Sunday, June 13, 2010


Best Blog Tips

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. I suspect that it is a sort of home-style dish-- it's very easy to make and uses common ingredients. 

Saniya (or Sania) is a a type of casserole of spiced ground meat, in this case 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!

Servings: 6
Serve with hummous and pita bread, and a salad (such as Tabouleh, pictured below) 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:
black pepper
ground cumin
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 Facts
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.

Servings: 22
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. 


Lisa is Vegan on $10 a Day (or Less!) said...

wow, looks delish ... lovely & well done blog, btw

Desdemona said...

This is just what I was looking for to help use up some of the leftover hummus from my son's birthday party - thanks!

Anonymous said...

I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious. I had some veggie crumbles to use up and this sounded so good.

I have made a tahini sauce in the past that was similar but without the tofu. Adding the tofu didn't change the taste much but it cut the percentage of fat and made it healthier. My husband loves this sauce over steamed greens--he eats twice as big a serving of greens if he has this sauce to put over them. So I will use the sauce more often than the rest of the recipe.

Thanks for another wonderful recipe. I have all of your cookbooks and use them often.


Jacklyn said...

yum! this looks great! love finding new recipes to eat with pita bread! thank you!

Danielle said...

Fantastic! I love food from the Levant. I'm going to try using tempeh in place of the Field Roast (expecting to increase the seasonings significantly!). Thanks for the interesting recipe!