Majadra – rice with brown lentils

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup brown lentils
  • 2 cups thinly sliced onions
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup long-grain white rice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Combine the lentils with 1 cup of water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Bring to boil, reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 10-15 minutes until the lentils are slightly firm.
  2. In a large skillet, saute the onions in the vegetable oil over small heat for 30 minutes until thoroughly caramelized.
  3. When lentils are ready, add the rice, salt and the third of the onions into the saucepan. Bring to boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, covered, on a very low heat.
  4. Add the butter to the rice and simmer for 10 more minutes. Before serving top the majadra with the remaining onions and their oil.
Prep Time: 1 min Cook Time: 1 h 30 min Ready in: 1 h 31 min

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Baked Branzini (aka Mediterranean Sea Bass)

Branzini is just another name for Mediterranean Sea Bass. It’s typically imported to US from Greece. I usually get them in Fairway Market for about $10 per pound. Each fish is about a pound, so it makes enough for one person. Very easy to make and it’s really delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 Branzini fish, cleaned
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp rosemary
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 slices of lemon

Directions

  1. Wash the fish and dry it with paper towel
  2. Rub the fish with crushed garlic and olive oil
  3. Sprinkle the rosemary
  4. Put the lemon slices
  5. Wrap the fish in parchment baking paper
  6. Bake in oven for 35-40 minutes at 400 degrees
  7. Serve with fresh lemon
Prep Time: 35 min Cook Time: 10 min Ready in: 45 min

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Spicy fish in Moroccan style tomato sauce

Making good fish at home is fast and easy. Here is something a bit more sophisticated than baked salmon. It takes about 20 minutes to prepare this delicious white fish dish.


Spicy fish in Moroccan style tomato sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 pound white fish (cod, sea bass, perch will work)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp spicy paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 lemon

Directions

  1. Clean the fish and cut into slices. Salt and set aside.
  2. Mix the crushed garlic, olive oil and salt (the mix is called chuma)
  3. Heat oil in deep frying pan
  4. Lightly fry garlic, add paprika and chuma mixture, mix well
  5. Add tomato paste and spices
  6. Mix for couple of minutes, then add water
  7. Cook on high heat for two more minutes, add water as needed
  8. Place the fish in the sauce and cook for 7 minutes
  9. Season with squeezed lemon juice and serve
Prep Time: 10 min Cook Time: 10 min Ready in: 20 min

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Fatush Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 loaf focaccia (can use pita bread as well)
  • 3 tomatoes, chopped very small
  • 5 – 6 cucumbers, chopped very small
  • 1 lettuce heart, shredded
  • 2 – 3 garlic cloves, shredded
  • 20 fresh mint leaves
  • 1 bunch of parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 bunch of tarragon, chopped
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 2 tbsp of olive oil

Directions

  1. Cut the bread into small pieces (1-1.5 inches), sprinkle with cold water and bake for 10 min until dry
  2. Please the bread in a salad bowl
  3. Pile all the vegetables and the herbs over the bread
  4. Mix lemon juice, sumac, salt and oil
  5. Pour over fatush and toss
Prep Time: 1 min Cook Time: 15 min Ready in: 16 min

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Home-made hummus – not as hard as you think

There is a popular misconception that it’s complicated to make a good quality hummus at home. The truth is completely the opposite – it’s simple and does not take much time. Try out the recipe below and you’ll see yourself.

Ingredients

  • 4 1/2 oz chickpeas soaked overnight
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 garlic cloves – crushed
  • 4 1/2 oz raw tahini
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pinch of pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Directions

  1. Simmer chickpeas for 3-4 hours until very soft
  2. Squeeze the lemon juice from 2 lemons
  3. Strain and blend in food processor with lemon and garlic
  4. Blend well, adding little water if too thik
  5. Season with salt, pepper and cumin

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Russian Borscht family recipe

Half of the country is covered by snow, including our little town. The daycares are closed, there is no way to get to the office. There is nothing better than a good soup, so I’ll use this as an opportunity to share a great family recipe for Russian Borscht. It’s much simpler to cook than many people think and it’s a very special treat, especially if you are not afraid to garnish it with some fresh crushed garlic before you serve it. Enjoy !

Ingredients

  • 1/2 medium size cabbage
  • 2 medium size red beets
  • 3 – 4 medium potatoes
  • 1 – 2 carrots
  • 1 onion
  • 2 – 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
  • 1 tsp whole allspice
  • 2 – 3 bay leaves

Directions

  1. Shred the beets and the carrots
  2. Cut the cabbage into long thin pieces
  3. Cut the potatoes into medium size pieces
  4. Chop the onion
  5. Fry the onion on low flame until it gets light brown color
  6. Add the shredded beets, carrots, allspice and bay leaves, mix, cover and cook on low flame until soft, typically 15-20 minutes
  7. Add the tomato paste, mix well and cook for another 5 minutes
  8. In a separate large cooking pot boil 2 liters of water and cook the potatoes until soft. You can also use chicken or beef stock
  9. add the cooked onion, beets and carrots mixture and the shredded cabbage, Cover and cook together until the cabbage is completely soft, typically about 20 minutes.
  10. Add salt and a pinch of black pepper
  11. It’s hard to resist the temptation, but you must let the soup “rest” for at least an hour after before you serve it.

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Kids-friendly carrot muffins

This is one of the top favorites in our family. Kids love it and it takes my wife only few minutes from the moment she gave in to the social pressure to make it till it gets to the oven.

Ingredients

  • 4 medium size carrots
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup of sliced almonds or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 2 – 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 lemon or orange zest

Directions

  1. shred the carrots
  2. mix all the dry ingredients in a large bowl
  3. mix all the liquid ingredients in a separate bowl
  4. combine the contents of the two bowls together and mix well
  5. bake at 350F for about 20-25 minutes

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Spicy aromatic chicken

I took the recipe from a Greek recipes collection and modified it slightly. While I cooked it as a dinner for my wife and I, surprisingly kids loved it too. Linguine makes a great side dish and together with a glass of same Pinot Gridio used for the sauce it’s a perfect dinner dish.

Ingredients

  • 6 – 10 chicken drumsticks
  • 1/2 lemon cut into wedges
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped coarsely
  • 2 – 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Gridio)
  • 800 g canned chopped tomatoes in juice
  • 1 pinch of sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cloves
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 10 black Greek olives, pitted and halved
  • 1 salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Rub the chicken with the lemon
  2. Heat the oil in a large casserole for slow cooking
  3. Fry the onion and garlic for 5 min, until golden brown
  4. Add the chicken and fry for 5 minutes, turning frequently
  5. Pour the wine, add the tomatoes with the juice, add all the spices and bring to boil
  6. Cover the casserole and cook on very low flame for 1 hour
  7. Add the olives 10 minutes before ready

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Flourless Chili Cherry Chocolate Brownies from thehealthyapple.com

Original Recipe from http://thehealthyapple.com/2010/12/29/flourless-chili-cherry-chocolate-brownies/

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black beans, cooked
  • 2 Egg substitute for, large eggs
  • 1/4 cup Earth Balance Vegan Butter Sticks
  • 1/4 cup raw cacao powder
  • 1 Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp all spice
  • 1 Pinch of freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/3 cup stevia for baking
  • 1/2 cup raw cacao nibs
  • 1/3 cup dried cherries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prepare a baking dish with nonstick baking spray.
  3. In a large bowl, combine beans, eggs, butter, raw cacao, sea salt, pepper, chili powder, all spice, sand stevia in a food processor; process until smooth.
  4. Slowly add in raw cacao nibs and dried cherries; stir to combine.
  5. Transfer mixture to the prepared baking pan.
  6. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove from oven; set aside to cool before serving.
  8. Cut into squares.
  9. Enjoy!

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Chickpea patties


Ingredients

  • 1 pack of dry hummus (chickpeas)
  • 3 spoons of Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 table spoons bread crumbs or matzo meal
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala

Directions

  1. soak the chickpea beans in water for couple of hours
  2. cook 30-40 minutes in lightly boiling water, until almost fully cooked
  3. mash the cooked chickpeas in food processor, use 5-6 pulses, make sure it’s coarse, not fully mashed
  4. mix all the ingredients in a big bowl
  5. preheat large non-stick frying pan with little bit of canola oil
  6. using your hands form large thick (about one inch) patties
  7. fry 10 minutes on each side on low heat
  8. serve warm with cold yogurt (even better if you mix it with some fresh cilantro)

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