Rose & Nectarine Smoothie with Bee Pollen

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I love the smell and taste of rose in cooking and drinks. The light aromatic hint of rose seems so exotic and makes me imagine times of decadence in ancient palaces. It’s so transporting and reminds me of my childhood in the Middle East, where cooking with rose and mixed flower essence is very usual in sweets and pastries.
These days, I mainly just drink organic rose tea to benefit from many vitamins and antioxidants to help heart health, reduce nervous tension and inflammation.

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Nectarine, Raspberry Passion Smoothie

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These three fruits are some of my favourites. They are gloriously colourful, have exciting textures and taste so sweet. These fruits are the perfect combination of exotic and homely, making this smoothie a real treat.
These fruits are also so good for you that they will make you glow from within, giving you vibrant eyes, hair and skin. These fruits are packed with vitamin A and C, are rich in cancer-fighting antioxidants and provide you with a lot of fibre. The almond milk is high in vitamin D & E, providing you with healthy essential omega fatty acids, which are all good for radiant skin.

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ingredients
1 nectarine, chopped
1 cup raspberries
1 passion fruit flesh
1 cup unsweetened almond milk

method
1. Put all ingredients into a blender and blend for 2 minutes
2. Pour into a glass and garnish with some passion fruit seeds, a raspberry and mint sprig to serve.



Organic Walnut & Chili Labaneh Dip

 

Labaneh is a real favourite in Palestine. It is traditionally a breakfast dish, but is eaten throughout the day as a snack or as part of an evening meal of mezze. As I explained in a previous post, It comes in a few different textures; creamy and smooth like a dip, thick and textured like a spread or hard and dry like a cheese. You can make all three varieties very easily at home and the only thing that differentiates them is the number of hours you strain the yogurt for (12 hours for the dip, 19 hours for the spread, 24 hours for the cheese).

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Crispy Green and White cauliflower with Nutty Brown Rice

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A lot of children do not like cauliflower. I was not one of them. Growing up cauliflower was always one of my very favourite vegetables. In Palestine cauliflower is often deep-fried and served on its own or baked into rice dishes with other deep-fried vegetables. I remember I would always ask my mother to have a few fried pieces before she would bake them into the rice, and she would always let me have at least one piece. Although cauliflower does taste delicious when fried, it is over processed and not very healthy.

I have developed this recipe to have the same crispy texture and the same amazing flavour without the unhealthy fats and without the frying. This meal is so tasty and healthy, that I know it will become a staple of your mid-week easy dinner repertoire. One of my favourite things about this dish is that it is so pretty.

For this recipe I use both white and romanesco cauliflower, and they look gorgeous when cut up amongst the red onion and basil.

The bright green, white and purple of the dish are intoxicatingly attractive and really make you want to eat it (and the same goes for kids). The very sight of it immediately transports you to bright happy summer days.

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ingredients

for the cauliflower
½ white cauliflower
½ romanesco cauliflower
1 red onion
6 sprigs of basil
5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 pinches of pink Himalayan salt

For the rice
1 cup brown rice
4 cups water
¼ cup peeled almonds and pinenuts, toasted
4 sprigs of fresh mint, finely chopped
1 pinch of pink Himalayan salt

method

1. Preheat oven to 200c
2. add the water, rice, salt to a pan over a high heat until boiling, then reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes
3. chop the cauliflower and onions and mix in a baking tray with the basil, olive oil and salt, and put in oven for 40 minutes, turning occasionally
4. once ready, serve rice on a bowl and garnish with the nuts and mint and serve with the cauliflower.


Brunch Foul

Foul is a breakfast dish, served in a large communal bowl for the whole family to dip into and scoop from using warm bread. My Mama always made it for brunch at the weekends, and in fact she still does when we are all home together. I usually make it as a light weekend lunch.

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Middle Eastern Stuffed Zucchini

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When I was younger, my mother used to sit with a large pan of zucchinis and aubergines on one side of her and a large bowl of mixed lamb, rice and herbs on the other. She would sit there coring the vegetables, and ask me to stuff the hollow zucchinis and aubergines with the fragrant rice mix. I would usually come in half way through and help her on the home-run. She was always very appreciative of my help and I still cherish those times we spent together doing something we both loved, and creating lifelong passions for healthy food cooked to taste good and bring people together.

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Vegetarian Vine Leaves

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It is very likely that you have had stuffed vine leaves before, either in a Greek or Lebanese restaurant. It’s likely that they were cold, lemony, loosely rolled and vegetarian. As nice as they are, they are nothing like Palestinian Stuffed vine leaves, which are traditionally stuffed with lamb, rice and spices, tightly rolled and served piping hot as a main meal with yoghurt. Mine are a wonderfully healthy, nutritious and delicious variation of the Palestinian variety.

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Green Juice & Figs

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I first came across juicing when I became very ill.  I was in continual chronic pain for months and unable to move most if my joints. I had been prescribed many toxic drugs which got me moving again, but I still felt terrible. I genuinely feel that juicing has changed my health, wellbeing and my life.

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