RSS Feed

Tag Archives: middle eastern cuisine

It’s Been So Long….

Wow, I really haven’t posted in a while! I’m afraid life has really gotten in the way over the past 6 months or so, with some family illness, a crazy school schedule and some computer issues (still not sure about putting photos in this post because of this). The ironic thing is that I have actually been cooking and creating more than ever! I have been really inspired (like many of us) by the cookbook Jerusalem and lately by their older book, Plenty. I have many cookbooks but I have to admit that I don’t use them very often, I occasionally look at the pictures but mostly come up with my own stuff. What I love about Plenty is that not only do the recipes look amazing but I usually have most of the ingredients already. I have tried several recipes (or recipes closely inspired by the book) and they are all winners! Plenty really lends itself to tweaking and experimentation and I have been loving the bold flavours and all the different grains and spices!

Although last summer was stressful, we still managed to have some good times. I made some animal pals at the Pacific National Exhibition that I thought I would share with you!

Llama Pal!

Llama Pal!

 

"I love Moo!"

“I love Moo!”

 

Friend not Food!

Friend not Food!

I have been making a lot of different types of food lately and recently discovered a way to make homemade seitan! This was very exciting but the recipe needs a bit of tweaking before I post about it. It will come though! Seitan is a meat substitute made out of a high gluten flour (the definition of not being gluten free, unfortunately) and I have always wondered about it but thought it would be a big pain to make. It’s actually really easy and you can use it in many ways. If you purchase a lot of fake meat stuff, it can be an interesting and cheap alternative to the super processed fake hot dogs and deli slice stuff. I am excited to keep experimenting with it. I have been pretty stressed with recent life events so cooking has been a great way to de-stress and relax, I may not be able to control stuff outside the kitchen but in it I am fully in charge! I also found myself with graham crackers, cool whip and blueberries and channeled the 1950’s to do a refrigerator dessert. It didn’t look pretty but I have to admit it tasted great! I may post it if I can get the photos to look a little better.

The middle eastern flavours in Plenty and Jerusalem are still intriguing me and I’ve been thinking about one of my favourite foods, Falafel! I love falafel but the deep frying can make it kind of unhealthy. I decided to try my hand at a falafel inspired burger instead so I hope it works out! You can make these into little patties for a wrap or big ones for burgers.

Falafel Inspired Burgers (Vegan)

Yield: 12 little patties or 4 big ones

Ingredients

1 can chickpeas (540 ml), rinsed and drained

1 C. cooked brown rice

1/2 bunch cilantro

1/3 onion

3 garlic cloves

1 t garlic powder

1 t onion powder

1 t za’atar

1 t cumin

1/2 t chili flakes

2 T chopped parsley (more if you like a stronger parsley flavour)

salt and pepper

1-2 T hot sauce (optional)

-combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until well combined

-place into bowl and form into patties of desired size with your hands (get right in there!)

-saute on each side until browned and heated through or (although this takes out the healthy aspect) you could shallow fry the little patties

-don’t over process or it will be mushy

-place in pita or bun with plain yogurt, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and pickled peppers and enjoy!

 

Evil Kenevil and Shakshuka

Posted on

Don’t worry if my title doesn’t make a lot of sense. All will be revealed. spring has finally sprung in Vancity and one’s thoughts turn to bike riding in the sunshine. My bike has been out of commssion for awhile and (get ready to be shocked) I didn’t have a helmet. It’s true, I’ve been risking brain and limb and a ticket by riding with a naked noggin for years. So I decided to fork out the bucks and get a helmet. Nowadays there are a lot of helmet options, unlike the alien-head only ones of my youth. I lucked out at the bike shop (where they fixed my tire and spokes and straightened my bars) and found a sweet Evil Keneivel style helmet in L/XL to fit my oversize bean.

Monty inspects the merchandise

Next up, dinner. I decided to make Shakshuka again. Shakshuka is a delicious Middle Eastern dish from Jerusalem that I made last year and got out of (what else?) Saveur magazine. I had most of the ingresients already becasue they are pretty basic and rode my bike to the store to grab the couple I didn’t have on hand. This dish is really versatile and could be served at any meal, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I chanegd it a bit from the first time I made it and it turned out awesome. It’s very filling and healthy and spicy!

Shakshuka (adapted from Saveur No.124)

1/2 T olive oil

28 oz can crushed tomatoes

2 small oniosn small diced

8 garlic gloves minced

1 habernero pepper* minced

1 1.2 T paprika

2 t cumin

salt and pepper to taste

6 organic eggs

-I specified organic eggs because not only are they superior in quality but the chickens are treated humanely. Unlike free-run or free-range, an organic label means the conditions are enforced and checked by the government and (in BC they can also have an SPCA certification that you can see on the carton). I prefer Rabbit River which are also local to my area) Okay, end of spiel.

Eggcitement!

-saute onions, garlic and habernero in olive oil (if you haven’t handled haberneros before: do not touch any part of your body after handling them and wash your hands)- you may need to put on the fan as the habernero can get into the air and make everyone in the vicinity start coughing

Pretty Pretty Peppers!

*haberneros are one of my favourite ways to add heat to dishes, if you haven’t had them before they are extremely spicy. Check out the Scoville Scale┬áto see how they compare to other peppers. However, what I love about haberneros is not just the heat, they impart a real depth and flavour to dishes without the acidity that peppers like jalapeanos have. If you like spicy food you will want to add habeneros to your cooking repetoire. They are pretty cheap (although they are pricy by the pound they weigh next to nothing) the three I bough today cost around fifty cents and they freeze really well, just stick them in a bag. If you can’t find fresh, dried can be used but be warned…the dried are much much spicier, use sparingly until you know how hot they are.

-add the tomatoes plus about 1/3 can water to the onions

-simmer until slightly reduced, about 20 minutes (cover if you don’t want tomato splatter all over your stove)

-stir occasionally and add some salt and pepper

-crack the 6 eggs evely spaced apart into the simmering tomato sauce and cover

-let cook 5 minutes

-baste eggs with a little of the tomato sauce and cook 1 more minute (if you like runnier eggs reduce the cooking time)

-ladle into three bowls (2 eggs each) and serve with pita for dipping

Shakshuka!

Enjoy the yum! The original recipe also garnishes with parley and feta which would probalby be awesome as well. I am pretty sure my next project is going to be Chinese steamed buns which I have wanted to make forever. I just realized the bread book I got for Christmas has a recipe for them. I am so excited!!! I’ll be doing a vegetarian take on a BBQ pork filling so stay tuned!

Thunderball and Flatbread

We recently got a blu-ray player so we’ve been building our library of discs and just discovered they’re releasing cheap James Bond collections. I am a huge Bond fan and have always wanted to own all of the movies so we’re buying them whenever we see them. I think the best way to watch Bond is to watch a bunch in a row, you must saturate yourself in suave. There have been a few different Bonds and here’s how I order them in terms of awesomeness: 1. Sean Connery (except for Never Say Never Again because he’s too old) 2. Roger Moore 3. Pierce Brosnan 4. Daniel Craig 5. Timothy Dalton 6. George Lazenby (extra minus points for the waste of the best Bond girl ever, Diana Rigg with the lamest Bond ever). But I digress; I also like to cook while watching a movie, especially when I’m making bread or pot stickers or anything that has a few steps and waiting time.

I’ve been going through my Gourmet mag collection, rereading the wonderful articles, drooling over the amazing photos and grieving it’s demise. Come back Gourmet!!!! Come back!!! Anyway, I’ve been getting re-inspired and an article about middle eastern cuisine that included a fun recipe for Algerian Flatbread caught my eye. I had almost all of the ingredients and decided to give it a go. We threw on Thunderball and I got doughy! I’m not going to post the recipe but you can get it here. The only thing I would change is to increase the spices a bit as the flavour didn’t really come through that much. It was tasty though and great for dipping, we used guacamole but hummus would be good too.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We had a bunch of vegetables in the house and one of the blogs I like to follow, Lark & Linen had a post a few weeks ago about cream of broccoli soup and I’ve been thinking about it a lot. I grabbed some half and half and made some up. It was super easy so I’ll just describe what I did rather than make a formal recipe.

Chop up 2 carrots, 2 celery stalks, half an onion, 3-4 garlic cloves and 3 broccoli crowns. Saute in a large pot, cover with water and a pinch of veg boullion. Simmer until the veg are soft, ladle into a blender in batches and puree (be careful with the hot liquids). Whisk in 1/2 – 2/3 cup of half and half, salt pepper to taste and voila! Soup! Easy and yummy, I’m going to make more today with zucchini instead of broccoli. You could also add some parmesan. There’s no pics because I forgot and we ate it all! I did manage to get a couple of shots of the broccoli pre-soup however.Give it a try and you won’t regret it!

Ramblingspoon.com

Thoughts on our food and our planet

www.vegetarianventures.com/

A Vegetarian Food Blog with a Twist of Adventure

Heart of a Baker

Naturally vegan sweets and treats

industrial home decor ideas

A Vegetarian Ex-Chef's Attempts to Love Cooking Again!

DailyWaffle

Modern Home Cooking. Seasonal Discoveries. Food You'd Really Eat.

A Lot On Your Plate

A budget friendly blog (now an official website) that gives creative & practical tips, recipes, and more, to help inspire, organize, & simplify your life!

domestic diva, M.D.

my mother raised the perfect housewife...then I went to med school

the annotated zoetrope

The Zoetrope, or "Wheel of Life," is an instructive Scientific Toy, illustrating in an attractive manner the persistence of an image on the retina of the eye; by revolving the cylinder by the hand, and looking through the openings, the images passing rapidly before the eye are blended, so as to give the figures the motions of life in the most natural manner.

bento zen

zen in lunchbox form