One of my favorite vegetables is the eggplant. It’s very underrated in my book. It’s not just meant for eggplant parm at the local Italian joint on the corner.
This stew is very easy to make and is best served with white rice.
Sautee some ground beef, once browned, add some salt, pepper and pomegranate molasses. Peel & dice the eggplant, add it on top. Add a can of stewed diced tomatoes and let it all simmer. That easy!
To make it even yummier, brown some pine nuts in butter, and sprinkle on top.
When I was a kid, my mum would sit with a bunch of parsley, the queen of the den, her full attention on me. As we talked about my day, her hands would not stop working. She would snip off the stems of the parsley and place the feathery leafs into a bowl. The next day we would have a beautiful vivid green salad, that packed a punch of flavor.
The truth is parsley is one of those things you either love or hate. Since I grew up with tabouleh I love the stuff. My hubby on the other hand, has an aversion to the stuff. But how can’t you love this lemony fresh salad?
If you have never had tabbouli then it is your moral obligation to get up right now, drive over to your grocery store and start chopping!
Its actually very simple to make and you need very few ingredients and just a bit of patience with the parsley. The rest is easy peezy!
Heres what you need:
- One Parsley Bunch (3 chopped cups)
- Two Tomatoes
- Four Green Onions
- Three Lemons
- Two Table Spoons Olive Oil
- 1/4 cup Burgul
- 1/4 cup Water
Lets start with the parsley. Start by removing the stems. I usually do this the night before while watching TV.
The next day, make sure to wash the parsley before chopping away. You want to get a really fine chop on it, and that might take a few runs. I usually start by grabbing it in bunches, rolling it up and cutting it up again and again.
Add the water to the bulgur. The grain will soak up the water and fluff up a bit. You don’t want to add so much that its soggy.
Chop up the green onions and tomatoes….and your ready to go!
Then, just add everything up in a bowl, the veggies, the oil, the lemon juice… and mix away! Oh, and don’t forget the salt.
Traditionally, Tabbouleh is served with hearts of lettuce or cabbage leaves.
You can also store it in the fridge, and take some to work the next day (just make sure to check your teeth after). Oh, and your welcome.
One of my favorite traditional Lebanese stews is Loubia. Its very healthy, very simple and easy to make. When you make it once you will want it again! You can use frozen green beans, and to be honest, that saves aLOT of time getting the beans ready. I love anything fresh so I usually get the beans ready the night before while watching TV.
I like to use 1lb of beans. Will feed 4, I just love leftovers
Just pinch off the stalk side of the bean Then snap them in half.
I love to prepare this in the pressure cooker, because it cooks in 15 min!
Sautee 1 medium onion.
Add 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon 7 spice blend, 1/4 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Salt.
Add 1lb cubed meat.
After browning the meat, add the green beans then add 1 can Diced Tomatoes (add the whole thing w the liquid). Alot of people add tomato sauce or paste, I never use the stuff. I always use these diced tomatoes. Keeps everything light and refreshing. Just close the lid on the pressure cooker. Set it to high for 2 min. Once the pressure builds up, put it on low and cook for 15 min only!
While the beans are cooking. I add oil to a pot, brown some vermicelli, and add rice and water.
The meat is melt in your mouth no matter what cut it is because of the pressure cooker. The natural juices of the beans come out and soak up in the rice beautifully.
At home we always dine family style.
I love to eat this with pita bread. Mop up the juices. Wrap my mouth around the juicy chunks of meat. This also makes a very healthy dinner. Your kids will love it. I did as a kid, and I still am addicted to it
Remember the Baba Ghanoush I made last week? Well, what I’m posting about is what the west considers as Baba Ghanoush. In Lebanon, we call it Mutabal. Just wanted to be clear on the two. I don’t care what you call either, because they are both YUMMY!
Now, you prepare the eggplant like I did in the baba ghanouj post. I still prefer grilling the eggplant if possible to give a smoky taste, but its good to just pop em in the oven and make a bunch for a big batch. You can easily freeze the rest too.
What you need for the Mutabal:
- 1 eggplant
- 1 clove garlic
- 4 Tb tahini
- 1 lemon
- olive oil
And thats it! Can you believe something so yummy is so simple.
Add the garlic and lemon.
I decided to use an immersion blender. Most people use a blender.
Add the tahini.
and blend blend blend. Salt to taste, and also add more tahini or lemon as you like. Its very forgiving.
You drizzle olive oil on top, and garnish with paprika and parsley.
Now, try making that and tell me you don’t love me.
Little arabic lesson, Baba Ganoush, really pronounced “Ghannouj”, is literally translated as “father cute”. Don’t ask. I have no idea why.lol.
I have one issue with the western adaptation of this dish. Baba Ghanoush and Mutabal are often mixed up and interchanged. They are very similar dishes, but are distinctly different. Baba Ghanough contains no tahini whatsoever, while Mutabal does. It is frequently Mutabal that is refered to as “baba ghanoush” in the west.
SO, I decided to introduce you to the REAL Baba Ghanoush. Very simple recipe. Completely vegetarian/vegan, healthy, and quick. Best part is it holds up well in the fridge and you can enjoy it for several days…mine is usually gone before it even cools
It is best served cold. And I think the eggplant is one of the least utilized veggies, so here it is, an ode to you my aubergine friend!
First, you start by repeatedly stabbing ur eggplant friend…all over…way to start off a friend ship
Next, place in preheated oven at 350F for about an hour or till tender. Don’t cover it or put any oil or anything. Simply pop them in after stabbing em.
Now the traditional way calls for burning over an open flame on the stove, but this is far too messy for me, as it requires you to put it directly on the stove top flame. If you have a maid (i don’t), then go for it.lol. Otherwise, into the oven they go. The only negative is you don’t get the smoky flavor.
Pull em out when they are as wrinkly as your grandmothers buttocks. Sorry, too much?
Then, carefuly peel off the skin(after it cooled), keeping the flesh intact. If you have cooked this enough, then it should be fairly easy.
I like to take out the seeds, just simply pull out the ‘sacks’.
Now this is VERY important. Grab the eggplant between your plams and squeeze. SQUEEEZE. You will be surprised how much water comes out. Keep doing it till barely any comes out. If you don’t you will end up with a soggy mess.
After, just roughly dice it all up. I like it chunky.
Other ingredients you need:
- 1 tomatoe
- 1/2 onion
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 lemon
- olive oil
Crush garlic, and squeeze the lemon into the eggplant. Add salt. Mix. It should be really lemony to be good.
Top with the tomatoe, then the onion. Then drizzle with olive oil. You can add mint or parsely.
Then guess what happened? PACMAN decided to join.
Sorry, i’m a nerd. I couldn’t help it.
So basically this is delicious and I ate it all then licked the plate. Your turn to eat real Baba Ghanoush.Ok? Ready, set, GO!