Stuffed Zucchini: the Lebanese way

Some of the Mediterranean dishes require stuffing vegetables with meat, rice and sometimes both. We love stuffing eggplants, zucchinis, bell peppers, potatoes and even tomatoes! I’ll be sticking with “stuffing the zucchinis” for the moment because they are the only vegetables I know how to stuff 🙂

It is a time demanding recipe, so if you have time on your hands, you must try it out because it sure is worth it!

Here’s what you need:

  • small zucchinis ( 8 to serve 3 people )
  • A corer ( see picture below, you can also use an apple corer )
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 diced tomatoes
  • 2 chopped onions
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 kg minced meat
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 tbsp Pomegranate molasses , also called Dibs el Rimman ( it is not a necessary ingredient, but it gives it extra flavor )
  • salt, pepper and cinnamon powder

The corer

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Cut the ends off the zucchinis and core them, it’s ok if you get cracks and holes, it just needs practice 🙂
  2. Start preparing the filling, which is the meat. Put 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a big frying pan and start frying the finely chopped onions until caramelized, then add the minced meat. Season with salt, pepper and cinnamon ( optional ).
  3. Once meat is cooked, set aside. In another smaller pan, heat the olive oil and fry pine nuts until golden brown. Then add on top of cooked meat and mix together.
  4. Preheat the rest of the vegetable oil and fry the cored zucchinis until golden brown and wrinkly.
  5. Using your finger as a driver, stuff the zucchini with meat,pushing the meat down with your pinkie to make sure the zucchini is full. Repeat until all zucchinis are stuffed.
  6. Preparing the red sauce: add 1 tbsp of vegetable oil in a pot and fry the garlic. Add the tomato paste and water, keep stirring until boiled. Season with salt and pepper. You can add more tomato paste if the sauce is too light.
  7. Add the Pomegranate molasses to the red sauce, the stuffed zucchinis and the remaining meat filling. Cover the pot and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. Serve with rice and enjoy 🙂

P.S: you can find Pomegranate molasses at a middle eastern grocery store.

Cored zucchinis

The filling

Baked fries: the healthier choice.

I love making these oven baked fries as I am trying to cut down on deep fried food lately, plus, I hate seeing my kitchen splatter with oil. Apart from that, they are extremely easy to make! Don’t expect these baked fries to be a 100% substitute for the real French fries,these taste better! But it’s definitely a healthier choice for those potato lovers who want to avoid deep-frying fries.

This is the simplest and easiest recipe to make next to burgers, steak or even as a snack for dinner!

Here’s what you need:

  • potatoes ( DUH!! )
  • Oregano
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • garlic powder
  • garlic cloves

And here’s what you need to do :

  1. Preheat oven to 200°C
  2. Wash and cut potatoes into any shape you like. Soak into water and salt for 5 minutes to prevent them from turning dark.
  3. Once you dry the potatoes, season with all spices, then lay them on a baking tray lined with foil and put in the oven for 15 minutes
  4. Take the tray out after 15 minutes, add slices of garlic on top of the fries, then back again in the over for another 15 minutes.

Stop crying every time you cut onions :)

to avoid tears while cutting onions :

  • Refrigerate the onions before cutting them
  • Chew gum while peeling and chopping onions
  • Peel under cold water
  • Just have someone else cut, slice or chop them for you 🙂

Seriously, who doesn’t love pancakes!

I decided this morning to have something for breakfast other than the to-die-for french toasts. So I decided to make pancakes. I usually make delicious pancakes from my recipe book,but today i was feeling adventurous: I tried a new recipe from a website that I won’t mention here because the recipe turned out disastrous… A total FAILURE! Come on, who adds 2 eggs and 3 tablespoons of baking powder and no sugar for a pancake mix! Well, I should’ve known better…

So, I got out my recipe book and started preparing for those yummy pancakes… and to satisfy my adventurous urge , I added blueberries and ricotta cheese in the mix 😀

I like them extra well-done 🙂

So, here’s what you need to make 13-15 pancakes:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp fast yeast
  • 1 1/4 cup of milk. ( I use powder milk for a richer taste )
  • 2 tbsp ricotta cheese ( optional )
  • blueberries ( optional, if yes, then as much as you want )

And here’s what you need to do :

  1. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder,yeast, salt and sugar.
  2. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, and ricotta cheese; mix until smooth.

It's all about the mix!

  1. Once mix is smooth, add the blueberries
  2. Heat a lightly oiled or buttered frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the pan, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake.
  3. Brown on both sides and serve hot with honey, maple syrup or jam

Here I am, frying them !

A sinful 5 minute breakfast!

I just put my tandoori chicken in the oven, so I figured i’d share what I had for breakfast this morning… For a while, I’ve been trying recipes for french toast, but none seemed to turn out perfect. So, I woke up this morning and decided to make french toast without digging up any recipes, and to my surprise, it turned out d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s!!! Not that I am bragging, but it really was great.. Now that I am writing about it, I am actually thinking of having a third one, *gulp*!

So, here’s what you need:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (optional)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Banana slices
  • Peanut butter
  • Strawberry jam
  • Toast ( I prefer milk toast )

And, here’s what you need to do:

  1. Mix egg, milk, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg
  2. spread peanut butter on one layer of toast, jam on the other and put banana slices then place 2 layers on top of each other
  3. dip both sides of the sandwich in the egg mix
  4. Butter a pan, fry both sides until gold-brown

Gratin à la vegetarian

I am not a vegetarian, I don’t think I’ll ever be. But there is something about this gratin that makes me want to have it all the time! It is probably because i’d eat anything with white sauce and cheese 🙂 I usually make this for dinner, but it can be made as a side dish for lunch, next to salad or grilled “something”. For this recipe, I used broccoli and carrots, but it can be made with any vegetable you have in the fridge: cauliflower, squash, eggplant and the list goes on…

So, here’s what you need:

For the white sauce:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 tbsp of butter
  • 2tbsp of flour
  • 1/2 cup of grated gruyere cheese (or parmesan cheese)
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt

For top of the gratin:

  • melted butter ( for taste )
  • 1/2 cup of bread crumbs
  • more grated cheese ( for extra taste )

Here’s what you need to do :

  1. Preheat oven to 200
  2. Boil vegetables, in my case, broccoli and carrots. Broccoli needs 3 mins, carrots need a little longer.
  3. Heat milk with butter, then add flour, one spoon at a time.Add cheese and keep stirring. Mix in the spices
  4. In a Pyrex or oven pan, add a layer of the white sauce, pour in all vegetables, another layer of white sauce.
  5. Sprinkle bread crumbs, cheese and butter
  6. Grill in oven for 15 mins and enjooooooooy 🙂

5 reasons to mug a cake in 5 minutes

I read this recipe on a random  blog I came across and I HAD to share it… I haven’t tried it yet, but I promised myself I’ll make it for dessert this afternoon..

I will be posting my own pictures when I try the recipe

A heavenly snack !

This 5 minutes zesty snack is simple and delicious. It can be made for breakfast, dinner or for an afternoon snack! Sometimes  I even make it twice a day!

All you need is:

  • 3 tbsp goat cheese
  • 3 tbsp ricotta cheese
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest
  • Baguette slices or any bread of your choice

What you need to do:

  • Brush Olive oil into a pan and roast the bread on both sides
  • Mix goat cheese, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, basil and you are ready to serve 🙂