In all of this settling into a new house, a new job, and a new routine of home schooling, we’ve been eating out a lot. It’s actually been more than I’d like, but a mama has to take care of her sanity.
I often assume that when people think of what vegetarians eat in restaurants it’s along the lines of grilled cheese, veggie burgers, fettucine alfredo, and if we’re lucky, veggie lasagne. Well, yes, those are the choices I’m frequently faced with at regular family-oriented restaurants, but we don’t often eat at those places. Thankfully, my husband enjoys ethnic foods as much as I do, and my daughter’s favorite kinds of dishes are Mexican and Indian. Three cheers for introducing them to the wonderful world of spices when they were one!
Not only do ethnic restaurants usually offer vegetarian sections in their menus at least 10 dishes long, but the food is usually much healthier. For instance, last week we ate Thai and had steamed rice and red and green mild vegetable coconut milk curries. To die for! The week before we ate Japanese. I can’t believe that once upon a time I used to hate tempura vegetables! Brown rice veggie sushi, miso soup (I took out the tofu) and seaweed salad. Yum! The only thing I’m not crazy about is that many ethnic dishes include copious amount of tofu. I used to be okay with it, but since I’ve given up soy (for the most part) I can’t stand how much tofu floats around in Chinese, Japanese, and Thai foods.
But last night we went to an East African Restaurant. They had a beautiful buffet including four types of dahl (stewed lentil dishes), no tofu!, two veggie dishes, steamed rice and injera, which is a kind of flat bread, more like a spongy, slightly sour-tasting pancake, made from fermented sourdough batter. Not only is it a food, it is also an eating utensil! Ethiopians use it as a plate, which soaks up the stews sitting atop it and as a spoon. In the restaurant, regular flatware was optional.
If you have never tried East African food (from Ethiopia or Eritrea), I suggest you give it a try. They had a number of different meat dishes that my husband also fully enjoyed.
1/4 cup teff flour
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup water
a pinch of salt
- Put the teff flour in the bottom of a mixing bowl, and sift in the all-purpose flour.
- Slowly add the water, stirring to avoid lumps.
- Stir in the salt.
- Heat a nonstick pan or lightly oiled cast-iron skillet until a water
- drop dances on the surface. Make sure the surface of the pan is smooth: Otherwise, your injera might fall apart when you try to remove it.
- Coat the pan with a thin layer of batter. Injera should be thicker than a crêpe, but not as thick as a traditional pancake. It will rise slightly when it heats.
- Cook until holes appear on the surface of the bread. Once the surface is dry, remove the bread from the pan and let it cool.
For more tips and tricks on making injera go here.
Linked up at Vegetarian Foodie Fridays at Breastfeeding Moms Unite!, Foodie Friday at Designs by Gollum, Fight Back Friday at Food Renegade, Friday Food at Momtrends, Food on Friday at Ann Kroeker, Wholesome Whole Foods at Health Food Lover, Just Another Meatless Monday at Hey, What’s For Dinner Mom? My Meatless Mondays at My Sweet and Savory, Hearth and Soul Blog Hop at Frugality and Crunchiness With Christy, Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays at Simply Sugar and Gluten Free.