🍋 Sour Treat 🍋

Back to my favorite corner at home, my kitchen! It’s been since I got busy with our move that I haven’t really spent quality time in there. I circulate in the kitchen pretty much most of the day, everyday, having converted it temporarily to an operation room/playroom/dining room while the rest of the house is gradually getting fit for use. Nevertheless, I only recently started using my kitchen to create things that makes my family happy and not only sated. And voila some happiness in a bowl!IMG_4172

It is called Harrak Osba’o (حراق اصبعه) which translates from Arabic to “finger burner” (I promise no finger burning required for the recipe)! It is a Syrian dish that I discovered a couple of years ago when my mother-in-law was entertaining. A fun and really easy vegetarian dish when Mdardara (lentil based Lebanese vegetarian dish) starts becoming meh. It is all about that sour punch that gives it all its juiciness and the secret for that is pomegranate molasses. The recipe combines lentils and pasta seasoned essentially with sautéed onion, garlic and coriander. The combination of a legume (lentil) and a grain product (pasta, preferably whole grain) makes of Harrak Osba’o a rich-in-protein vegan dish. Not to mention that lentils are also rich in fiber, folate and iron. The original recipe includes garnishing the dish with fried pieces of dough or fried pita croutons. I chose to omit this part to keep it as healthy as possible:

Ingredients (4 servings):

  • 1 cup of brown lentils
  • 1 cup of small shaped pasta
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 5 garlic cloves mashed
  • ½ cup of coriander chopped
  • 4 cups of water
  • ¼ cup of pomegranate molasses
  • 4 spoons of lemon juice
  • 1 spoon of vegetable oil
  • Salt, to taste

Method

  1. Place oil, onion, garlic and coriander in a cooking pot and stir-fry
  2. Add lentils and water, bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes
  3. Add pasta and cook for 10 minutes
  4. Add pomegranate molasses and lemon juice and cook for 5 minutes

Sour never tasted so good!

Mama’s Remedy

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

It’s flu season and the season for the debate about the effectiveness and safety of the annually changing flu vaccination, prescribed antiviral drugs and over-the-counter pain relievers. Unless you’re at a high risk of developing a flu complication (young children, pregnant women, older adults and people with chronic illness and weakened immune system), hominess is the best and safest way to let your flu fly away without subjecting yourself to any potential side effects.

So take your flu as an excuse to get cozy and snuggle in your blanket for a day or so in the cold weather and try to recharge body and mind generally! While fluid drinking is important to keep you well hydrated, there’s nothing that could replace mama’s go-to sick-day-food: the one and only magic chicken soup! It might not kill your virus right away but it surely comes with the best remedies that help your body fight the virus away: nourishment and love!

My mama’s chicken soup recipe

Ingredients (for 6 portions):

  • 2 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 4 medium carrots cut in thin rounds
  • ½ cup of sushi or Egyptian rice
  • Spices for flavoring the chicken: 2-4 bay leaves, 1-2 cinnamon stick, ginger root, whole peppercorns, whole cloves and whole cardamoms
  • Water
  • Salt (optional)

Preparation Steps:

  1. Place chicken in saucepan. Add water to cover chicken.
  2. Bring to boil on medium-high heat or cook for 15-20 minutes until the chicken is no longer pink.
  3. Remove chicken form saucepan and wash it with cold water. Disregard boiling water.
  4. Add chicken, spices and cold water in saucepan and bring to boil again or cook for 15-20 minutes.
  5. Drain broth and keep it to be used as the soup fluid.
  6. Disregard spices and shred chicken into small pieces.
  7. Add broth and carrot to saucepan and bring to boil. Add shredded chicken and rice and let it cook on low heat for 10-15 minutes.

Enjoy the warmth and the soothing flavors of this hearty soup…and get well soon!

Beat the Cold with Beet!

beet

Did you know?

  • Beet is not only used to produce table sugar, it is also a delightful addition to your menu
  • Its remarkably vivid color isn’t only perfect for a bloody Halloween, but it’s also an indication of its powerful antioxidant and pigment, betalain
  • You can eat it all: roots, leaves and stems and benefit from all the nutrients (mostly vitamin A, vitamin K and phytonutrients with very strong antioxidant power)

Try this succulent warm salad, my latest experiment with beet:

Ingredients:  -Boiled beetroots -Raw or steamed chopped beet leaves and stems -Sprinkle of goat cheese and walnuts  -Drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil

Ingredients:
-Boiled beetroots (preferably served warm)
-Raw or steamed chopped beet leaves and stems
-Sprinkle of goat cheese and walnuts
-Drizzle of balsamic vinegar and olive oil