Stuffed vegetables are a very popular in the Middle East; stuffed zucchini, aubergine, carrots, potatoes, cabbage, vine leaves and more. The most common in my house growing up where aubergine, zucchini, vine leaves and cabbage. My Mama could spend hours making large pots of these stuffed vegetables that could last from hours to days. They are a real family favourite. While these are usually stuffed with meat and rice, I have made mine vegetarian and a lot more nutritious.
There is nothing more beautiful than bright, vibrant flowers adorning food and drink, and it’s even better when you get to eat them. I found these fabulous bright orange flowers at my local farmer’s market. They have a spectacular peppery taste, and I knew they would complement perfectly a mixed leaf salad with a sweet and syrupy dressing. This salad is the perfect way to say ‘good bye’ to summer.
Autumn is a great time of year for warm salads. It’s not very warm outside, but it’s also not too cold yet. Leafy summer salads don’t appeal, but neither does hot stews, so this salad is the perfect gateway between the seasons. This warm salad is especially autumnal with the beautiful green and purple cauliflower. I love roasted cauliflower, as you will have read in a previous post, as it reminds me of the exceptionally tasty, but not so healthy deep-fried cauliflower I grew up with in my Mama’s very Middle Eastern kitchen. Roasting gives you all the flavour and texture, but it supremely better for your health.
Spaghetti Bolognese is a real family favourite in most households. Growing up my family was no different. We all loved Bolognese night, and my mama’s sauce recipe was exquisite.
One of my favourite things to do on a Saturday morning is to head out to my local Farmer’s Market. I live in London, one of the biggest cities in the world, and yet I am just a five minutes’ drive away from some amazing farmer’s markets were farmers come to sell their glorious, colourful, tasty and healing organic fruit and vegetables every week. I love to pick up all my regular goodies and essentials, and I also love to be surprised by new, beautiful and intriguing items, like purple cauliflower, edible flowers and cucamelons. I found these while raiding my favourite stall’s organic salad selection. They are tiny little cucumber, melon crosses. From the outside they look like mini melons, from the inside they look like mini cucumbers and they have the same cucumber taste with a bit of added zing.
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.
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.
1 nectarine, chopped
1 cup raspberries
1 passion fruit flesh
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
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.
In Palestine, you cant go out to eat anywhere without Ba’dounsia showing up. On your falafal, in your shawarma, to dip your fried veg into, poured over salads.
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).
As I have said in a previous post, I was practically raised on traditional Palestinian stuffed vegetables. They are my favourite thing to eat, and they represent the perfect joining of childhood memories from my past with my desire to have a healthy, organic plant based diet of my present. These stuffed vegetables are my favourite things to recreate and also the hardest as the originals are just so delicious.