When Hidemi Walsh moved to the United States, she started to learn to cook all over again. Born and raised in Japan, she decided to take on the challenge with an adventuresome spirit.
“When I first moved from Japan, we had lots of Japanese food — not typical American food,” Walsh said. “I’ve learned a lot and like to try new things.”
Her husband, Jim, serves as her “tester” for new recipes. She said her mother-in-law has been a great help too.
The couple has been married for four years. They lived in Virginia for two of those.
“We moved to Plainfield two-and-a-half years ago,” she said. “People are very nice here. They are a lot more friendly than the big city.”
Cooking with different foods has been a fun experience for Walsh.
“Sometimes I will get food that I don’t know how to cook,” she said. “It’s good for me.”
She found a website — www.justapinch.com — where she could submit her recipes for a contest.
Walsh is one of 71 Plainfield residents sharing recipes with the social network, which in just two years has become one of the largest databases of user-posted recipes. On the site users can post their own “family tested and approved” recipes and try recipes submitted by others, use a menu planner and grocery list, create custom cookbooks, print hundreds of grocery coupons, enter recipe contests, and join discussion groups.
She was recently awarded a blue ribbon for her ethnic-flavored sandwich recipe.
“I like to make healthy food for my husband every day,” Walsh said.
She started out creating an avocado lentil salad.
“I wanted to make something different with avocados,” Walsh said. “So I added some mayonnaise and then some curry. My husband is not a fan of Indian food but curry is good for him.”
She said through a process of trial and tasting she found a tasty salad that she thought would go great on bread as a sandwich.
“I used a dark rye bread and he loved it,” she said.
Walsh entered her recipe in the contest and it was recently announced as a winner.
For more home cook recipes, visit the website at www.justapinch.com.
Ethnic Flavored Sandwiches
Hidemi Walsh (Plainfield)
12 slices dark rye bread
12 cups dry lentils
12-15 leaves of green lettuce, torn
1/2 cup minced sweet onion
1/2 cup minced cucumber (peeled and seeds removed)
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
4 tablespoons Greek yogurt, plain
2 teaspoons cumin powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated sugar
Rinse lentils and drain. In a saucepan, put lentils and add 2 cups hot water. Simmer gently with lid tilted until tender. When the lentils are cooked, drain well.
Halve avocado, remove seed, peel, scoop avocado pulp and mush in a bowl.
Add mayonnaise, plain yogurt, cumin powder, pinch of salt, and granulated sugar to the bowl.
Mix well. Then add minced onion, minced cucumber, and cooked lentils. Mix well.
Put 1/6 of green lettuce leaves on one slice of bread, spread 1/6 of lentils mixture, and put the other slice of bread to cover.
Makes 6 sandwiches.