Today might be my 25th birthday, but I just don’t feel like baking a cake for myself today like I’ve done in years past. Instead, I’m treating myself to tapas and drinks with a life-long friend. However, I did make one of my all-time favorite meals for lunch – mujadarah.

I’ve written about mujadarah before (a variation using chipotle peppers and adobo sauce), and it’s a dish I find myself making all the time. It’s so simple – rice, lentils, onions, spices. One of the reasons I enjoy eating this so much is that you can twist the ingredients to suit your mood. Today I added orange juice and zest to the Veganomicon recipe. After cooking, the orange flavor was very subtle, and made the dish interesting. I topped it off with some orange pulp habanero hot sauce.

The tempeh was marinated for half an hour in soy sauce, veg broth, curry powder, and mirin. It was then fried lightly in olive oil until browned.

Mujadarah is awesome because it is so damn filling! Brown rice and lentils will fill your belly, nourish you, and keep your wallet heavy. Do any of you have creative ways to change up the basic recipe?