Sunday, June 13, 2010
VEGAN SANIYA-- A DELICIOUS LEVANTINE DISH TO ENJOY WITH PITA
We had this for dinner last night and lunch today, and ate with just as much gusto the second time as the first! This is a little-known (at least in North America) dish from the Levant-- Lebanon, Syria, Palestine, Israel. I suspect that it is a sort of home-style dish-- it's very easy to make and uses common ingredients.
Saniya (it has other spellings, I think, but this seems the most common one) is a casserole of spiced ground meat covered with a tahini-based sauce. The meat part was not hard to “veganize”-- there are many delicious vegan ground meat substitutes around. I had Field Roast Classic Meatloaf in the freezer and used that, but you can use your favorite burger sub. According to Sufian Mustafa, chef and researcher, tahini and yogurt are both used to make "white sauces" in Levantine cooking, so I mixed the two (using silken tofu and lemon juice instead of yogurt) to make a creamy, rich-tasting lower-fat version of this sauce.
The results were delicious and I suspect that I will make this often. I had some whole wheat pita bread and some cooked chickpeas in the freezer, so I made my New, Improved No-Oil Hummous and we had a feast!
BRYANNA'S VEGAN SANIYA-- A DELICIOUS LEVANTINE DISH
Serve with hummous and pita bread, and a salad or cooked greens.
2 cups Bryanna's Lower-Fat Version of Levantine Taheena Sauce (Recipe below)
(Make the Taheena Sauce before you start the rest of the dish.)
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onion, chopped
1 lb. Field Roast Classic Meatloaf, round roughly in a food processor (or substitute 4 cups of your favorite vegan hamburger alternative, such as 2 packages of Yves Veggie ground Round)
salt to taste (I used about 2 pinches with the Field Roast product-- you may need more with other products.) Or a little soy sauce
2 teaspoons Special Spice Mixture (see below), or more to taste
1 cup chopped Italian parsley
8 medium tomatoes, cut into cubes, OR the equivalent in good-quality Italian canned whole tomatoes, well drained and cubed
Special Spice Mixture: (Store leftover spice mix in a jar for next time!)
1 Tbs each of:
ground coriander or ginger
ground allspice or ginger
NOTE: I made this dish, and calculated the Nutrition Facts, using Field Roast Classic Meatloaf. If you use a different meat sub, the Nutrition Facts may be different. Also, the Field Roast Meatloaf is very well-seasoned, and another hamburger sub may not be so tasty, so you may have to add a little more seasoning. A little Marmite dissolved in hot water adds flavor, for instance. Taste as you go!
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add the chopped onion and saute over medium high heat until it starts to soften. Add the ground Field Roast Meatloaf, or other hamburger substitute of your choice, and 2 teaspoons of the Special Spice Mixture. Stir-fry over high heat for a few minutes.
Add the parsley and salt to taste. Mix well and spread the mixture evenly into a 9x13" baking pan which has been oiled with olive oil.
Distribute the tomato cubes evenly over the top.
Spread the Taheena Sauce evenly over the top.
Bake for about 20-30 minutes. Serve hot with (whole wheat) pita bread, and hummous. A salad or some sauteed greens goes well with this meal.
Nutrition (per serving): 340.8 calories; 54% calories from fat; 21.3g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 572.0mg sodium; 690.4mg potassium; 23.3g carbohydrates; 6.5g fiber; 7.7g sugar; 16.8g net carbs; 18.6g protein; 7.8 points.
BRYANNA'S LOWER-FAT VERSION OF LEVANTINE TAHEENA SAUCE
Yield: 2 3/4 cups
(There will be 3/4 cup or so left over-- it's delicious on many things, so it won't go to waste!)
This delicious and ubiquitous sauce, used in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and Palestine, is delicious on vegan "meats", grilled or fried eggplant and zucchini, falafel and whatever else sounds good!
1 box (12.3 oz.) extra-firm SILKEN tofu
10 Tbs tahini
10 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons water
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 Tbs chopped fresh mint
1 1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender until very smooth. Cover and refrigerate until use, then bring to room temperature. If it seems too thick, add a little more water.
Nutrition Facts (for sauce only)
Nutrition (per 2 tablespoon serving): 51.0 calories; 59% calories from fat; 3.6g total fat; 0.0mg cholesterol; 122.1mg sodium; 65.3mg potassium; 3.1g carbohydrates; 0.7g fiber; 0.4g sugar; 2.4g net carbs; 2.5g protein; 1.2 points.