Zucchini Fritters

As promised last week and without further ado, here is my recipe for zucchini fritters when you have too many homegrown zucchinis on your hand and no one in particular to offer it to them!  You could make this with yellow or green zucchinis as a side, snack or light meal.

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »


What to do with extra homegrown zucchini

It is said that two zucchini plants produce enough zucchinis for a family of four to eat as much as they can for the entire summer. This year I grew three zucchini plants for the two of us, which meant way too much of it if we were to stick only to our traditional Persian style zucchini stew.

Almost every single morning I checked on my vegetable garden I found a new baby zucchini turned into a huge heavy one almost before my eyes. So, even with all I gave away to family and friends I still had to come up with new creative ways to consume this delicious vegetable. Read the rest of this entry »


Summer Dip with Zucchini, white beans and tahini

I found the recipe for this delicious and easy dip in PRAVA organic site and modified it slightly to my taste. You could do the same I am sure as long as you keep the main ingredients in: It is a vegetarian recipe and completely gluten and dairy free.

Ingredients Read the rest of this entry »


Holiday Sides with Quinoa and Lintel

Here are two absolutely healthy simple yet delicious sides/salads to go with any Holiday dishes. Let’s get into them without further ado

Read the rest of this entry »


Good nuts, pretty nuts

Walnuts and almonds are so good for your health: they are said to prevent heart disease and lung and prostate cancer and nourish brain cells. Walnuts and almonds also contain healthy calories and healthy fats. In fact, those who incorporate these two nuts into their regular diet are said to be less likely to gain weight.

I love walnuts with my tea and feta for breakfast; and I usually use almonds on my salad. My favorite nut dish however, is the one on the picture. Just on its own, as a side dish, appetizer, filler, snack, and with bear as a chaser or “mazeh”. Read the rest of this entry »


Lentil Salad with Bell Pepper & Cumin

As promised in my previous blog post, here is the recipe for a hearty salad, to add more color and flavor to any autumn table.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup large lentil
  • 4 halves of bell peppers in green, red, orange and yellow, (1 half, each)
  • ¼ tbsp. cumin
  • Fresh lemon juice, salt and olive oil as desired Read the rest of this entry »

Mirza Ghasemi, (Persian Smoked eggplants casserole)

Mirza Ghasemi is a vegetarian dish from Gilan in Northern Iran, yet quite popular through the country and beyond, especially as a tasty side dish.  Made traditional way, the recipe contains only four ingredients (eggplants, tomatoes, eggs, and garlic).  The real trick however in making a remarkably authentic Mirza ghasemi is to making this casserole-like dish taste and smell, partially or totally smoky! And that has to do with how you cook your vegetables.  So, let’s get started!

Ingredients (serves 4)

Eggplants, 4-5, small. Tomatoes, 4 large. Garlic cloves, 5 (use more if you like garlic or less if you don’t). Eggs, 4. Oil, 3 tbs. Salt and pepper to taste.


Method:
Grill pierced eggplants and whole tomatoes on a barbecue grill – ideally on charcoal, till skin is burned and inside is well cooked. Obviously eggplants require more cooking time. Cut off the two ends of garlic cloves and place them on the barbecue grill with the skin on and grill them for a few minutes as well. Remove your vegetables, as they are sufficiently cooked and set aside to cool.  Note that it is customary to grill and “smoke” the eggplants, but I have figured smoking tomatoes add to the delicious taste of Mirza ghasemi. My friend has discovered and kindly tipped me preparing garlic the way I just mentioned is magical! It truly is, you just have to be careful not to burn it. And while you are at it, make lots of smoked garlic and use them in your jar of olive oil along with fresh herbs and red chili pepper.

Using a cutting board, remove the eggplants’ skin and cut the eggplants in tiny pieces, sprinkling salt all over. Set aside. Do the same with the tomatoes. Skin the smoked garlic, and smash it. In a skillet sauté the smashed garlic in hot oil for a couple of minute over medium heat.

Add eggplants and sauté for ten minutes or until light brown. Add chopped tomatoes, and stir another 3-4 minutes. Taste for adjustment. Then cover the lid, reduce the heat and let it cook for 15-20 minutes.

At the last stage, remove the lid, break the eggs, immediately maximize the heat, stir thoroughly. You could add black powder pepper if you like.

Mirza ghasemi is traditionally eaten with plain rice, kateh style.