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  1. PREP TIME: 20 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 1 HOUR 30 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 1 HOUR 50 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 6 | RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD Lebanese eggplant boats are the traditional way to make Sheik al mehsheh, a meal “fit for a king”! Serve the eggplant over a bed of cinnamon-scented rice with a crisp, lemony romaine salad on the side. This dish is easily made ahead by a day or two and refrigerated before baking (or bake, cool, refrigerate for up to two days, then reheat covered in a 350 degree oven), or frozen (thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking or reheating). INGREDIENTS 6 medium eggplant, about 8 x 3 inches 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided 1 small yellow onion, diced 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 pound ground beef (round) or lamb 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon Kosher salt, to taste Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 28 oz. can tomato sauce 3 tablespoons toasted pine nuts 1 large ball fresh mozzarella cheese, torn in small pieces (optional) INSTRUCTIONS 1. Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise and arrange on a foil or parchment lined sheet pan, cut side up. Brush the cut sides with a tablespoon of the olive oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place the pan under the broiler on a rack about 3 inches from the broiler, and broil until the tops are deep golden brown. Remove from the oven and set aside. 2. Move a rack to the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375 degrees F. 3. In a medium sauté pan, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion with a pinch of salt until translucent and cooked through, but not browned. Add garlic and saute just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the ground meat, sprinkle with cinnamon, more salt, and pepper, cooking and breaking up the meat into small pieces until it is juicy and browned. 4. Add half of the tomato sauce (we’re using the rest shortly), bring to a simmer, and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until the sauce takes on a meaty, flavorful taste. Taste and add more cinnamon, salt, and pepper if needed. 5. Arrange the eggplant halves in a large casserole or lasagna pan. Using a sharp knife, cut a slit lengthwise down the center of each half and push the eggplant from either end to open the slit slightly for the filling. 6. Spoon the cooked tomato meat sauce into the slits and mount on top of each eggplant half. Then, in the same saute pan, heat the remaining tomato sauce with ½ cup water and season lightly with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Simmer for about 5 minutes, then spoon the sauce into the casserole around the eggplant. 7. Cover the casserole tightly with foil and bake for about 90 minutes. If you’re short on time, a shorter baking time is fine, but try to keep it in the oven for an hour. Toward the end of baking time, remove the foil and place the mozzarella pieces over each boat. Continue baking until the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. 8. Remove the casserole from the oven, sprinkle with the toasted pine nuts, and serve after the eggplant rests for about 10 minutes.Check out my blog for more recipes
  2. Ebaidoon

    Baba Gannouj Recipe

    PREP TIME: 5 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 30 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 6 | RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD Select eggplant that is very firm when squeezed, and fairly narrow, which often means fewer seeds. The bitter baba you may have had now and then is attributable to the cook not removing the seeds from the eggplant before mashing it up. Do that, and you’ll have a much different baba gannouj on your plate than you would otherwise. Use at least two eggplants, since removing the seeds reduces the amount of eggplant you have left to work with. Don’t skip the pomegranate seeds if at all possible; they add beautiful color to the dip and a delicious tart flavor too. INGREDIENTS 2 firm globe eggplant 3 tablespoons tahini (well-stirred before measuring) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 1 clove garlic, minced 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice Few grinds of black pepper extra virgin olive oil, for drizzling 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds INSTRUCTIONS 1. Char the eggplant by poking a few holes in them with a knife or skewer (so the skin won’t burst). Cook them on a hot barbecue, a low flame on the gas burner, or under the broiler. If you’re broiling the eggplant, place them on a parchment lined baking sheet a few inches under the broiler. Whatever the heat source, turn the eggplants over halfway through cooking (use tongs) to char them evenly. When the skin is blistered and the eggplant is very soft, remove them from the heat. Under the broiler this takes about 30 minutes. 2. When they are cool enough to handle, peel the skin off with your fingers and cut away the stem end. Open the eggplant and pull out the lines of seeds, and discard them. 3. Chop or mash the eggplant until it forms a dip-like texture. In a bowl, combine the eggplant with the tahini, salt, garlic, lemon juice, and black pepper. Taste and adjust the seasonings, then spoon the baba gannouj onto a plate. Make some swirls in the eggplant with the back of the spoon, and drizzle olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with pomegranate seeds, and serve with pita chips, crackers, vegetables. Check out my blog for more recipes
  3. SERVINGS: 2 | RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD Once you start making shakshuka, you’ll see how adaptable it is to whatever garnishes you have on hand. I love to use labneh because it's always at the ready in my refrigerator, but feta cheese and olives also make it great. Even with no garnishes at all, shakshuka saves the day. My thanks to Molly Yeh for teaching me all things shakshuka. INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, diced Few pinches kosher salt 1 tablespoon harissa or pinch of red pepper flakes (optional) 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated 1 teaspoon granulated sugar 28 oz. canned petite diced tomatoes 4 eggs 1 avocado, diced 3/4 cup labneh or Greek yogurt, whisked smooth Big pinch za'atar Parsley, cilantro or mint leaves, to finish INSTRUCTIONS 1. Heat the olive oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt, cooking until the onions are soft and translucent but not browned. 2. Stir in the harissa or red pepper flakes if using, coriander, paprika, garlic powder and fresh garlic, stirring just until fragrant, about a minute. Add the tomatoes and sugar and cook until warmed through. 3. To poach the eggs, crack each one individually into a little bowl (easier to get the shell out if needed) and add them one at a time. I like to crack eggs on a paper towel, then slip them into the bowl, to keep from getting egg all over the counter. 4. Make a divot in the tomatoes with the back of a large spoon to make a spot for the egg, and pour the egg in from the bowl. Do this for each of the four eggs. 5. The eggs will cook through in the tomatoes with a sunny-side-up look (but the longer they’re in there, the more cooked through the yolks will be). Or, put a lid on the pan and cook the eggs more swiftly to your desired doneness. 6. Before serving, top the shakshuka with diced avocado and dollops of labneh. Dust with za’atar and finish with fresh herbs. Scoop the two eggs with tomatoes into each of two bowls to serve. Check out my blog for more recipes
  4. PREP TIME: 12 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 13 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 25 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 8 | RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD Dress the potatoes while they’re still warm, but wait to add the mint until the potatoes have cooled off —otherwise the mint will turn dark and you'll lose the green that makes the salad so pretty. I love the healthy quotient of this dish: vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free! INGREDIENTS 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut in ½-inch dice 2 teaspoons kosher salt Juice of three large lemons 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 cup finely sliced scallions, white and green parts 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh mint INSTRUCTIONS 1. Cook the potatoes: place them in a large saucepan and cover by 1 inch with cold water. Add a teaspoon of salt. Cover and bring to a boil. Remove the lid and reduce the heat to medium. Test a sample of the potatoes every minute or so with the tip of a paring knife. They are ready when the knife cuts into the potato with just a hint of resistance. Taste the samples, looking for an al dente quality. Russet potatoes cook in about 13 minutes. Be careful not to overcook the potatoes or they will turn to mash when they are stirred with the dressing. 2. Drain the potatoes and place in a medium bowl. Season the warm potatoes with salt, lemon, and olive oil, stirring very gently. Taste and adjust seasonings. When the potatoes have cooled down almost to room temperature, add the scallions and mint, stirring gently to combine. 3. This potato salad is delicious warm, as well as the next day (cover and refrigerate over night. Bring to room temperature and add more fresh mint, again stirring gently). Check out my blog for more recipes
  5. Ebaidoon

    Lamb Shish Kebab Recipe

    PREP TIME: 15 MINUTES | COOK TIME: 20 MINUTES | TOTAL TIME: 35 MINUTES | SERVINGS: 6 | RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD There is no better summer meal than laham mishweh--the grilled combination of lamb and onion is utterly mouth-watering. No marinade is needed! The key to proper grilling of the meat is to bring it to room temperature for a couple of hours before cooking. This ensures even cooking and prevents the exterior of the meat from burning before the interior is cooked. INGREDIENTS 2 pounds leg of lamb, cut into 2-inch cubes 1 large sweet red onions, cut into 2-inch chunks 1 red, yellow, orange or green bell pepper, cut into 2-inch pieces Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil INSTRUCTIONS 1. Season the meat generously with salt and pepper, then let it rest and come to room temperature. 2. Heat the gas or charcoal grill to a level of medium high heat. Thread the skewers, preferably stainless steel, with a pattern of 2 pieces of meat, 1 chunk of onion, and one pepper, repeated. Or any pattern you like. Or no pattern at all. Just be sure not to thread the meat and vegetables too tightly, to give them room to cook fully and to enjoy more the grilled surface area. 3. Brush the meat and vegetables with olive oil. Place on the grill and for medium-rare meat, cook for 10 minutes with the top on, then flip with tongs and grill another 10 minutes, top on. Remove from the heat and let the skewers rest for 10 minutes. 4. Remove the hot meat and vegetables from the skewers by pushing them off with a fork. Best not to serve the skewers, even small ones--it's awkward and difficult to remove the meat on the plate. Check out my blog for more recipes
  6. Keeping homemade smooth hummus on hand in the refrigerator makes this come together very quickly and easily. Bring the hummus to room temperature (I take it out in the morning at breakfast) and loosen it up by stirring in a few teaspoons of water or lemon juice. This recipe is vegan, and gluten-free if you don't eat it with pita. INGREDIENTS 1 cup smooth hummus, room temperature 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 red bell pepper, cut in 1- to 2-inch pieces 1 tablespoon sumac 1/2 teaspoon granulated garlic powder 1 teaspoon kosher salt pinch cayenne pepper 1 clove garlic, minced or grated 2 tablespoons infused chili oil Few sprigs cilantro, mint, or parsley (or all three), finely chopped INSTRUCTIONS 1. Spoon the hummus onto a 6-inch plate and turn the back of the spoon around the middle of the dollop to create a well with “walls.” 2. In a medium sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until hot but not smoking. Add the red pepper and stir to coat with the oil. Season with sumac, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne pepper. Continue to sauté until the pepper pieces are blistered and charred in spots, but still have some crunch to the texture. 3. Add the minced garlic and a tablespoon of the chili oil, and continue to cook just until fragrant, less than one minute. 4. Spoon the pepper into the well of the hummus plate. Drizzle with the remaining oil and finish with a dusting of chopped fresh herbs. Eat immediately with pita bread, or all on its own.Check out my blog for more recipes
  7. These delightful cheesecakes will be the highlight of your next soiree. You will need 12 x 125ml metal or plastic dariole moulds. alternatively, use 8 x 150ml ramekins for slightly larger cheesecakes. allow an extra 4 hours to set cheesecakes. Preparation Time 45 minutes Cooking Time 35 minutes Makes 12 Ingredients 150g gingernut biscuits, halved 75g unsalted butter, melted 430ml (1 3/4 cups) pouring cream 3 thin slices peeled ginger 3 x 5g leaves titanium-strength gelatine (see Notes) 250g light cream cheese, softened 280g (1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt 110g (1/2 cup) caster sugar 200g rose-flavoured Turkish delight, finely chopped (see Notes) Roasted rhubarb 1 bunch rhubarb, trimmed, thinly sliced on the diagonal 165g (3/4 cup) caster sugar 1 orange, juiced Method Grease moulds. To make biscuit layer, process biscuits in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add butter and process until combined. Divide biscuit mixture among moulds (about 1 tbs each). Using the base of another mould, press down firmly to compact. Refrigerate until needed. To make cheesecake layer, place 180ml (3/4 cup) cream and ginger in a small saucepan and bring almost to the boil over low heat. Meanwhile, soak gelatine in a bowl of cold water for 3 minutes to soften, then squeeze out excess water. Discard ginger from cream mixture, then stir in gelatine until dissolved. Cool for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, using an electric mixer, beat cream cheese, yoghurt and sugar on low speed until smooth, then beat in gelatine mixture until combined, scraping down the side of the bowl occasionally. In a clean bowl, whisk remaining 250ml (1 cup) cream to soft peaks, then fold into cream cheese mixture until just combined. Gently fold in half the Turkish delight. Divide mixture among the moulds, then refrigerate for 4 hours or until set. Preheat oven to 180C. To make rhubarb, toss rhubarb with sugar in a small ovenproof dish, then drizzle over orange juice. Cover dish with foil, then bake for 30 minutes or until rhubarb is soft but still holds its shape. Cool, then refrigerate until needed. To serve, briefly dip moulds in a bowl of hot water, then run a knife around the inside of each mould to release cakes. Carefully invert onto plates or into cups. Top with remaining Turkish delight. Serve with rhubarb and syrup. Notes * Titanium-strength gelatine leaves are from delis. If you prefer a slightly softer set for the banana cheesecake, omit the gelatine. * Turkish delight is from delis. We used pariya rose raahat. Its sticky consistency makes Turkish delight difficult to chop finely. to make it easier, dust a small area of a work surface with 2 tbs cornflour. Working with one piece of turkish delight at a time, cut into 4mm-thick slices. Turn slices to coat in cornflour, then cut slices into 4mm dice and lightly dust again. Repeat with remaining turkish delight, adding more cornflour as needed. Source MasterChef - June 2011, Page 63 Recipe by Sophia Young Check out my blog for more recipes
  8. To Prep 0:20 | To Cook 0:20 | INGREDIENTS 7 | DIFFICULTY CAPABLE COOKS | SERVINGS 8 Ingredients 8 sheets filo pastry 4 x 55g Turkish Delight bars, cut in half lengthways 40g butter, melted, cooled Sugar syrup 1/2 cup water 1 tablespoon rosewater essence (optional, see note) 1 cup caster sugar 1/2 cup pistachio kernels, chopped Method Step 1 Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Step 2 Fold 1 sheet of filo in half 3 times, ending with a 15cm x 11cm rectangle. Place 1 piece of Turkish Delight lengthways onto longest edge of pastry. Fold edges in. Roll over and over to form a cigar shape. Place onto tray. Brush with butter. Repeat with remaining pastry, Turkish Delight and butter. Step 3 Bake rolls for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven. Cool. Step 4 To make sugar syrup Place water, rosewater (if using) and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook, stirring, over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil without stirring. Reduce heat. Simmer for 4 minutes or until slightly thickened. Step 5 Serve filo rolls drizzled with syrup and sprinkled with pistachios. Nutrition Energy 1383kJ Fat saturated 5.00g Fat Total 11.00g Carbohydrate sugars 42.00g Carbohydrate Total 53.00g Dietary Fibre 1.00g Protein 5.00g Cholesterol 13.00mg Sodium 160.38mg All nutrition values are per serve. Super Food Ideas - September 2003 , Page 72 Recipe by Dixie ElliottCheck out my blog for more recipes
  9. RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD Fried kibbeh bites are so delicious that we make them not just with leftover kibbeh, but with kibbeh made just for this purpose. They are excellent pan fried. Can you bake them? Sure. Remember that kibbeh has no fat in it, so if you bake them, it’s best to brush them with oil or butter before and after baking. A half-pound of kibbeh makes about 30 1-inch bites. INGREDIENTS FOR THE DIPPING SAUCE 1 cup tahini 1/2 cup labneh or plain Greek yogurt 1 small clove garlic, minced or grated Juice of 1 lemon 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Cold water, as needed Mint Salt, for finishing (or crushed dried mint + fine sea salt) FOR THE KIBBEH BITES Any amount leftover raw or freshly made kibbeh Oil for frying (neutral, such as safflower or canola, or olive oil) INSTRUCTIONS 1. First, make the dipping sauce so it is ready when the bites are hot out of the pan. In a small food processor, blend the tahini, labneh, garlic, lemon juice, and salt. Add water one tablespoon at a time until the sauce is a thick, dip-able liquid. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. The sauce can also be whisked by hand. Transfer the sauce in a small serving bowl and dust the top with mint salt. 2. Heat the oil in a nonstick frying pan over medium heat while you shape the kibbeh bites. The oil should register 350 degrees, and can be tested with a small bit of kibbeh; it should bubble up vigorously when it’s added to the oil. 3. Line a sheet pan with paper towel. Start with cold kibbeh straight from the refrigerator (if freshly made rather than leftover, chill for one hour). Shape about a tablespoon of kibbeh into a 1-inch ball, repeating this with all of the kibbeh and placing the balls on the lined sheet pan. 4. Fry the balls in batches, taking care not to crowd them, until they are deep golden brown. Turn them to brown them evenly all over. 5. Use a slotted spoon to remove the bites from the frying pan and transfer to a fresh paper towel-lined sheet pan. 6. Serve the bites hot with the tahini dipping sauce. This is finger-food, or if you prefer, serve them with cocktail toothpicks.Check out my blog for more recipes
  10. Ebaidoon


    RECIPE BY: MAUREEN ABOOD This recipe is adapted from Chris Bianco’s, published in Eater for focaccia-style bread from his book Bianco: Pizza, Pasta, and Other Foods I Like (Ecco 2017). Take care not to refrigerate the dough much beyond 8 hours or it will over-proof (yes, I've done it). If needed, freeze briefly and then refrigerate to extend proof time. It’s ideal to bring the dough to room temperature before shaping, but I’ve jumped the gun and worked with cool dough and it was equally pliable and glorious as room temp. You’ll need a sheet pan and a pizza peel and long kitchen tongs. You could also use another sheet pan, overturned, as your peel but it’s not nearly as easy or fun. I use a stand mixer too; you can of course knead by hand. The rice flour is perfect for coating the peel and doesn’t get cakey like wheat flour can here. Don’t be alarmed by all of the instructions below! Just read through them before it’s go time to get a feel for each step. Makes 4 flatbreads that cut into 6-8 slices each. INGREDIENTS 1 envelope active dry yeast (2¼ teaspoons) 2 cups warm water (105° to 110°F; I’ve been taking the water’s temp and it comes out perfectly) 5 cups bread flour, plus more as needed and for dusting 2 teaspoons fine sea salt 3 tablespoons za'atar 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the bowl Rice flour, for coating the pizza peel or back of a sheet pan INSTRUCTIONS Combine the yeast and warm water in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, stirring well and allowing the yeast to become creamy and slightly bubbly (about 10 minutes). When the yeast has dissolved, add 3 cups of the bread flour, using the paddle attachment on low speed or a wooden spoon and mixing until smooth. Slowly add the last 2 cups of flour, working it in gently on low speed or by hand. Add the salt (Bianco says it’s important to wait until now, so the yeast isn’t inhibited). Mix until the dough comes away from the bowl but is still sticky; if necessary, add up to ½ cup more flour 1 tablespoon at a time (I've never needed to add more myself). Continue to knead the dough on medium speed or by hand until it is smooth, stretchy, soft, and still tacky. Brush a large bowl with olive oil (if it's not too doughy, I use the same bowl I mixed the dough in), shape the dough into a ball and turn it over in the bowl to coat with oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rest in a warm place until it doubles in size, 2 to 2½ hours. Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface and cut it into 4 equal pieces. Roll the pieces into balls, stretching the surface of the balls tightly, and dust them lightly with flour. Cover with plastic wrap and let them rest for another hour, or until they have doubled in size. The dough balls can now be wrapped individually in plastic and refrigerated for up to 8 hours, or frozen for up to a month. Thaw the dough in the refrigerator, then let it come to room temperature before shaping. When you’re ready to bake the za’atar bread, position an oven rack at the lowest point in the oven with no other racks above it. Or, remove the racks. Place an overturned sheet pan on the rack or base of the oven. Heat the oven as hot as it will go, about 550 degrees F. In a small bowl, stir the za’atar and olive oil so that you have a wet mixture. Add more oil or za’atar as needed to keep it wet, and depending on how much you like on your flatbread. Liberally dust the pizza peel with rice flour. To shape the dough, hold the top edge of the ball with both hands, allowing the bottom edge to hang down with gravity. Carefully move your hands around the edges to form a circle of dough, like turning a steering wheel. Continue to carefully shape the dough as it relaxes, without letting any area get too thin. Cup your hands and use the backs of your hands, knuckles up, to encourage the dough wider. Don’t stretch or pull too much, or the dough will get too thin or tear. Lay the circle of dough on the pizza peel that’s been dusted with rice flour. Dab the top of the dough with za’atar and oil, then use your fingertips to stain the surface of the dough with the za’atar and oil. You can use more or less za’atar and oil here; it’s up to you how thickly you spread it on. Shake the peel to be sure the dough will move off easily. If any area is stuck, lift the dough and dust more rice flour underneath it. Transfer the dough from the peel to the hot overturned sheet pan in the oven. Turn on the light so you can watch the show! The flatbread will bubble and the edges will “leopard” like the finest pizza in the land. Use tongs to turn the flatbread as it bakes to avoid any spot getting burned. When the flatbread is golden brown (about 4 minutes), use the tongs to pull the flatbread back onto the peel and remove it from the oven. Let the bread rest for a few minutes, then cut it with a round pizza cutter. Repeat this process with the remaining dough balls. Congratulations!Check out my blog for more recipes
  11. This quiche is elegant and delicious enough to serve guests, but also a great pie to have in the refrigerator to slice and eat for breakfast (lunch or dinner) all week long. You can lighten up the filling using all milk rather than half milk and half cream. Consider this your blank slate for any vegetables you have on hand, such as sautéed mushrooms or bell peppers. Ingredients 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil 1 box (10 oz.) frozen spinach, thawed 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 ounces feta cheese 2 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced 2 tablespoons sumac, divided 4 eggs 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup heavy cream 1/2 cup grated Swiss, Gruyere, or mozzarella cheese Method Heat the oven to 350°F. Brush an 8- or 9-inch pie plate with olive oil. Squeeze the thawed spinach to remove as much water as possible. Shred and scatter the spinach over the bottom of the pie plate. Crumble the feta over the spinach, top with the onions, and dust with a tablespoon of sumac and a healthy pinch of kosher salt. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a teaspoon of salt until they are smooth. Stir in the parmesan, milk, and cream. Pour the eggs over the spinach and feta. Top the eggs evenly with the Swiss, Gruyere, or mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle with a tablespoon of sumac. Bake the quiche for about 40 minutes, or until it is puffy and golden and doesn’t jiggle in the center when moved. Serve the quiche immediately with more sumac dusted over each slice. Refrigerate and eat the quiche for up to a week.Check out my blog for more recipes
  12. Coconut is one of the most nutritious foods out there and a number of products of this fruit are used in cooking. This includes coconut oil, coconut milk, as well as the new gluten-free, grain-free and keto-friendly flour - coconut flour. With the rise of the ketogenic diet, a number of recipes are using coconut flour instead of refined flour or whole wheat flour, eliminating the carbohydrates of grains and substituting it with proteins and fibre in coconut flour. However, cooking with coconut flour can be tricky; the consistency obtained from this ingredient is not quite the same as the one obtained with grain flours. Moreover, coconut flour is more expensive than regular grain flours and less abundant, when it comes to availability in grocery stores and supermarkets. But, the good news is, it can be easily prepared at home, making it easier for you to incorporate it in your diet. What Is Coconut Flour? Let's start by answering the question what exactly is coconut flour. It is soft grain-free flour, which is obtained from dried coconut meat. Coconut flour is obtained as a by-product of coconut milk production, and as the latter can be easily made at home, so can the former. When coconut meat is pressed to obtain coconut milk from it, the residual mass is used in making coconut flour by drying it out to remove the last dregs of water content from it. People often use low temperature in microwave to slow-dry the coconut meat residue to obtain a coarse sand-like texture, which is then ground to make powdery and light coconut flour. Unlike coconut oil or coconut meat, coconut flour is low in saturated fat and rich in fibre and proteins. There isn't much official information available to indicate the exact nutritional values of various minerals and nutrients in coconut flour, but it is said to be filling and healthy for the skin. Moreover, it is low in sodium and cholesterol, which makes it healthy for the heart. Now, let's look at how it can be prepared at home. How To Make Coconut Flour At Home All you need to make coconut flour at home is one ripe coconut and one litre of water. Here's the full method: 1. Start out by draining your ripe coconut of coconut water and then break it open by using a hammer or a hand drill. 2. Use a kitchen knife to cut the tender coconut or coconut meat out from the hard outer covering. Peel the skin off of the coconut meat using a regular vegetable peeler. 3. Chop the coconut meat into smaller pieces and throw them into the food processor. Add four cups or one litre of water to the processor and blend on high speed. 4. Make sure that the water and the coconut meat are evenly blended together to give a thick and smooth paste-like consistency and then stop blending. Allow the paste to sit for some time. 5. Take a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and place it on a large bowl and pour the coconut milk over it. This will result in the residue getting collected over the bag. 6. Transfer the residue onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and spread it out evenly onto the tray. 7. Pre-heat your microwave to 77 degrees Celsius and then bake the coconut residue for about 45 minutes to dehydrate it completely. 8. Scrape the dehydrated pulp off of the parchment paper and transfer it to a dry food processor and then blend it on high for one or two minutes. The fine powder that you get at the end of this process is coconut flour, which can be used in baking breads, brownies, cakes, etc. So, if you were looking to replace your regular flours with a gluten-free one, coconut flour can be your pick. Source: Sakshita Khosla, NDTVCheck out my blog for more recipes
  13. The only way to eat falafel is hot, right out of the frying pan, so make and eat the wraps immediately after frying the falafel. You can use an ice cream scoop or a falafel mold to shape the fritters. Serves: 4 wraps | Recipe by: Maureen Abood INGREDIENTS ½ cup dried peeled fava beans ½ cup dried chickpeas (these need not be skinless/peeled) 1 teaspoon kosher salt 20 or so mint leaves 1 large bunch flat leaf parsley, leaves pinched 1 smaller bunch of cilantro, leaves pinched 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed, coarsely chopped, or ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped 1 garlic clove 1 tablespoon sesame seeds 1 teaspoon baking soda 3 cups neutral oil, such as safflower or canola, for frying Tahini Yogurt Sauce ½ cup yogurt ⅓ cup tahini (stirred before measuring) 1 small garlic clove, minced pinch of salt Juice of 1 lemon 4 loaves thin pita bread ½ cup lift, pink pickled turnips, cut in strips INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a medium bowl, cover the chickpeas and fava beans with cool water by 3 inches. Soak them overnight and up to 24 hours. 2. Thoroughly drain the chickpeas and fava beans. In the food processor, process them with the salt until they are ground to a coarse crumb. Reserving a few leaves of each herb, add the mint, parsley, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, onion, and sesame seeds. Pulse until the mixture is finely ground to a moist, bright green crumb. Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the baking soda, and chill for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 day. 3. Make the tahini sauce by combining the yogurt, tahini, garlic and salt in the processor or whisking by hand. Add the lemon juice, then taste and adjust the seasonings as needed. 4. Heat the oil to 375 degrees in a 3-quart saucepan until a dropped pinch of herb bubbles dramatically. Using an ice cream scoop or falafel mold, pack the falafel mixture tightly into the scoop and fry a few at a time until they are deep golden brown, flipping them over with tongs as soon as they are browned on one side. Remove the falafel from the oil with tongs to a paper towel-lined plate, and fry the remaining falafel. 5. Place a thin loaf of pita on each of four plates. Lay several falafel along one side of the bread a few inches from the edge. Top with tahini sauce, fresh herbs, and pink pickled turnips. Roll the pita up tightly, cut in half on the diagonal, and serve immediately with more sauce for dipping. Check out my blog for more recipes
  14. You can broth the soup however you see fit: chicken stock, vegetable stock, or well-seasoned water. Use more or less of any of the ingredients; this is soup after all, meant to be simple and comforting. The flavors of the soup are most delicious if it’s very warm but not boiling hot when served. Serves: 8 to 10 INGREDIENTS 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 small yellow onion, diced 2 medium carrots, diced 2 celery stalks, diced 2 teaspoons kosher salt, plus more as needed 2 cups diced butternut squash 2 cups or 1 16-20 ounce can chickpeas 2 cups or 1 16-20 ounce can diced tomatoes 2 cups or 1 16 ounce can corn or creamed corn 6 to 8 cups vegetable or chicken stock 4 sprigs fresh thyme Freshly ground black pepper ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon honey 5-6 cups coarsely chopped kale INSTRUCTIONS 1. In a large soup pot (5-quart or larger), warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and a teaspoon of salt and stir to coat with the oil. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not browned. 2. Stir in the butternut squash and cover the pot again, cooking and stirring occasionally for a minute or two, until the squash just begins to soften. Add the chickpeas, tomatoes, corn, stock and thyme. Season with black pepper, cayenne pepper, and honey and stir well. Cover the pot and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes. 3. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in the kale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the kale is softened. Pull out the thyme stems from the pot, and serve the soup warm.Check out my blog for more recipes
  15. There comes a point when the world of deadlines, irksome bosses, late nights, skimpy sleep schedules and traffic jams takes a toll on us. It is then when our quintessential cup of coffee surrenders to splitting headaches. So, what do you do when you're bad day culminates to a severe migraine? The easy way out is of course to pop a painkiller, maybe even indulge in acupressure, sip on some chamomile tea. And we're willing to do just about anything to get rid of that pounding headache. Lucky for you, we've compiled a list of 10 natural home remedies that will zap the pain from your debilitating headache. Your search for the best headache home remedies ends here, as we've got your back. In this article, we've included some tips and home remedies for headaches. Natural remedies are a drug-free way to reduce headache. These at-home treatments may help prevent headache, or at least help reduce their severity and duration.Here are 10 home remedies for headaches that really work:Managing Your Headaches"Headaches are characterised by a feeling of tenseness in the neck, shoulder and scalp whereas migraines are basically pulsating headaches, often on one side of the head. Symptoms actually vary from person to person, and even from one migraine attack to the next," says Dr. Supriya Bali, Internal Medicine, Max Hospitals.It is essential that you avoid headache-inducing substances like MSG (monosodium glutamate), excessive caffeine, alcohol, phenylethylamine found in chocolate and cheese, tyramine found in nuts and fermented meats and soy, and aspartame present in many artificially sweetened foods. If you start getting a headache, steer clear of all devices including your phone, laptop and TV. Eat healthy, and at regular intervals since a drop in blood sugar can set the stage for headaches. At least thrice a week, if not more, spend 30 minutes exercising. And always, we mean always, stay hydrated.1. Ginger, The All-RounderTouted as an elixir for headaches, ginger is a home remedy for instant relief. It helps reduce inflammation of the blood vessels in the head, hence easing the pain. And since it stimulates digestion, it also helps quell the nausea which occurs during migraines.Wondering how to use this miracle ingredient as a home remedy for headache? Steep ginger root for tea, or mix equal parts of ginger juice and lemon juice and drink up. You can consume this once or twice a day. You can also apply a paste of ginger powder and 2 tablespoons water on your forehead for a few minutes to provide quicker relief. Touted as an elixir for headaches, ginger is a home remedy for instant relief2. Soothe with ScentPeppermint Oil: With its refreshing scent, peppermint helps open up clogged blood vessels which cause headache. It contains menthol which helps regulate blood flow in the body. Quietly breathe in the aroma in a cool, dark room. You can also mix 3 drops of peppermint oil in one tablespoon of almond oil, or just add a little water and massage the temples or the back of your neck with it. Alternatively, can apply crushed peppermint leaves on your forehead. Make an herbal tea by adding 1 teaspoon of dried peppermint to a cup of boiling water. Cover and let it steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add some honey to sweeten it. Sip the tea slowly. Lavender Oil: Not only does lavender have a beautiful fragrance - it's also a great remedy for alleviating headaches. Simply smelling the soothing scent of lavender essential oil helps, so you can just put a few drops on a tissue and inhale it. You can also add 2 drops of lavender oil to two cups of boiling water and inhale the steam. Another option is to mix two or three drops in one tablespoon of almond oil or olive oil and massage your forehead with it. "You can even draw a foot bath of lavender oil and peppermint, since the hot water draws blood to your feet and the aroma relaxes you", suggests Dr. Manoj K. Ahuja, Healing Touch Hospital.Note: Do not take lavender oil orally.3. Cinnamon Please!Cinnamon is a miracle spice that is known as one of the effective headache remedies. Wondering how to use it? Here's help: Grind some cinnamon sticks into a powder, and add some water to make a thick paste. Apply it on your forehead and temples and lie down for 30 minutes. Then wash it off with lukewarm water. Cinnamon is a miracle spice that can effectively treat headaches4. Make Time for Thyme To relieve headache pain, dab a drop or two of thyme or rosemary essential oil on each temple and on your forehead. Rub gently into the skin, then sit quietly for several minutes to let this home remedy work. Thank us, later!5. Basic StretchesA few simple exercises to stretch your head and neck can help reduce the intensity of the headache. Move your chin upwards and downwards, left and right, and bend your neck sideways towards each shoulder. You can also try to slowly rotate the neck in clockwise and anticlockwise directions to help the shoulder and neck muscles relax. So when a headache looms, you know what to do. A few simple exercises can help reduce the intensity of the headache6. Heat Up or Cool Down? Applying an ice pack to the back of your neck can give relief from a migraine, since the cold from the ice helps reduce inflammation that contributes to headaches. Plus, it has a numbing effect on the pain. And believe it or not, just soaking your feet in hot water also helps get rid of a headache. For a severe headache, add a bit of hot mustard powder to the water. "You can also place a washcloth dipped in ice-cold or hot water over your head for 5 minutes. Repeat the process several times", recommends Dr. Ahuja.7. Crazy for ClovesCloves can be used to ease a throbbing headache due to its cooling and pain-relieving properties. Crush a few cloves gently and put them in a sachet or a clean handkerchief. Inhale the smell of the crushed cloves whenever you have a headache until you get some relief from the pain. You can also put 2 drops of clove oil in a tablespoon of coconut oil plus sea salt and gently massage your forehead and temples with it.8. Basil Is The BestA strong-scented herb which is used for natural headache treatment, it has many analgesic benefits. The oil works as a muscle relaxant and helps get rid of headaches caused by tension and tight muscles. You can put 3 or 4 fresh basil leaves in a cup of boiling water and let it simmer. Add a little honey and sip the tea slowly. You can also chew some fresh basil leaves, or inhale the steam after boiling basil in a pot of water. Basil leaves have many analgesic benefits9. Apple A Day Keeps The Doctor Away Both apples and apple cider vinegar can be used to fight off a headache. They help restore the acid-alkaline balance in the body. "Mix half cup of apple cider vinegar with half cup of water and boil the mixture in a covered saucepan. Remove from heat, hold a towel over your head and slowly inhale the steam. This will provide instant relief from sinus headaches", says Dr. Supriya Bali, Max Hospitals.If you wake up with a headache, just eat a piece of apple sprinkled with salt, and drink some warm water after. Or add 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water, with honey and a splash of lemon juice. Drink it 2 or 3 times a day. Apple cider vinegar helps restore the acid-alkaline balance in the body10. The Power of Prevention Could striking a camel pose ease your aching head? Yes, yoga combines physical postures, breathing exercises and meditation to boost relaxation. It will get your mind focused, stretch out your muscles, and get you moving in ways that can help you drop the tension. Regularly practicing yoga is the best thing to do, after all prevention is better than cure.Tip: Make a conscious effort to take deep, full breaths that start in your diaphragm and fill up your lungs. This will get plenty of fresh oxygen circulating through your blood and will also help relax your mind and body.Check out my blog for more recipes