.  Cover the lemons with a piece of parchment paper and place a second container on top to weigh it down. 

Week One of Preserving Lemons

Refrigerate for 6 weeks, stirring once a week.  After 6 weeks, lemons will be preserved and ready to use.  Cut lemon wedges into small pieces and use with fish, chicken, vegetables, flat breads, stews, ect. 

Use cans, jars, or anything else to apply some weight!

Yield is about a gallon or 20 servings.

Preserved Lemons- Week One

I’ll check back in a few weeks with a glimpse of the lemon preservation progress, until then, get yours going too!  Perhaps Bloody Mary’s at Easter brunch?