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Hummus & Spicy Beef Bites

hummus

As much as it pains me to call hummus a dip, for the sake of this post let’s just say it is. I’m sick of the same old boring chips and dip options.

So, this Superbowl, I’m making this little crunchy suckers. Hummus with spicy beef and toasted pine nuts on cabbage chips.

They are very tasty, and it doesn’t hurt that they are very healthy either.

I’ve posted on “how to make hummus” before. So, make your hummus in advance, and make sure it’s nice and creamy.

It’s pretty quick to put together. Dice up some onions, throw them in a pan with some oil and sautee till soft. Then add the ground beef. Let it all cook. Add some paprika and chili powder. Make it as spicy as you like.

While it’s cooking, take some cabbage leaves and cut some squares out. Spoon some hummus on top.

The ground beef should be done by then, add it on top of the hummus, sprinkle some toasted pinenuts and paprika. Drizzle some olive oil, and serve!

Red Lentil Soup – Easy & Healthy Recipe Under 30 min

Lentil Soup

Most middle eastern restaurants charge 3-5 dollars for a cup of lentil soup. That is insane to me since you can take that same amount of money and make enough soup to feed you for a week, and then some. Its really delicious, vegetarian / vegan and is filling. Most Lebanese soups are. On top of that, when using  a pressure cooker, you can be done in under 30 min, start to finish. Slap peanut butter on me and release me in the woods if I’m lying.

Anyways, are you ready for the easiest soup you will ever make? Lets go.

Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups red lentils
  2. 1/2 cup rice
  3. 1 large onion
  4. 1 tablespoon cumin
  5. 6-7 cups stock (veggie or chicken)
  6. 2 lemons
  7. 7 spice blend – optional
  8. carrots – optional

To start, sautee and brown the onions.

Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup

Then add the lentils, rice, cumin and stock. Make sure to wash the rice and lentils very well first!
Lentil Soup

Just put it all in a pressure cooker. If you don’t have one, thats ok, it will  just need to simmer longer till the lentils are cooked thru. I swear by my pressure cooker. It cuts stew and soup cooking time by alot. Totally worth it.
Lentil Soup

Once you hear it boil, and steam is present, just time it for 10-15 mins and put the heat on low. Yeh, you heard me. After just let it sit for a few before deflating the pressure cooker. Technically you could just eat it at this point. Its more chunky and has some texture at this point.
Lentil Soup

Or, you can use a blender to smooth it all out.
Lentil Soup

After, just add some of the freshly squeezed lemon. I add alot of lemon into my bowl too. I just love it. I’m a citrus fiend. And thats it folks. Serve it up with crispy pita bread, crackers, croutons, and whatever else you want.
Lentil Soup

The soup is nice and smooth. Very comforting. It also tends to thicken up, so be ready to thin it out as needed.
Lentil Soup
Lentil Soup

You won’t believe how much soup those 2 cups of lentils make. Take it to work, have it as a light dinner. Its a great soup to have on hand. If you make some, send me the pictures on facebook. I would love to share! Enjoy 🙂

Lebanese Tabbouleh Recipe – Easy Salad

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.

Tabbouleh

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:

  1. One Parsley Bunch (3 chopped cups)
  2. Two Tomatoes
  3. Four Green Onions
  4. Three Lemons
  5. Two Table Spoons Olive Oil
  6. 1/4 cup Burgul
  7. 1/4 cup Water

Tabbouleh

Lets start with the parsley. Start by removing the stems. I usually do this the night before while watching TV.
Tabbouleh

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.

Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

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.
Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Chop up the green onions and tomatoes….and your ready to go!
Tabbouleh
Tabbouleh

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.
Tabbouleh

Traditionally, Tabbouleh is served with hearts of lettuce or cabbage leaves.
Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

Tabbouleh

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. 🙂

Hummus – Roasted Red Peppers – Avocado

Hummus

EVERYONE and their mother loves hummus. This is my old school Lebanese recipe. It’s vegetarian/vegan of course, as humus should be! No bacon to muck it up please.

I like to make it from scratch, meaning, dried chickpeas / garbanzo beans. If you want to save time, you can just used canned chickpeas and skip the next few steps.

You have to start the night before. Take a little over 2 cups dried beans and soak them generously with 1 teaspoon baking soda.

The next day, before boiling, just wash them out and add to a pot and immerse in water. Make sure all the chickpeas are submerged and there is enough water for them to absorb.

Hummus

Boil it for at least 20 min. Make sure the chickpeas melt when put in your mouth. Check on them regularly. Don’t over cook or the whole thing will turn to mush and you will have a saucy hot mess.

Consider yourself WARNED about the over cooking and one more thing…DON”T cover the pot or the water will foam up and boil over onto your stove. Don’t forget then blame me, aight?

Hummus

For the recipe start with

  • 4 cups cooked/canned chickpeas
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup tahini (ground sesame seeds)
  • don’t forget the salt

Hummus

Use a food processor if you have one. If you don’t you can use a blender, but it will come out chunkier and you will need to work in smaller batches.

Add the chickpeas first and start blending. WHHRRRRrrrrrrrrrrr (sound of blender, yeh, im a dork)
Hummus

keep going…WHHRRRRrRrrrrrr
Hummus

Till the garbanzo beans are pulverized
Hummus

Add the garlic….then WWWHHRRRRRR (I add less because my hubby likes it less garlicky)
Hummus

I love mine lemony so I use 1/2 cup, but you can add less if ya like..then…WHHHRRRRRR..

Hummus

Then let it WWWHHRRRRRR while you slowly drizzle in the tahini. The more you add the creamier it is.
Hummus

And Voila. Hummus…yum yumm…
Hummus

Now you can go ahead and plate it and eat, or like out the bowl or whatever you like…or….
Hummus

OR…jazz it up a bit and make a hummus TRIO!

You will need some avocados and some Roasted Red Peppers

Hummus

This doesn’t need precise measuring. I added 2 avocados to about a cup and a half of the hummus puree.

WHHHRRRRR……

Hummus

It was sooo green and yummy….next time i might even add some tomatoes and onions and make Guacummus…get it? Yeh, again, I can be realllly not funny, but you know you laughed anyways 🙂

Hummus

On to the peppers….WHHHRRRRRrrrrr

Hummus

and more yum!

Hummus

I wanted to spice up the presentation and plate it up appetizer style, layer the 3, act like I’m Martha Stewart…so your welcome in advance for the following hummus food porn.

Hummus

Hummus

Hummus

Hummus

Hummus

Hummus

Like I said..no need to thank me 🙂 Also, check out the Baba Ghanoush I made.

always uncut,

Mira.

Loubia – Lebanese Green Bean Stew

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

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 🙂

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

Just pinch off the stalk side of the bean Then snap them in half.

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

I love to prepare this in the pressure cooker, because it cooks in 15 min!

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

Sautee 1 medium onion.

Add 1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon 7 spice blend, 1/4 teaspoon sage, 1/4 teaspoon thyme. Salt.

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

Add 1lb cubed meat.

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

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!

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

While the beans are cooking. I add oil to a pot, brown some vermicelli, and add rice and water.

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

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.

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

At home we always dine family style.

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

Loubia - Green Bean Stew

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 🙂

Lebanese Mutabal – Baba Ghanoush

Mutabal - Baba Ghanoush

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.

Mutabal - Baba Ghanoush

I decided to use an immersion blender. Most people use a blender.

Mutabal - Baba Ghanoush

Add the tahini.

Mutabal - Baba Ghanoush

and blend blend blend. Salt to taste, and also add more tahini or lemon as you like. Its very forgiving.

Mutabal - Baba Ghanoush

You drizzle olive oil on top, and garnish with paprika and parsley.

Mutabal - Baba Ghanoush

Now, try making that and tell me you don’t love me. 🙂

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