Pumpkin Kibbeh

Last night after presanctified liturgy we had the latest installment in our series of local celebrity chefs doing a cooking demonstration for us.  First, some background: There is a tradition of having potluck meals after these evening liturgies.  When I came to Marlborough I realized there hadn’t been a Wednesday night lenten liturgy in a while.  I didn’t want to saddle everyone with six straight potlucks, so I decided to alternate them with lenten cooking demos.  We always have fun – the chefs give freely of their time and food, everyone enjoys it and learns something, and we eat well and see a side of the chef’s personality that we may not see in everyday life.  Last night Miriam Hyder from Ed Hyder’s Mediterranean Marketplace kicked off this year’s series, and it was awesome.  Miriam made pumpkin kibbeh, a vegan variation on the traditional meat dish.  Everyone had a great time and enjoyed the food – pictures will soon be up on the church website.  A nice bonus was having Miriam’s mother Edna on board to help out.  Edna and I are both from the same hometown, so we enjoyed reminiscing.  The recipe is below.  If you wish to make it gluten or grain-free, you can substitute quinoa for the bulgur.


Pumpkin Kibbeh
Preheat oven to 400. Grease 9 X 13 Pyrex
1.5 cups fine bulghur
2 15oz cans pumpkin puree
1 can chicpeas
1/2 cup flour
1 medium onion, chopped
1t salt X 2
1/2 t black pepper & 1 t black pepper
1t cumin
1T Sumac
1/2 t cinnamon
1/4 cup Water
1/4 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup walnuts
olive oil
4-6 cups spinach, or leafy greens
Soak bulghur in very hot water for 20 minutes. Drain in mesh colander, squeezing out extra liquid. In a mixing bowl, combine bulghur, pumpkin, flour, water, salt, 1/2t black pepper, cumin.

Heat olive oil in a pan. Saute onions for a few minutes, before adding chickpeas. Sprinkle spices (Sumac, Black pepper, Cinnamon, Salt) over this mixture. Stir, mixing spices throughout. Add spinach (or other greens.) Once wilted, add raisins and walnuts. Mix. Take off heat and pour contents into a bowl.
Use half of the pumpkin/bulghur mixture to evenly line the bottom of the pyrex. use spatula to distribute. Evenly spread “stuffing” (chickpea, onion mixture) over. Lay down third layer, using remaining pumpkin/bulghur mixture.
Use knife to cut halfway down to give kibbeh desired shaped pieces. Brush top with olive oil. Bake for 40 minutes, or until you reach desired crispness.

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March 31st, 2016 by Fr. Greg

Gluten-Free And Nut-Free Vasilopita

Yesterday on Facebook I put up a post about today’s vasilopita cutting at the church and offhandedly mentioned that we would have a gluten-free, nut-free vasilopita option.  I could not believe the reaction, which doubled when I put up a picture.  I had lots of positive comments along with many requests for the recipe.  So here it is, courtesy of Prez. Eleni.

1 stick of butter

3/4 c. sugar

2 eggs

1/2 c. orange juice, freshly squeezed

1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 1/4 t. baking powder

1 c. cooked quinoa

3/4 c. rice flour*

1/2 c. millet flour*

1 t. cinnamon

1/2 t. ground clove

1 3/4 tsp. xantham gum

*or other gluten-free flour

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Beat butter and sugar at high speed until fluffy. Continue beating then add eggs one at a time then add juice and vanilla. In another bowl combine cooked and cooled quinoa, flours, xantham gum (or other binding agent), cinnamon, clove and xantham gum. Slowly add to butter and sugar mix. Pour this into a greased, 8” pan. Insert a coin which has been previously boiled for 5 minutes (for sterilization) and wrapped in tin foil into the cake away from the edge and center. Smooth batter over point of insertion. Bake for 10 minutes then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake for another 30-40 minutes. The top can be dusted with powdered sugar but only when completely cooled. Alternatively, brush with a beaten egg and decorate with sesame seeds or nuts in a pattern forming the numbers of the new year prior to baking.

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January 13th, 2013 by Fr. Greg

Gluten-Free Cinnamon Bun Muffins

This delicious gluten-free recipe is from my dear friend Leslie Saffer:
Muffin Mixture:
Makes 9 muffins
1 cup blanched almond flour (I added an additional 3 Tablespoons.)
2 tablespoon coconut flour (I used tapioca instead.)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ cup grapeseed oil (I used coconut oil instead.)
¼ cup agave nectar (I used maple syrup.)
3 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Combine flours, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl,
In a large bowl blend together oil, agave, eggs and vanilla.
Blend dry ingredients into wet and scoop a scant ¼ cup at a time into lined muffin cups.
Spoon topping onto muffins.
Bake muffins for 8-12 minutes at 350°

Cinnamon Topping:
Combine agave, cinnamon and oil in a small bowl
Set mixture aside.
2 tablespoon agave nectar (I use maple syrup.)
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil (I use coconut oil.)
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August 24th, 2012 by Fr. Greg

Creamy Leek & Potato Soup With Beans

Let’s end the year with a recipe:

4 large leeks – greens removed and finely chopped

4 potatoes peeled, quartered and sliced

3T olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 C water

1/4 C miso, mild

salt and freshly milled pepper

1 can cannellini beans drained and rinsed

Soak leeks in a bowl of water once chopped to remove dirt.  Heat olive oil in a large stock pot.  Add leeks, garlic and potatoes and cook covered over low heat until softened (about 10 minutes).  Add the water and salt and bring to a boil.  Simmer partly covered for 30 minutes.  Process 1/2 the soup in a blender until creamy then return to pot.  Add miso (optional).  First, melt it in a bowl with broth.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Add beans and stir well.  Serve hot.

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December 31st, 2011 by Fr. Greg

One Night Seafood?

This recipe was inspired by the late, lamented One Night Seafood dish at Bangkok Bistro, a great restaurant near BC that was a frequent Friday night destination for us while in seminary.  They changed the menu at some point and whatever replaced ONS was a little different and not quite as good, although everything is awesome there (they don’t seem to have a web site).  I was harvesting the remaining basil from the garden and was overcome by memories and a strong desire to eat One Night Seafood, so this is my attempt at it.

3 sprigs of basil, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

1 cayenne pepper, chopped

1 small head of broccoli or green cauliflower, chopped up

Soy sauce (preferably low sodium and gluten-free)

1 green onion, chopped

3 cloves of garlic, minced

1lb frozen seafood (I use Trader Joe’s seafood medley, but any kind of shrimp/scallop/squid combo will do, and it doesn’t have to be frozen I suppose)

Heat up a large frying pan on the stove, medium heat with a little canola oil.  Add the vegetables and seafood until the seafood is cooked (poke the shrimp until it is firm) and the broccoli/cauliflower is softened.  Add desired amount of soy sauce over the whole thing as it is cooking – I wait until some of the water from the frozen seafood has burned off.  You can serve this over rice if you wish but I find it filling as is.

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October 19th, 2011 by Fr. Greg

Fave Bean And Chick Pea Salad

Here is a fast, easy, healthful and delicious meal:

1 can fava beans

1 can chick peas

1 bunch parsley

1 pickling cucumber (or 1/2 of a regular cuke)

Juice of 1 lemon

Cumin, salt and olive oil to taste

Rinse and drain the beans and then put them into a bowl.  Chop up the cucumber and parsley and toss them in.  Add the lemon juice, salt and cumin, and drizzle in olive oil.  Toss thoroughly and serve, or chill if desired for a a colder dish.  I made this tonight for Prez to take to work tomorrow, but if personal interaction is not a concern you can throw in a chopped red onion and garlic.

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March 30th, 2011 by Fr. Greg

Fr. Ephraim’s Lentil Chili

This recipe comes to us from Fr. Ephraim.  Friday is his name day, so if you see him be sure to greet him properly.

5 cups vegetable stock

2 cups of brown lentils

Salt and pepper to taste

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes

1 cup chopped onion

2 cups chopped bell pepper (I use red and orange)

4 cloves fresh garlic, minced

1 cup prepared barbecue sauce of choice

Hot pepper sauce to taste (I would say use it liberally – Ed.)

Shredded cheddar cheese, for serving, optional

Bring the broth to a boil in a soup pot. Meanwhile, pick through the lentils checking for stones or debris. Rinse and drain the lentils. When the broth boils, add the lentils and salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and cook at a very slow boil, covered (crack the lid to vent if the pot threatens to boil over), for 20 minutes.

Add the tomatoes with their juice to the pot. Add the onion, pepper, garlic and barbecue sauce. Simmer 15 minutes, covered, stirring frequently.

Remove the pot from the heat. Add the hot pepper sauce to taste, if desired. Serve topped with cheese if desired.

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January 27th, 2011 by Fr. Greg