Kiafardaily

Month: March, 2014

Greek Pasta Salad

greek pasta salad

I love the simplicity in making and richness of taste in this salad. I originally learned this recipe from Whole Foods Market. It looked perfect every time I passed the salad bar. I decided to make my own version.

Ingredients

  • 1 large red onion, coarsely chopped
  • Sweet green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium English cucumber, coarsely chopped
  • 150 g feta cheese, cubed
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 250 g dried penne pasta
  • ½ cup kalamata (black) olives
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoon red wine (grapes) vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

 Cooking Directions

 Bring a large saucepan of water to boil.  Add salt and penne pasta. Cook according to the package cooking directions, until cooked tender but firm to the bite. Drain and let cool.

Mix all the chopped vegetables in a large mixing bowl. Add the olives, oregano, vinegar, olive oil, and salt and pepper. Toss well.

Mix in the cooled past. Transfer to the serving dish and garnish with the cubed feta cheese.

This salad serve 6-8 people.

 

 

Hummus

Hummus

Ingredients

  • 4 medium garlic cloves
  • 2 cups canned chickpeas, drained, liquid reserved
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup tahini (sesame paste)
  • 3 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons water or liquid reserved from the chickpeas
  • 8 dashes hot sauce, optional

Directions
Turn on the food processor fitted with the steel blade and drop the garlic down the feed tube; process until it’s minced. Add the rest of the ingredients to the food processor and process until the hummus is coarsely pureed. Taste for seasoning, and serve chilled or at room temperature.

Hummus2

Crème Caramel

caramel1

This classic recipe is perfect for an afternoon light tea party or a great nutritious substitute for a ruched breakfast; off course if you make them a head of time.

Ingredients

  • 100g sugar for caramel
  • 100g sugar for the egg mix
  • 500g milk
  • 1teaspoon vanilla extract or 2 vanilla strings

Directions

 Heat the oven to 325F. Bring 1 liter of water into the boil and put aside.

To make the caramel topping, mix 100g sugar (3/4 cup) with two table of spoon of water in  a sauce pan and boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the caramel turns golden brown and fragrant. Pour the caramel into individual small cake pans, and swirl to coat the bottoms evenly. Set aside.

Pour the milk into the same saucepan used for making the caramel. Add the vanilla extract or vanilla bean (split the bean and scrape the seeds into the milk). Heat until nearly boiling, and turn off the heat. Cover for 10 minutes to infuse with vanilla.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs with 100g sugar. Remove the vanilla rods from the milk and gradually add the milk into the egg mixture.

Strain the custard (egg mixture) over the hardened caramel in baking pans. Fill up to ¾ of the pans. Place the pans in a deep and larger pan, and pour the hot water to cover halfway up the sides of the caramel pans. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Remove the caramel pans from the water bath. Using a sharp knife, loosen the edges of the caramel to loosen. Place in the fridge to cool completely. To serve, flip the pan onto a plate, and pour over the remaining in the pan. Enjoy!  

caramel2

Sun-dried Tomato Spaghetti

DSC_5817sun-driedtomatospaghetti

Spaghetti’s popularity is out of question. This dish has passed geographical boundaries of its origins and has become an international food favorite. It is easy-to-cook-, versatile, nutritious, and most importantly inexpensive. It is best if you keep extra packages of pasta in your pantry. It comes handy when time is short and you would like to eat healthy and fresh fast.

Ingredients

  • Sauce
  • 2tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely sliced
  • ½lb extra lean ground beef (optional)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can (1L) diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup drained and chopped sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1tablespoon sugar
  • ½ cup red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  • Dried basil and parsley to season

 Cooking Directions

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook until golden. Add the garlic and meat and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in all diced and sun-dried tomatoes, sugar, and red wine vinegar. Season the sauce with parsley, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and simmer for 10-12 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring water into a boil in a large saucepan. Add two tablespoons salt. Cook the spaghetti as package directions. Remember count the spaghetti cooking time from the time water comes back to boil. When the spaghetti is ready, drain off the water. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil. Set aside.

When the sauce is ready, add the sauce to the pasta in a warm serving dish. Toss well with forks until pasta is completely coated in the sauce.

Enjoy.

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time 15-20 minutes

This dish serves 4-6 people

DSC_5862sun-driedTomatospaghetti2

Tropical Green Smoothie

tropicalgreensmoothie

Ingredients

  • ½ bunch kale, stemmed
  • 1 large mango, peeled
  • 2 medium bananas, skinned
  • 2 cups apple juice

Directions

Add all the ingredients in the blender at once. Mix at high speed until everything blended well with a creamy green texture.

kalegrensmoothie

Italian Carciofi Salad

This salad is full of taste because it has all yummy and flavorful ingredients in one bowl. It is like a     gathering for celebration of “taste”. I have made this salad in many occasions, and believe it or not, there has not been a single time when there is been a left over!  Since this salad is very easy to mix and makes a lot, it is a great choice for big family barbeque and parties. Or, just simply add some chicken grill and turn it into a dinner for two!

Italian Carciofi Salad

Ingredients

  • 1cup Kalamata black olives, seeded
  • 1cup cherry tomatoes, halved optional
  • 1 large cucumber, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 cup fresh or canned artichokes, cut
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • ¼ feta cheese, diced
  • 1lb romaine lettuce, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon pesto
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar or white balsamic
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • Pinch of salt

 Directions

Mix the sliced lettuce, cucumber, artichokes, onion, olives, and tomatoes. Add the parmesan cheese and mix well.

Mix pesto with vinegar and salt and add to the salad mix. At the end add olive oil and feta cheese. Toss well.

To serve, transfer into individual dishes or a large serving bowl.

Dark Chocolate Raisin Muffin

Dark ChocolateRaisinMuffin2

This is a simple and quick recipe that taste delicious. If you have friends coming over and you want to have a real treat for them, this is the one recipe.
The preparation time is 5-10 minutes and cooking time is only 20 minutes.
As well, unlike the commercially prepared muffins, these muffins do not contain any shortening and trans fat. I used almond oil, which is among the healthiest plant oils. Feel free to use any vegetable oil that you have available at home.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil, extra for greasing
  • 1 and half cups butter milk*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 and half cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup raisin

Instructions

Preheat oven to 425F degrees.   grease 12 large muffin cups with Oil.

In a large bowl, combine sugar, honey, eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla extract.

 Mix all the wet ingredients with fork or an electric mixer. Sift the flour and add salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Stir in the wet ingredients. Make sure not to over mix.

 Fold in the mini chocolate chips and raisin. The batter will look a little chunky which is totally fine.

 Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 5 minutes at 425 F and then turn the temperature down to 375 and bake for 15 more minutes. Do not open the oven door in the first 12 minutes!

 Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Dark Chocolate Raisin Muffin

 

Lemon Ginger Drink

LemonGingerDrink2

Lemon Ginger Drink is a healthy home remedy for cold and flu!I made a big jar in the morning and it was my fuel for all day.  Note: you can make this drink with soda water, add ice cubes and turn it into a punch for your parties. That definitely will do! Lemon Ginger Drink is a healthy home remedy for cold and flu!I made a big jar in the morning and it was my fuel for all day.  Note: you can make this drink with soda water, add ice cubes and turn it into a punch for your parties. That definitely will do! Lemon Ginger Drink is a healthy home remedy for cold and flu!I made a big jar in the morning and it was my fuel for all day.  Note: you can make this drink with soda water, add ice cubes and turn it into a punch for your parties. That definitely will do!

Ingredients

1tablespoon Honey

1tablespoon fresh ginger, finely shredded

2 Fresh lemons

Directions to make this yummy and curative drink:

Shred ginger (1tablespoon) and mix with fresh lime juice and honey. Add warm water. Adjust sweetness and sourness to your personal taste! Add few lemon slice for extra zest and texture.

Lemon Ginger Drink is a healthy home remedy for cold and flu!I made a big jar in the morning and it was my fuel for all day.

Note: you can make this drink with soda water, add ice cubes and turn it into a punch for your parties. That definitely will do!

LemonGinger Drink

Mandhi

Mandhi

Mandhi is a classic Arabic dish that is very easy to prepare. Mandhi might seem to have very special ingredients. However, it is good to know that this dish has nothing special and out-of-ordinary ingredients. The only thing that makes this dish taste and look different is because the rice is made with the remaining meat stock. This method of preparing rice locks the taste of meat and rice together and gives this its own unique taste and character.

Ingredients

 8 Lamb muscle

1kilo basmati rice, washed

 3tbsp Mandhi spice; see *1

2 large onions, chopped

1liter vegetable stock, prepared

Cooking Instructions

Dissolve 2 tbsp. Mandhi spice in 1 cup of water and apply it to meat. Place meat and half the chopped onions in a pot, and add one-liter vegetable stock. Cook on low heat for 2-21/2 until tender.

Remove meat from the stock. Set aside. Add hot water to the remaining stock to make 5 cups.

Add rice to the 4 cups of meat stock. Cook for about 20 minutes on medium-low heat until ready as desired.

In a skillet, melt butter and sauté lamb muscles on both sides and place in the serving dish. Sauté chopped onion in the remaining butter until golden.

Add 2 cups of saved stock to the sautéed onion and cook for 5 minutes. Pour over muscles.

Serve warm with rice and enjoy.

 *1 Here is how you can prepare your own homemade Mandhi spice. Simply mix 1tsp of each: garlic powder, turmeric, black pepper, ground coriander, cinnamon, saffron (optional) and lime powder or lime juice.

 Arabic-Mandhi

Strawberry Biscuits

strawberry biscuits

If you come to our house,  it is very unlikely that we don’t have these biscuits as a regular treat for our guests! Everybody loves them, and if you by chance came and we did not have them, previous guests must have eaten too many! They taste very unlike the short bread biscuits you buy at the supermarkets and pastry shops.

Semolina flour gives these yummy biscuits an earthy crunch texture. If you do not have this type of flour, just stay with your regular pastry flour. This is a simple recipe that could be used to make in occasions-appropriate or desired shape. For Valentine’s Day, of course I used heart-shaped cutters.

I keep these Strawberry Biscuits at least one week in a closed container at room temperature. They are a real treat!

Ingredients

150g unsalted butter

75g caster sugar, plus extra for sprinkling

5 tsps strawberry jam

120g plain flour; extra for rolling

100g  semolina flour

 

Cooking Instructions

Line the baking tray with baking paper. Preheat oven to 325F.

 In a mixing bowl, bear the butter and sugar until fluffy and light in color. Add the flour mix. Beat until the ingredients mix and dough comes together in a ball.

Dust the work counter top and roll the dough out into a circle with about 5 mm thickness.

Use your favorite shape-cutter or even cut into equal-size squares. Sprinkle half of the short breads with caster sugar. With a thin-edged spatula transfer biscuits to the prepared bakery tray.

Keep the tray in the freezer for 20 minutes until biscuits are firm.

Bake chilled biscuits for 20 minutes until slightly begin to turn golden on the edges.

After you take them out of the oven, set biscuits aside for at least one hour to completely cool down.

Add 1 tsp strawberry jam in the middle of each plain biscuits; leave 1 cm space on the edges. Put the sprinkled side on the top and lightly press.

Strawbery biscuit recipe