Rigatoni & Broccoli

I had an Italian friend who cooked me this delicious side dish once while she was staying with me in Montreal. I don’t usually make my guests cook for me but she insisted!

Ingredients (serving four):  Broccoli, 1 crown. Rigatoni pasta, one pack (about 4 cups, or half a kilo) Garlic, 4 cloves, finely chopped.  Olive oil, 3 tbsp. Salt and water. Parmesan cheese, 2 tbsp., grated (optional).

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Soybeans: wholesome, whole green delights

I am sure everybody has heard a lot about health benefits of Soya – reduction in LDL cholesterol, preventing cancer, even reduction in risk of coronary artery disease.

The good news is that Soya products are so diverse, from flour, to candy & biscuits, to soy milk, to Tofu, to my favorite: Whole green soybeans. Boiled or steamed soybean in pods make wonderful snack, especially if you’re with friends talking, watching something while sucking the beans into your mouth.  Here is how I prepare it in 5 minutes– by boiling, or in my case steam-cooking, also known as Edamame.

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Jeweled yogurt mix

A few years ago, sometime in June-July, I was hosting my oldest buddy girlfriend for a month, seeing her after some ten years!  That was the happiest reunion ever as we both felt we still had SO much in common!

Catching up with each other’s lives, plus doing stuff together (from gardening to shopping, to driving around) would not leave us too much time to cook elaborate foods every single day, although we did constantly feel hungry and eat! This nutritious, delicious yogurt-based cold soup was my friend’s solution (and ‘invention’, mind you) for the evenings that we felt too worn out to cook and too creative and energetic to go with a canned, delivered or fast food –  a quick and refreshing fix indeed!

Ingredients (for 2):  Plain yogurt (2% fat) 400 grams. Flat water, half a cup or about 150 ml. Cucumbers, 2 medium, peeled and grated. Onion (optional), ½ small, peeled and grated. Dried seedless raisin, rinsed, 3 tbsp. Dried walnuts, rinsed and chopped, 3 tbsp.  (always good to soak walnuts, change water a few times before using them for this or any other recipe). Powdered dried mint, ½ tbsp. Fresh tarragon (or if you don’t have access to it, any scented herb of your choice), washed and coarsely chopped, a fistful. A few fresh mint and basil leaves. Dried rose flower, a pinch. Salt and black pepper, to taste.  For variations you would need: one large Pitta bread, cut in small pieces and mildly toasted. A few ice cubes.   Read the rest of this entry »

Orzo salad

You will find lots of recipes for orzo in the internet. This one with pine nuts, snow beans and soft cheese is my favourite, with modifications of my own. The long list of ingredients should not scare you! It is not hard or even time consuming at all because everything, except three items is about mincing, chopping and mixing!

Ingredients (6 serving): Orzo, 1 + ½ cup. Snow peas, half a box or about 20. Pine nuts (also called pignoils), ¼ cup. Scallions, 2, chopped. Yellow bell pepper, ½, seeded and chopped (I used orange pepper and it looked like cabbage in my salad; definitely use YELLOW one!) English cucumber, one third of a big one, skinned and chopped. Mushroom, half a box or about 7, sliced. Baladi or Feta cheese, 1/2 cup. Salt, 1tbsp. Olive oil, 1 tbsp. Fore dressing: Balsamic or white wine vinegar, 2 tbsp. Garlic, 2 cloves, minced. Fresh tarragon, 2 stems, picked. Olive oil, 1 tbsp.

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7 healthy foods (Told you these foods were good for you!)

I recently came across a very interesting health food article in Hoffington Post entitled “7 of the Healthiest Foods You Should Be Eating But Aren’t” The article made it to Digg’s first page for a complete day.  It focuses on “seven of the healthiest foods — the power-packed foods filled with good-for-you vitamins, minerals and disease-fighting phytochemicals – that [most people] aren’t eating: Kale, Pomegranate, Quinoa, Kefir, lentil, Sardines, and Oatmeal.

What made this article particularly interesting to me was the fact that over the past few months I had highlighted the goodness of these food items (5 out of the 7 of them) and provided at least one recipe for each! Well, proud as I am for my health conscious weblog, I am going to review all those recipes, while quoting some their benefits. Please read the rest of the entry at the end of the Persian text! Read the rest of this entry »

Mixed quinoa with zucchini

I recently saw a cook book with some 200 hundred recipes for quinoa! I am going to buy it soon, but from what I figured out by skimmed through, it looked like a combination of white red and black quinoa would go with absolutely anything you could imagine: be it salads, side dishes or main dishes , with fried and grilled meat, chicken and fish.

All I want to say is that quinoa is good for your health. It is pretty and it knows no limit! I already posted the most basic type here. And what I am about to share is something I learned from my sister, tried successfully and served as a side dish with grilled salmon. The combination was just wonderful. Read the rest of this entry »

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad, a nutritious magical and delicious salad with many verity of recipes. Here is the one I prefer over the others.

Ingredients: (for a small bowl like the one shown in the picture) half a bunch of Kale, or about 6-7 leaves, washed, drained, and torn into small sized pieces. Yellow mango, 1 medium to large, skinned and diced. Sunflower seeds, 2 tbsp. Olive oil, 1 tbsp. Honey, 1 tbsp. Lime juice, 1 tbsp. Salt 1 tea spoon. Read the rest of this entry »

Tasty Porcupine

This is my most recent “invention”, see what you think

Ingredients: A large plump grapefruit (or any citrus fruit larger than that). Cubed cheddar cheese (or any hard cheese of your choice). 300 gr. Pitted green and black olives; cherry tomatoes, large, table grapes (red, or green), one cup each. Wooden toothpick (about 40). Read the rest of this entry »

Roman-beans dish, for the love of the good old days


This is a side dish and a favorite chaser or mazeh among many Iranians; it goes particularly well with the Iranian hard liquor, aragh. A mazeh should be spicy and delicious of course, and should ideally contain a lot of protein. Charcoal-grilled lamb’s liver (jegar) for instance is another renowned mazeh. In Iran, Kidney beans dish is by tradition prepared and sold by restaurant, bars (when we had them) and street venders. However, khoraak looia is very easy to prepare at home; it is nutritious, tasty and always good to have as a side dish, or even on its own.

Ingredients: Read the rest of this entry »

Salads, for the love of a pretty table

Never underestimate the power of a refreshing and gorgeous-looking bowl of salad, even of the simplest type; it adds color to your table, flavor to your main dish, and admiration towards your taste

No. 1 : Cabbage-Noodle Salad. Grate the carrot and chop the cabbage. Still fry sliced almond briefly (w/o oil) and mix with cabbage-carrot. Top with dried rice noodle. The dressing (salt and rice vinegar) should go just before serving else it soften and noodles Read the rest of this entry »