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Bean salad recipe

Once again it’s Friday and it’s recipe time! I really would like to know if any of you tried some of these recipes and what you thought of them.

Usually the recipes i post are very easy and simple; i know that for most of you days pass like in a whirlwind, and we barely have time to comb our hair , much less come up with a nutritious gourmet dish!

Today we have a super easy bean salad, great for the warmer days, and nutritious to boost!

white-beans-isolated-on-whiteBeans are rich in manganese which is great for controlling PMS! They reduce cancer risks, protect your heart and improve your bone density among other things.

Beans with olives recipe:

-1 lb. fresh beans, blanched in salted water, kept warm.

1 tbs fresh origano, chopped, 10 black olives, chopped, 10 green olives chopped, 3 green onions finely chopped, olive oil, 2 tbs lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.

-In a bowl place the warm beans and toss with the olive oil, olives, oregano, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Sprinkle with the green onions.

Enjoy!

*image via google

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Mediterranean Arugula sauce

Still in the south of France, enjoying my mini vacation, the food, the weather, the sight of the sea…

But as one local said, everything becomes boring after a while, even the sun and the sea…I guess at some point we all get bored with where we live, and this is why we need vacations! I have been away for a month now, between visiting my family and joining my husband here in France. I think i’m ready to get back to Montreal now!

Today is Friday, and as promised we have another delicious Mediterranean recipe.

Arugula is used a lot in Mediterranean countries, mainly in salads. Arugula adds a powerful health boost to any menu; it is a detoxifying, cancer-fighting food.

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Arugula also helps to lower cholesterol, balance blood sugar and reduce the risk of heart disease. It is rich in vitamin K and promotes bone health.

Here is a recipe of Arugula sauce for pasta:

-4tbs olive oil, 2-3 cups chopped arugula, 3 green onions chopped, 1/4 cup almonds or walnuts chopped, 10-12 cherry tomatoes cut in half, 1/2 cup parmesan cheese (freshly grated), 1 cup fresh cream.

-Heat oil on medium heat, add arugula, nuts and stir 2-3 min. Add tomatoes, cheese, then cream. Simmer gently until it thickens (like heavy cream). Season with salt and pepper. This is enough for 1 lb of cooked pasta.

Enjoy!

*image via google

 

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Mediterranean chard recipe

Chard is a leafy green vegetable often used in Mediterranean cooking. Good for your bones, chard is full of vitamin K, magnesium, copper and calcium.

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You can treat chard as spinach: steamed, sauteed, braised. And use chard stalks as you would asparagus, though cooking time may take longer.

Chard has always been a favorite of mine, sauteed, with some garlic, olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. Very tasty and nutritious.

Today i will be sharing another recipe from my Mediterranean aunt; it’s easy, nutritious and very good!

Chard with black eyed beans:

2 lbs. chard, 3tbs olive oil, 1 large onion chopped, 1 cup black eyed beans cooked , 4 cloves garlic chopped, 1 tbs coriander powder, 2 tsps cumin powder, salt and pepper to taste.

-Wash chard and chop coarsely (leaves and stems), cook in boiling water 4-6 minutes until almost done, and drain.

-In a cooking pan, heat oil and saute onions until they start to change color, add garlic and saute 2 more minutes. Add chard, beans and the seasoning, cover and simmer on low heat for 10 minutes.

Serve at room temperature.

*image via google

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Power in a small package

We always have a bowl of olives at the table, be it lunch or dinner. It’s a starter, an end to a meal, or just the pleasure of savoring the olives of the season.

Experts recommend taking 7 olives a day. In our house 7 is just not enough! My daughter alone can eat 20 in one sitting if i don’t stop her!

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-Olives contain a natural chemical that reduces stress in the brain. Eating a daily serving of olives improves memory by 25% according to a research from the University of Massachusetts.

-They are rich in iron, which helps in the rise of hemoglobin in the blood.

-Olives, like olive oil, contain oleic acid which keeps skin soft and healthy, and improves the appearance of wrinkles by 20%.

-Olives contain vitamin E, an excellent antioxidant for skin health.

-Olives have a high content of monounsaturated fatty acids, making them an ideal food for the prevention of cardiovascular disease by decreasing cholesterol levels in the body.

-The combination of monounsaturated fat and vitamin E make olives a great health benefit;they help in preventing the risk of colon cancer.

Both black and green olives can complement almost anything; salads, pasta, chicken, cheese, pizza, dips, appetizers, Greek yogurt…

This is a salad that i love, and have whenever i can: Wild Thyme Salad

(If you can’t find wild thyme in the grocery stores or at the local farmer’s market, try it instead with wide leaf origano, since they are from the same family.)

-1 bunch of wild thyme

-4 green onions finely chopped

-10 green olives cut in half

-Juice of 1/2 a lemon

-olive oil, salt and pepper.

Rinse and dry the thyme. Pick the leaves and place in a plate. Add the chopped green onions and the olives. Mix with the olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper.

We usually eat this salad with pita bread. Enjoy

*image via pinterest

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Zaatar Crepes

I know i promised every week a recipe from “the lady who knew everything”, but this week i am going to share a recipe from my cousin’s husband, a sweet sweet man with a love and knowledge of gourmet food. He seems to always be in the kitchen when he is not working, and comes up with delicious dishes for his family and friends.

This week i had the pleasure to spend some time with them, having coffee in the sun on their balcony, their adorable dog running from one person to the other, their two kids playing nearby and the amazing scent of the Zaatar Crepes sifting through the house…

Wasn't smart enough to take a picture of the actual crepe! You will have to make do with this!!

Wasn’t smart enough to take a picture of the actual crepe! You will have to make do with this!!

For those of you who don’t know what Zaatar is you can read all about it in my post here .

Recipe:

For 1 cup of milk, add

-5 tablespoons of flour

-1 egg

-5 teaspoons of zaatar

-a little olive oil

Mix everything and make crepes as usual. Before removing from pan, add a slice of cheese (swiss, camembert, anything that melts), fold the crepe and serve.

Amazing!!

*image via pinterest

 

 

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Basil pesto sauce recipe from an old Mediterranean aunt

Since i’m visiting my parents, i took the occasion and started rummaging through my mother’s cooking books (which are all over the place!). I was very happy when i found a booklet written by an old friend of my mom’s who was an amazing cook and gardener, a booklet where she wrote all of her famous recipes, using ingredients mostly from her garden. She was one of the first people my mother met when she arrived to this country, and she learned a lot from her. (She used to call her the woman who knew everything!)

Today we had pasta for lunch with a delicious pesto sauce, and i’m going to share the recipe with you.

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Basil pesto:

3 cups basil leaves(chopped)

1/2 cup pine nuts or chopped walnuts

1/2 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic

salt and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

In a blender or food processor, puree basil and nuts. Add garlic, oil and Parmesan, and process till well blended and desired consistency is reached.

Place in a container, add some olive oil on top and cover. This keeps well in the refrigerator up to two weeks. It freezes well too.

(You can replace the basil with parsley for parsley pesto)

Keep tuned for more recipes each week from “the lady who knew everything”..

*image via ivory-coastlines.tumblr

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Why add yogurt to your diet

Yogurt has been part of the Middle Eastern diet as early as 2000 BC. Back home we eat a lot of yogurt, and by yogurt i mean the plain kind; for breakfast, with some foods at lunch time, at dinner and even as a snack with some honey.

Yogurt

-Yogurt is a rich source of calcium, a mineral that contributes to colon health and decreases the risk of colon cancer. People who have diets high in calcium (like the Scandinavian countries) have lower rates of colorectoral cancer.

-Yogurt can boost immunity; the bacterial cultures in yogurt have been shown to stimulate infection-fighting white cells in the blood.

-For children, its is a most balanced source of protein, fats, carbohydrates and minerals.

-Yogurt, because it contains less lactose than milk, is good for healing intestines and is a “healing food” for diarrhea.

-The probiotics (beneficial bacteria) in some yogurts balance the microflora in your gut, and aids with digestion.

activia-vanillaThis is one of my favorite probiotic yogurt, i have it everyday with some fruits and chia seeds, tastes great!

-Yogurt is good for lowering the risk of blood pressure.

For the face: it gently exfoliates the top layers of the epidermis, which can clear up blemishes and discolorations and may even reduce fine wrinkles. My mom used plain yogurt on my brother’s face when he came back from skiing once, and had his whole face burned and peeling!It was funny but worked wonders!

-Yogurt may help you loose weight: It helps feel fuller and less hungry.

An unusual use of yogurt is as a brass polisher! ‘The lactic acid works to eat away the tarnish”.

Tzatziki sauce Recipe:

-3 cups plain greek yogurt

-1 clove garlic, crushed

-2 medium cucumbers, diced

-1/2 tsp dried mint

salt (optional: juice of 1/2 a lemon)

Great on its own, with meat or chicken, grilled veggies…The perfect summer side dish!

*images via google

 

 

 

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Are you eating lentils?

Since we eat meat very rarely, twice or three times a month, we use a lot of legumes in our diet. And lentils are one of my favorites.

Researchers have found that eating lentils (and other legumes) is the single most important dietary factor in longevity; lentils are a nutritional fountain of youth!

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Low in calories and high in nutrition, lentils are perfect to eat this season as salads. They are very easy to cook and taste great!

1-Lentils are very rich in protein; 26% of lentil’s calories are attributed to protein, which makes them a wonderful source of protein for vegetarians and vegans.

2-Lentils are great for weight loss. One cup of cooked lentils contains only 230 calories, but still leaves you feeling full.

3-Lentils are good at stabilizing blood sugar levels and slowing down digestion. Great for people with diabetes.

4-Several studies have shown that eating high fiber foods like lentils reduces your risk of heart disease.

5-They are a great source of magnesium which improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

6-Lentils help also in reducing blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber.

Red lentils provide less fiber than the black, brown or green variety, because they are sold with their hulls removed.

Mediterranean lentil salad Recipe:

1/2 cup cooked lentils

lemon juice

extra virgin olive oil

1 onion finely chopped

1 tomato finely chopped

salt and pepper

1 small cucumber finely chopped

1/2 red pepper finely chopped

1/2 avocado cut in cubes (optional)

Mix all the vegetables with the lentils, add the lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper.

Enjoy!

*image via pinterest

 

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What is Zaatar?

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Zaatar is a spice and herb blend from the middle east. You can find in all the houses around the middle east. Even here in Canada, every middle eastern person i know has a bag in their kitchen! It’s that important!

Zaatar has an amazing and unique flavor that is aromatic, and tangy at the same time.

In arabic, Zaatar means thyme; it is actually a blend of dried thyme, sesame seeds and sumac. And it is this combination that gives Zaatar its unique flavor.

Zaatar is used through out the middle east , sprinkled on hummus, on grilled chicken, mixed in with feta cheese or combined with tomatoes and onions..Combined with olive oil, it makes a tasty paste for dipping bread.

Benefits of Zaatar (of course there are benefits!)

*Thyme: an antioxidant that has anti-inflammatory properties that benefit brain function and the heart. (When i was a kid my parents used to tell me to have Zaatar in the morning before school, it opens up the brain!)

*Sesame seeds: contains calcium, copper and a type of phystoterol that can reduce blood cholesterol levels and boost immunity.

*Sumac: this spice is a burgundy red powder with a somewhat lemony flavor. It is an antioxidant as well and is known to soothe stomach upsets.

See how beneficial Zaatar is for your health? And you’re going to love its taste!

You can make your own Zaatar or buy it, both the Zaatar and its ingredients are available at middle eastern food stores or speciality food stores.

One of the most common ways to eat Zaatar is to have a” Man’ouche”, a flat bread dough with zaatar and olive oil.

e-Za'atar-Bread

Here’s how to do it the easy way!

Use a pizza dough for the flat bread.

Mix 2-3 tablespoons of Zaatar with olive oil till you get a rather liquid paste. Pour over the dough and cook in oven till crispy.

Cut it in slices and eat with yogurt, yummm!

This Zaatar pizza is very easy to freeze and tastes exactly the same when you warm it up again. Enjoy!

*images via, pinterest,medcookingalaska

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“Egg”cellent!

Happy Easter everyone! Since all i see around me these days are eggs, what better subject to talk about!

Who doesn’t like a fluffy omelet for brunch? I love omelets, and love experiencing with the ingredients. Eggs are an important part of our diet where i come from; we have them for breakfast, lunch or even dinner sometimes. Plain, with spices, veggies or meat.

There is a misguided belief that the cholesterol in eggs (found in the yolk) raises cholesterol levels and puts you at risk. But several studies have shown that there is no link between egg consumption and either heart attacks or strokes.

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Eggs are an excellent source of protein. Vitamins D and K which are found in eggs, protect us against cancer and help us live longer.

Organic eggs that come from free-range chickens are the best choice.

-Eggs may reduce the risk of cancer.

-Eggs keep our vision in good condition.

-Eggs may help in weight loss: feel fuller, more energy.

-Eggs are an ideal muscle- repair food after a workout.

-Eggs have high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids, which are good for heart health, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure.

-Eggs are one of the only foods that contain vitamin D.

And here is my favorite and easiest omelette recipe:

2 eggs

1/3 cup cooking cream

3 mushrooms cut in slices

3 slices tomato

3 slices avocado

1 slice swiss cheese

salt & pepper

origano

1 tablespoon olive oil

*Beat the eggs with the cream, salt, pepper and origano.

Saute the mushrooms in the oil, add the egg mixture. Let it cook, flip to the other side.

When done, while still on the fire, add the cheese, let it melt, then add the tomatoes and avocado.

Turn over half the omelet and serve.

Enjoy your eggs!

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