Flaky & Crispy Chinese Chicken Spring Rolls

chinese chicken spring rollIf you are craving Chinese spring rolls that you love from your usual takeout restaurant, this recipe is golden. You get the perfect spring roll that is flaky and crispy with just the right flavor. This recipe is very easy and you can make a large batch and freeze the spring rolls for another day.

Continue reading “Flaky & Crispy Chinese Chicken Spring Rolls”

Tiramisu Sponge Cake

tiramisu sponge cakeI absolutely love tiramisu but sometimes I worry that I might get sick from the raw eggs. Its one of my favorite desserts, so I decided to recreate this classic at home without using raw eggs and I surprised myself by how delicious it was! I made a tiramisu sponge cake that absorbs the coffee instead of using lady fingers. It makes for a more presentable cake and tastes great!

Continue reading “Tiramisu Sponge Cake”

My Grandmother’s Makloube

my grandmothers makloubeMakloube is a Palestinian dish made of spiced chicken, vegetables, rice and garnished with roasted nuts that is prepared in one pot and turned upside down on a serving platter. You will find a lot of recipes on pinterest advertising “one pot meals” but Palestinians knew this secret first. My Grandmother’s makloube is a little different in that she cooks the chicken in a delicious spicy marinade and then tops the entire dish with sweet caramelized onions to balance the spice. Continue reading “My Grandmother’s Makloube”

Moroccan Honey Glazed Chicken

moroccan honey glazed chickenI am in love with Moroccan Flavors this month and this Moroccan Honey Glazed Chicken dish is exquisite. The marinade mixed with honey is a perfect combination and is so lovely partnered with rice or couscous. Just 5 minutes before you pull the chicken out of the oven, drizzle honey and butter and let the flavors combine. This would make an amazing main dish or if your planning a large spread and in need of a chicken recipe, please give this a try.

moroccan honey glazed chicken

This is an easy dinner to make but for best results chicken should marinate over night. I used a cast iron skillet and it made cooking so easy with the swift transfer from stove top to oven. I served this with a pomegranate and mango quinoa salad. Delicious and light, leftovers made a great lunch the next day.

Moroccan Honey Glazed Chicken
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 kg chicken thighs on bone with skin
  • Marinade:
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs chopped parsley
  • 2 tbs chopped coriander
  • 4 cloves of garlic smashed
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 2 tbs honey
  • 2 tbs butter
Instructions
  1. The night before dinner clean chicken thighs
  2. combine all of the marinade ingredients to the chicken and refrigerate overnight. Grate the small red onion using a vegetable or cheese grater and add to the chicken.
  3. Add 1 tbs olive oil to a heated cast iron skillet and cook chicken skin side down to achieve color and crispy skin for 3 minutes
  4. Transfer the chicken to the oven at 175 Degrees Celsius (350 degrees F) along with all of the marinade juices and 1 cup of water.
  5. Bake for 45 minutes until chicken is tender. Be sure the chicken does not dry out or overcook!
  6. minutes before the chicken is finished dollop with 2 tbs of butter and 2 tbs of honey
  7. Serve with rice or couscous

 

If you do not have a cast iron skillet you can use a baking dish.

Its best to rub the marinade outside of the flesh and under the skin of the chicken as well.

Healthy Breakfast Bites

healthy breakfast bitesI am really excited to share this recipe with all of you. Many times I find myself leaving the house without breakfast or needing a healthy snack during the day. Well I cooked up something delicious and I can’t quite believe it myself. These healthy breakfast bites are refined sugar free, dairy free, gluten free and completely vegan. The batter raw was delicious enough to eat straight off of my fingers.

healthy breakfast bites

I made these treats with non other than organic bananas from Yas Farm. What gets better than healthy treats that are also organic!? The best part is that they are completely guilt free so you can definitely have more than one with your morning coffee or afternoon tea. I have played around with this recipe a few times and I’m finally pleased with the result. Please give these a try and let me know what you think. I would love to hear from you.

Healthy Breakfast Bites
 
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Serves: 17
Ingredients
  • 2 cups oats
  • ½ cup coconut flakes
  • 2 bananas
  • 10 dates pitted
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbs coconut oil
Instructions
  1. In a food processor blend the pitted dates
  2. Add the bananas to the food processor and blend
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients into the food processor and blend to combine
  4. Shape the batter into round cookies and place on cookie sheets
  5. Bake for 10 minutes at 175 degrees Celsius (or 350 degrees F)
  6. Enjoy!

 

Mantoo: Dumplings over yogurt and tomato meat sauce

Mantoo: Dumplings over yogurt and tomato meat sauceEvery culture has their own dumpling dish and for me its Shish Barak  (Palestinian Dumplings) that are filled with a spiced beef mix and served in a bowl of yogurt. Its delicious, however Mantoo takes the lead! It is very similar to Shish Barak but in addition to the yogurt sauce, it is also draped in a delicious and rich tomato meat sauce with yellow split peas.  This combination is an absolute comfort food that makes you feel comfy and cozy inside. As the sauce simmers and all of the flavors combine you create a dish that is sure to be memorable and exquisite. Mantoo is an Afghani dish that sure wont disappoint. Today for my birthday, all I wanted was this amazing dish for dinner and to share it with my family. So lets get to work!

Mantoo: Dumplings over yogurt and tomato meat sauce

You can choose to make the dough for the dumplings yourself or purchase already made dough.  Its very easy to make but purchasing dough cuts your prep time considerably. I began by mixing my dough and allowing it to rest for an hour. While the dough was resting I began on my sauce and let it simmer for an hour until it reduces and the flavors come together.

After the dough has rested I pinched off golf ball sizes of dough, rolled it into a circle, filled it with my beef mixture and sealed the edges into little crescents. You then let them steam in water for twenty minutes. I used my pressure cooker by placing 2 cups of water and placing my dumplings on an oiled steam tray. Cover with the lid and steam for 20 minutes.

Mantoo: Dumplings over yogurt and tomato meat sauce
soft pillows of amazing spiced beef with herbs
Mantoo: Dumplings over yogurt and tomato meat sauce
I used my pressure cooker to steam my dumplings for 20 minutes

 

Mantoo: Dumplings over yogurt and meat sauce
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • For the filling:
  • 1 lb grass fed organic Australian beef mince
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 tbs ground coriander
  • 1 tbs ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt or more to taste
  • 1 cup coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • For the Sauce:
  • 3 14 oz cans of chopped tomato
  • ¾ cup yellow split peas
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tsp salt
  • For the yogurt:
  • 1 cup of your favorite yogurt (laban)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • salt to taste
  • For the dough
  • 2 cups Flour
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. soak split peas in water over night or for 3-4 hours before you start cooking.
  2. combine flour, salt, water, olive oil and knead to combine. Dough should be elastic. Divide in half into two balls and place in an oiled bowl to rest for 1 hour.
  3. For the sauce: Add olive oil to a heated sauce pan and sauté 1 finely chopped onion until yellow and soft (about 3 minutes)
  4. In a food processor, blend the cans of chopped tomatoes and add to the sauce pan.
  5. Smash 8 cloves of garlic and add to the sauce along with salt.
  6. Add the yellow split peas
  7. For the filling: add olive oil to a heated fry pan and add beef
  8. brown the beef and break it up into small pieces
  9. add the spices
  10. once the beef has cooked, add the chopped 2 onions and fry for 2 minutes.
  11. Take the mix off of the heat to cool and add the chopped coriander
  12. To make the dumplings make golf ball sizes of dough and roll out into a circle
  13. drop 1 tbs or small spoon of the beef mixture into the middle of the dough and fold into a dumpling. you can fold into any shape you prefer. I made crescents
  14. This yields about 24 dumplings
  15. Add any remaining beef mixture to your sauce
  16. Steam your dumplings for 20 minutes
  17. Smash 1 clove of garlic and add it to the yogurt with 1 tsp of dried mint. salt to taste
  18. plate your yogurt mixture on to the bottom of your serving dish, topped with dumplings and pour the tomato sauce on top. garnish with coriander leaves

 

Arabic Meat Pies (Laham Bil Ajeen)

arabic meat pies (laham bil ajeen)There is nothing comparable to the smell of a bakery making fresh Arabic meat pies (laham bil ajeen). The scent is simply amazing and truly intoxicating. You can make them at home and have the same effect on your family. This is one of my absolute favorite recipes. It is such a comfort food and it always reminds me of being in my grandmother’s kitchen. Continue reading “Arabic Meat Pies (Laham Bil Ajeen)”

Za’atar Rubbed Chicken Skewers

za'atar rubbed chicken skewersIf you are tired of your usual chicken marinade recipe then definitely give this a try. Flavors from the Middle East never disappoint! This is a simple and easy marinade that results in big flavor. Za’atar is a spice used in Arab countries and is a combination of dried thyme, oregano and sesame seeds. I made for lunch za’atar rubbed chicken skewers and served it over a kale fattouch. It was amazing! You can also pan fry chicken breasts with this marinade and serve it with garlic paste for a quick and delicious dinner.

za'atar rubbed chicken skewers
za’atar rubbed chicken with kale fattouch

This is a great way to spice up your meal prep. Plain grilled chicken is boring. Add Middle Eastern Flavors to enhance your meal and introduce new flavors on the dinner table.

za'atar rubbed chicken skewers
Za’atar rubbed chicken skewers on a serving platter

If you need a recipe for garlic paste you can find it here!

Za'atar Rubbed Chicken Skewers
 
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Author:
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1 kg boneless skinless chicken breast (or any chicken you prefer)
  • ½ lemon (juice from ½ a lemon)
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ cumin
  • 1½ tbs za'atar
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 4 garlic cloves
Instructions
  1. Clean and cut chicken breast into cubes (or keep chicken as is)
  2. Smash garlic cloves
  3. add chicken and all ingredients to a bowl
  4. set aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes (the longer the better)
  5. grill chicken for 3-4 minutes on each side until cooked through
  6. Serve with garlic paste

 

Moroccan Lemon Herb Chicken with Olives

moroccan lemon herb chicken with olivesThis dish is channeling Moroccan flavors and definitely does not disappoint. An easy Moroccan lemon herb chicken with olives recipe that can be served up in thirty minutes for your family to enjoy. So many flavors combine in this dish and really give you a sense of the Moroccan culture and experience. Continue reading “Moroccan Lemon Herb Chicken with Olives”

Fig jam and mozzarella bruschetta

fig jam and mozzarella bruschettaInstead of your usual bruschetta recipe, why not fancy it up with delicious and sweet homemade fig jam and mozzarella? Lets combine the flavors of Lebanon and Italy onto our cheese boards. Figs are very popular in Lebanon and are used to make the most incredible jam! I love the smell of caramelized sugar with star anise or anise seed. Try spreading fig jam on to slices of sour dough bread topped with soft and creamy mozzarella cheese  and bake for just a few minutes to get the cheese melted and garnish with basil. This is a sure way to impress your friends and introduce new flavors from around the world.

Watch this short video to see just how easy it is!

fig jam


Fig jam and mozzarella bruschetta
 
Prep time
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Author:
Serves: 3
Ingredients
  • 5 figs
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 star anise or 1 tsp anise seeds
  • 2 tbs honey
  • pinch of toasted sesame seeds
  • fresh mozzarella
  • fresh basil
  • sour dough bread
Instructions
  1. chop figs into quarters
  2. caramelize brown sugar in sauce pan
  3. add figs, water, star anise, honey and toasted sesame seeds
  4. smash figs with a potato masher
  5. grill slices of sour dough bread, spread fig jam and top with fresh mozzarella slices
  6. bake until cheese melts slightly and garnish with chopped basil

 

You can definitely add more sugar or honey depending on how sweet you like it.

You can also use dried figs as well

Enjoy!