Posted by: vegevores | July 25, 2011

Carbon hoofprints

by Samantha

Here is a very interesting brochure from the Environmental Working Group about the environmental impact of eating meat and cheese. I haven’t looked it over in detail but I found the chart ranking the “greeness” of different food particularly interesting. Lentils have the least environmental impact and lamb the most. My family is of Lebanese descent and eat a lot of lamb and lentils. Maybe it balances out? Either way, as a pseudo vegetarian I forgo the lamb but I am all about the lentils and am thrilled to find out they are environmentally responsible as well as cheap and nutritious.

Here is a recipe that I make at least once a week due to the cheap and nutritious (and stupid easy) factors. My great-grandmother used to make it during the depression to feed her huge family, so I think of her and how this recipe is still feeding her family every time I make it. It’s a little warm for this time of year, but it is versatile and makes enough for one person to eat over the course of a few days. It is called…well, that’s the trickiest part of the recipe. It’s called m’judrah or juhdrah or jedrah or something. Arabic to English is not always the neatest of transliterations. However you spell it, here’s how I make it:

1 onion, sliced

olive oil

1 C brown lentils

1 C brown rice


cinnamon and salt to taste

– carmalize the onions in the olive oil. (Be generous with the olive oil as it carries the flavor of the onion throughout the dish.)

-while carmalizing onions, combine rice and 2 1/2 C water. Soak the rice over a low heat.

-while all of that’s going on, cover the lentils with water and cook over a medium high heat until tender. Drain.

-combine the lentils with the rice and bring the whole thing to a boil. Add cinnamon and salt to taste.

-when most of the water is absorbed, add the onions and oil and cook the whole thing until all the water is absorbed.

I eat this hot and top it with cottage cheese or plain yogurt or humus. The beauty of this dish is how creative you can get with the seasoning and toppings. It also doubles really well if you’re serving a few people or you want to eat it for a week or so.

I found this recipe which is really different from mine, but looks interesting (I am interested in any recipe that means I don’t have to drain the lentils. It’s not difficult, but I hate doing it.) I plan to try it sometime soon and will report back when I do. In the meantime, give this recipe a shot and if you like it you can thank my great-grandma Adeeba. If not, I don’t think she’ll want to hear your complaining.



  1. […] well. Last night I had a sweet baked potato to fill out a meal that would have otherwise been just m’judrah. It was […]

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