Spring Cannellini Beans and Barley Salad

Spring Cannellini Beans and Barley Salad


This salad is packed with fiber, protein, and most importantly flavours. Every spring, I gather whatever vegetables I buy from the market and prepare this salad. It is amazingly delicious and curbs your hunger.

Above all, this salad has no added salt. Instead, it is seasoned with apple cidar vinegar which is great substitute for salt. Here is How to make this Salad:

Salad Dressing

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup apple cider vinegar

 ¼ tsp red pepper

 One tsp dried oregano or mint

½ tsp fresh cumin powder, add more if you like

Black pepper powder to taste

 1 tsp honey, optional

Salad Mix

1 red sweet pepper, chopped

1 cup cooked cannellini or white beans

1 cup cooked barley 

1 cup blanched green beans

⅓ cup chopped green onions

1 cup chopped lettuce, optional

1 cup chopped cucumber


How to Cook White Beans

We soak the beans the night before. The next day, pour into a pot of cold water and cook on the stove for 50 minutes to an hour to soften the beans. Then pour into a colander to cool. We can definitely cook cannellini beans in batches ahead of time and freeze them. 


How to Blanch Green Beans

To prepare the green beans, first chop them and then cook them in boiling water for two to three minutes and then immediately put them under a cold tap water to cool quickly so the cooking process is stopped. 

Green beans

In the meantime, prepare the salad dressing. Pour all the sauce ingredients into a jam jar, close the lid and shake well.


How to Assemble The Salad

To assemble the salad, pour all the ingredients into a large bowl and add the salad dressing before serving.


Spiced Oat and Almond Muffins

These are the most recent additions to my regular recipes at home! They are low in sugar, high in fiber and packed with aroma and flavor coming from freshly ground spice mix!


Wet Ingredients

  • Two eggs
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup milk, 2%
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 Tbsp vinegar

Dry Ingredients

2.5 cups of oat flour 

1 cup almond flour

½ cup sugar

1.5 tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

½ tsp ground cardamom (3-4 pods)

1 tsp derided ginger, powdered (10 sma

1 tsp allspice ground (5-6 pearls)

2 tsp ground cinnamon (one small stick)

½ tsp ground cloves (4-5 pods)

¼ tsp salt


  1. Warm up the oven to 350F. Grease a 12- cup muffin tin or place muffin papers in the tins,  and set aside. 
  2. In a medium bowl mix all the dry ingredients and set aside. 
  3. In a large bowl mix in all the wet ingredients and mix.
  4. Add the dry ingredients over the wet mixture and stir to thoroughly combine. 
  5. Fill all the muffin cups ¾ of the way full and place in the hot oven to bake for 30-35 minutes.
  6. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and let cool at least for 30 minutes to completely set.
  7. Drizzle icing on the top and serve!

Spiced Oat and Almond Muffins

To make the icing, whip 1.5 cups of icing sugar with 3 tablespoons of milk on low speed. Adjust the consistency with some extra milk or icing sugar. Don’t be shy to use vanilla extract if you like!

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Quince and Lamb Shanks Braise


Our home is surrounded by garden all over and depending on the season, plants show off different scenery. It is been snowy the last few days and we keep the window blinds open the whole time these days to enjoy the beautiful snow covered gardens. When things frizz at this time of the year, all the magic stories and beautiful nights start to come around. I have everything ready to celebrate the best time of the year Christmas and Yalda nights, just few days apart from each other! And all in all, it means that holidays are in here!


These day home has a new refreshing air since our Farid is back home, and we are all together as one family again celebrating the magical nights of Yalda and Christmas. Nothing feels better than just being together eating a healthy and family style food! And this brings me to the kitchen cooking something well paired with the holiday season.

Since quince is in season, I decided to share with you my recipe which I am going to make for Yalda night! I decided to upload a bit earlier so you too can make this dish in holiday season! The sweet and spicy taste of quince braise is definitely a great complement for celebrating dinner tables.


Here is a list of what you need

  • 5 lamb shanks, cleaned and trimmed
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2Tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 3 large quince, cut into wedges (right before cooking)
  • 2 medium onions, small cubes
  • 2 lime juice and zest, keep zest and juice separate
  • ½ tsp cinnamon, ground
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2tsp coriander, ground
  • 1tsp cumin, ground
  • 1/4tsp saffron, brewed in 2Tbsp of boiling water for 2 minutes
  • 1Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1L chicken stock
  • 1 cup apple or orange juice
  • 1Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1Tbsp butter


·      In a large skillet heat a tablespoon of vegetable oil and brown lamb shanks on all sides until golden brown. Set aside

·      Meanwhile place a large casserole pot over heat and melt the butter. Add onions and cook for 5 minutes until translucent and light golden. Add the spices, lemon zest, tomato paste, brown sugar and cinnamon sticks. Sauté for 1 minutes. Add the shanks to the pot and add half the chicken stock.

·      Cook for 1hour or until shanks are half cooked.

·      Meanwhile, peel the quinces, cut them into wedges and add them to the casserole dish. Add the rest of the stock and apple juice, and 2 tablespoons of lemon juice. Cook until the lamb is tender so it easily comes of the bone and the quince are soft.

·      You can finish the braising in the oven without lid. This gives the dish a darkened and more rustic look. Sprinkle the saffron water over the lamb and serve on the casserole dish or a platter. Enjoy!




Autumn Classics


Every autumn is a new time of birth. Birth of colors and shapes. It is just a beautiful time of the year to watch every single bit of nature. To me, this time of the year is an awaikening time into a world of wonders.

Winter squashes are actually a symbol of birth since they carry seeds that can be planted to a new plant. Last week I went to the market and as customary of every fall, I bought different kinds of winter squash. They were my table design for few days and then I decided to cook them while they are fresh; this time, stuffed! They have little meat but since they have funky shapes and colors, they are kind of treatable to everybody.

Kiamehr just loved scooping out stuffing out of his pumpkin bowls!









Stuffed Pumpkins, classics of Fall


100g Wild Rice, cooked and drained

100g Brown rice, cooked and drained

100g Cranberries

2 cups chicken stock

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 tbsp parsley, finely chopped

1tbsp dry basil

2tbsp dill, finely chopped

1 medium apple, medium chopped

2tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup dry split peas, cooked and drain

1 garlic clove

1 large apply, small dice cut

50g almonds silvered or pine nuts, toasted

2tbsp olive oil

2tbsp vegetable oil

2 tsps all spice

1tsp cinnamon

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat oven to 400F.
  2. Toast pine nuts or almond silvers in a pan until golden.
  3. Roast pumpkins (whole) in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour in the oven until almost soft.
  4. Let cool for 1 hour and then remove the heads and take the seeds out. Set aside.
  5. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and saute the onions and minced garlic until soft and translucent. Add cooked wild rice, split peas, and half cooked brown rice. Saute for few minutes.
  6. Add chopped parsley, dill, basil, and spices. Mix well. Add 2 cups of chicken stock.. At this stage, add the almonds , diced apples, and cranberries and and cook for 10 minutes.
  7. Place 2-3 table spoons of stuffing inside the little pumpkins, add two tbsp of apple juice and put the head back. Fill all the pumpkins and bake them in the oven for another 30 minutes. Adding apple juice helps keeping the stuffing moist and giving it a fruity flavor.

I served my stuffed pumpkins wit greens and honey lemon dressing. To make the dressing mix one tbsp honey with 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1tbsp white vinegar, 1tsp sugar, and 1tbsp almond powder. Mix the ingredients well in a bowl and toss the greens with dressing.

Hope you enjoy this fall inspired recipe at home like how we did!






My Simple White Bread


White bread is one of my classic everyday baking at home. It doe not matter where I am, it is included in my daily menu. When I was living in Tehran, I would make this bread not only for my family, but for my sisters as well. They loved it and asked me to make them everyday! My sister would enter my home and smell into this great smell of fresh bread. Along with baking, we would sit, have a coffee, and chat about our days and things were going on in our lives. I have such a great memories from those days and this bread itself. I really want you to make this bread and see how it becomes part of your home tradition too. It is soft, buttery, and taste much different than regular white loaves you would buy from the store. With few times try outs, you too become an expert and it takes you less time too bake them than going to shop for them. This recipe is very accurate and should work out! If anything went wrong please leave me a message so I can help you out! Just do not get disappointed! I screwed up a few times before I got a hang of it too!







45 gr butter, melted
45 gr sugar
1tsp salt
1/2cup luke warm water
1 1/2 tsp Instant yeast, or 3tbs active dry yeast
600g white flour, a bit extra for dusting and if needed a bit more
1egg for brushing, optional
1 cup milk, luke warm
Sesame seed, optional


How to make this bread
Mix yeast with 1/2 cup lukewarm water and let sit for 5 minutes until bubbles form. Melt butter in microwave or in a saucepan and add milk. Add yeast and butter milk mixture together.
Place the yeast mixture, flour, sugar, and salt into the mixing bowl on the stand mixer. Attach the flat beater. Mix on speed 2 until well combined. If the dough looks a little dry add the remaining water. Mix until the dough comes together. Change to the dough hook. Knead for 5 – 6 minutes (staying on speed 1 or 2), until the dough is soft and elastic.

Place the dough into an oiled bowl*, cover with plastic wrap or a damp tea towel and leave the dough to rise. This takes about 1 hour, in a draft free warm place.

Preheat the oven to 200C (180C fan forced). Lightly grease a large loaf medium sized loaf tin (approx. 11cm x 21cm x 7cm)

Punch the dough down and return to the mixer, knead a further 3 minutes. Remove the dough and place it evenly into the pan, or for a cobb shape, place in a ball shape onto a lightly floured flat baking tray. Cover with the damp tea towel and place in a warm place for 45 minutes or until risen to the top of the pan.

Cut slashers into the bread with a sharp knife and dust with extra flour. Bake 20 – 30 minutes or until golden brown and hollow sounding when lightly tapped. Turn bread out onto a cooling rack and allow to cool.



Nowruz 1395

Nowruz (meaning New Day) is the name of our Persian  New Year. It marks as the first day of spring and the beginning of the year in our Iranian Calender. As new year approaches in Persian culture, all house wives clean their homes, dust everything, buy spring flowers, and new clothes. We set up haftseen sofre every year and pray for health, peace and wealth for everyone.In this blog I share our 1395’s haftseen and chickpea cookie recipe.










Among these traditions, making specialty Nowruz cookies and sweets.

I made my own chickpea cookies this year for my sofre haftseen and wanted to share the recipe with you. this is a traditional cookie and a must have at every Persian home in new year.


Now that I am writing this blog, only few hours left to the new year and official start of spring. Let’s make our Nowruz celebration a happier one by spending it together. Wish you a more than ever Happy Nowruz!
“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day. “Edith Lovejoy


 Chickpea Cookies


some pistachios, silver cut
500g chickpea flour, sifted 2times
200gr icing sugar
100gr unsalted butter
150g hydrogenated (ghee oil)
half teaspoon salt
1teaspoon powdered cardemon.





Mix salt and cardemon with sifted flour and setaside. I combined butter, oil , sugar, cardamom, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. I beat on low speed to combine, then increased the speed to high and continue for about 10 minutes, until light and creamy. Meanwhile I scraped down the bowl so all the batter is well mixed. You don’t need the mixer anymore. I dded chickpea flour in sections and knead with hand until the dough is no longer sticky and comes into a ball. You might need to add a little bit more flour until the dough comes together and it is kind of sticky.
I covered the dough with a large sheet of plastic wrap and refrigerated for 12 hours; this will make the dough easier to cut and form better. Leave the dough out to reach the room temperature and knead a little more until it is soft and pliable. Using a rolling pin, I rolled out the dough into a half an inch sheet. I used a small 1 inch star-shaped cookie cutter to form the cookies, spacing them 1/2 inch apart on the baking sheets,and insert of pistachio pieces vertically at the centre of each cookie.
Of course, I preheated oven to 300 degrees and lined 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
I baked my cookies, on the middle oven rack, for 25 to 30 minutes or until the cookie bottoms were lightly golden color. Then, transferred the baking sheet to a wire rack to cool.
Remeber that these cookies crumble easily, so handle them with extra care. The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 1 month. So, make a batch, store and enjoy when you wish!
Note that the oil used in this cookie must be solid and soft. Do not use liquid oil or melted butter.


The Famous Berliner Donuts




Last year I went to Berlin for work and that was when I cam across the delicious donuts called, “The Berliner”! They were sold and served in almost every food shop and this was not the end of it! They appeared to be a symbol of Berlin! I could see many forms of ceramic, plastic, or fridge magnetic donuts! seeing all those donuts, took me back to my childhood. When young, I would buy a cream-filled donuts everyday to school or at home as a snack. They were big as compared to the Berliners, and of course the filling was different too. In Berlin, they were filled with sour-cherry marmalade and they were smaller.. In my home town, Tehran, they were filled with pastry creams.

This made me think to go and see if there is a link between cultures and if for real, where the donuts were born? I looked up some resources online and what I found was that there was a disagreement between Americans and Europeans over who really made them first? Ok, I think I got that! The Wikipedia says, “Doughnuts have a disputed history. One theory suggests they were invented in North America by Dutch settlers, and in the 19th century, doughnuts were sometimes referred to as one kind of oliekoek (a Dutch word literally meaning “oil cake”), a “sweetened cake fried in fat.” However, the donuts are made in many different part of the world with different shapes and methods! To be honest, I think donuts belong to where they are made!  Like bread, they could have been invented anywhere there was bread dough and oil!


The Berliners are small fried donuts, filled with cherry marmalade but the dough tasted exactly like the ones, I ate at home. So, I created my recipe not with cream, but with cherry marmalade. I hope you make and enjoy this recipe with family and friends! This is a classic recipe for donuts and you certainly can make a hole in the middle and make donut rings with it. The home-made donuts actually do not absorb that much of oil as the store bought ones.

Berliner Donuts
7gr active dry yeast
30gr sugar
50gr butter, softened
500gr all porpuse flour
A pinch of salt
1cup lukewarm milk
1/4cup lukewarm water
Oil for frying
Cherry or strawberry marmalade
Icing sugar for dusting



Mix yeast with water and sugar, and let stand for few minutes. In a separate bowl, mix salt, 400 gr flour, milk, and eggs with a fork. Then, add the yeast mixture and mix. knead the dough until it becomes consistent. Add more flour if needed.
Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap and let the dough rise until it doubles in size, about one hour and half.
Punch the dough down and then dust the working surface with flour and role the dough out into a 1/4 inch thickness.
Cut out 1 inch and half round pieces using a cutter or a cup with a sharp edge.
Place the donuts in a large baking ….,, . Cover with a plastic wrap and let rest for ab hour.
Heat oil in a deep frying pan. Make sure it is deep enough to cover the whole donut. Fry donuts and let them cool down on a kitchen paper towel. Then, make a small hole in each donut and insert one teaspoon marmalade with a small spoon or inject marmalade with a pastry bag. Dust with icing sugar and serve fresh. You can freeze these for up to a month but don’t keep them in the fridge because they stale like bread.



However, please eat in moderation. If you choose to have a small donut, make sure you cut down on your other daily fat and carbs intake.



Yalda Night, 2015


A lot of you were interested in knowing what we are planning to do in our night of Yalda! I am more than happy to share whatever we did! Yalda to me is like thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians and Americans. This time of the year is a busy time for almost everybody. As some of you getting ready to celebrate christmas, we Persians, celebrate Yalda night, the longest night of the year!


We gather and spend the time of Yalda night together, laughing, reading poems, and eat special treats and fruits! We stay warm by keeping our hearts close together. Like Christmas is just more than a celebration. It is spiritual and deep rooted in our culture.We Persians celebrate this dark beauty, Yalda, the longest night of the year which is the announcement for welcoming winter season….


And I am thrilled to share the visual stories of our home at Yalda. Right now, I am just in the preparation of pomegranates, watermelon, and roasted nuts, sweets, and last but not least, a great simple and fresh pomegranate salad for this seasonal festive. I will share my visual stories and the recipe for this quick and easy salad with you tonight. Yalda Night happens to be a calendar event and counts as the last night of every human citizens’  fall season.


Living as an earthocentric human citizen, I believe that we all belong to our very own mother earth and shall share our cultural celebrations with our distant global citizens. love how we from different cultures, have celebrations that happen at the same time! Yalda is only 4 nights apart from christmas.  It is interesting how the color red is symbolic for two occasions and the time when all family members get together at grand parents houses to chill and cheer. I love and appreciate this sense of belonging to all earth’s citizens. We have the same roots and may be a day, when  we all live in peace. Merry Christmas to all of you my friends.

Pomegranate Mango Salad

If you are looking for an exotic and yet healthy desert, the pomegranate citrus salad is definitely the right thing to do the job! Although it is made in less than fifteen minutes, it is both exotic and flavourful. This is the recipe I created to make and share with my family. I really wanted to pamper them with juicy and fresh flavours, and I succeeded. This recipe is going to be a must-have in Winter time and occasions like christmas and Yalda.
2large pomegranates, seeded
1large mango, peeled and cut into cubes
3medium oranges, skinned and cut into cubes
The juice of one lemon, squeezed
2tablespoons honey
1cup orange or mango juice

To assemble this salad, just combine all the ingredients, toss and serve. It is that simple! Enjoy


Shole Zard


I was probably only seven or eight years old. I came to my grandma’s kitchen and saw rows of Shole Zard (Persian Saffron Rice Puddings) sitting in the kitchen. And more were coming in! They all came with different decorations and words written on them. Words were “ Ya Hossein”, “Ya Allaah”, or other religiously related names common in Sia’s iconic tradition. However, they all had many things in common! They all had cinnamon and almonds for the toppings and decorations! Yet, the way women used them were a lot different than each other. The neater the decoration, the more appealing the Shole Zard looked.

Many people cooked and shared this specific desert on the day of Arbayeen which is basically the fortieth day of Imam Hossein killing in Ashoura day. And this tradition happens every year. My memory of this event is probably the oldest, yet conspicuous I have from Shole Zard Making tradition.
My grandma picked out a few which had richer saffron colour and almonds to save for grandpa and other members to be served later. And gave away the rest to the poor.

“Why everybody makes Shole Zard in this day? Why don’t they just make it in other days, so we do not have to give most of them away?“, I asked?Well,, that is oblation to Imam Hossein for this day, and people just cannot postpone it!” Grandma said. However, I was not convinced by the fact that people make this delicious dessert only as an oblation. Year after year past until I grew up in that practicing community.


I, forever, connect the image of Shole Zard to those days when we received many bowls all at the same time. My grandma and other women in the family commented on taste and discussed the methods and tricks ladies had used to decorate their oblatory Shole Zard bowls. Gossiping was in fact a fun part of the whole story of Shole Zard bowls.

These days food culture is changing. Shole Zard is more widespread, known to be a Persian dessert which is served at many restaurants and food places. I cook Persian Rice Pudding both for oblatory and simple as a yummy desert at family dinners. It is worth to mention that since it is sweet, I do not make it very often. And when I do, I keep  portions small.


500gr Jasmine Rice
1Kg sugar
200 gr butter
2 teaspoons saffron, mixed in 1/3 cup boiling water and brewed for few minutes
1/2 cup rosewater
4 tablespoons crushed pistachio, for decoration
1/5cup crushed almond, extra for decoration
1/2 teaspoon crushed cinnamon, for decoration


Wash rice a few times until the water is clear, and drain. In a medium large pot, add about 2 liters water and bring to a boil. Remove foams that may form. When rice softens completely, add sugar, stir well and let boil on a very low heat for another hour, still occasionally. This helps the sugar caramelize in Shole, giving it an even and infused sweet taste.

Dissolve saffron into Shole. Add butter and give it a good stir. Add in most of the almonds and the rosewater. And cook for half an hour on a very low temperature until set, and get a creamy texture. Serve with pistachio, almond and cinnamon sprinkled on top.




Apple-Orange Drizzle Chicken Roast

chicken roast 7

I believe that the dinner should be pretty. It should look good. No matter what it is, I always make my best effort to present it in a nice way that it helps to create a warm and pleasing environment. Dinner time is when family members gather at a table to socialize. It is a time for laughter and fun. Therefore, having a nice food at the table, helps in lifting moods and bringing attentions back from work to dinner time. It is always exciting to see how “food” turns a good family dinner time into a great gourmet dinner time.

chicken roast3
This chicken was a family dinner. It looks really good, yet it taste amazing. I share it with you here hoping that it helps in making your family dinner into a great time. Don’t forget to talk, chatter, and laugh. Last but not least, buy a cheap seasonal flower stem and put it right in the middle of your table to add a symbol of love and freshness to your table.

Processed with VSCOcam with c3 preset

what you need for roast
1 large chicken
5 garlic cloves, minced
4 oranges, skinned and flesh separated and reserved
2 large apples, cut into cubes
Olive oil for rubbing and some extra for marinading orange and pear
1tbsp brown sugar
2 large onions, sliced thinly

What you need for the sauce

50 gr butter
2tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2cup white wine vinegar
pepper to taste
1 cup apple juice
1cup broth juice left in the roasting pan
1tablespoon sugar


How to make the roast

First preheat oven to 425F.
Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. It is best to remove the chicken few hours prior to roasting so the temperature reaches the room temperature.Grease the roasting pan with some olive oil and set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix sliced onions, oranges, pear cubes, brown sugar and two tablespoon olive soil. Mix well and spread the mix into the roasting pan. Make a nice bed for the chicken. Add few rosemary leaves if you like. It gives off a very nice flavour to both chicken and fruits. Massage the dry chicken with minced garlic, salt and pepper, and a touch of olive oil. Now, tight the chicken legs together with a cotton string. Attach the wings to body with toothpick. place the chicken over the fruit mixture and push it into the hot oven. Cook for 1 hour and half, and check the doneness with a thermameter. When you insert it to the deepest part of the chicken away from bone, it should read 160F (70C) for about 50-60 minutes throghout the cooking time. To get a very nice brown colour of our chicken, every 20 minutes, brush the surface of chicken with the liquid at the button of the pan.
Take the pan out of the oven. Slightly, tilt the pan to drain the liquid from the cavity into a medium saucepan. Transfer the chicken to a large platter and cover with foil to rest for 15 minutes.
Transfer the oranges and apples from the roasting pan into a small serving bowl and keep warm.

Degrease the pan with wine vinegar, broth juice and apple juice. Bring to boil over medium heat and reduce for 3 minutes. add sugar. Mix softened butter and flour and beat with a fork to make a soft mix. Add it to the liquid and whisk constantly to prevent lumps from forming. When the sauce reached the right consistency (like thin yogurt) remove from heat, and pour through a sieve into a small saucepan to remove any lumps or impurities. A quick tip for making the sauce is that as the sauce cools down it becomes thicker; so it is very important to make sure the sauce is thiner than what you actually want. When it cools down, it reaches the right thickness as you desire.

Serve chicken with warm roasted fruits and sauce. Style chicken with few rosemary stems.

chicken roast5

chicken Roast 4

chicken roast6