Chia-Berries drink

Give me a cool glass of Chia-berries mix any day of the year and I will gladly take 40 plus centigrade – like we have had in the past few days in Montreal! This is truly the ultimate summer drink – refreshing, nutritious, savory, pretty even and easy to make.

Ingredients (4-5 serving)

  • 2 cups of water, brought to boil
  • 3 tbsp. chia seed
  • 2 raspberries or mix berries tea bags steeped in 2 cups of water
  • 1 cup of one or any combination of strawberries-raspberries-blueberries boiled in ¼ cup of water
  • ¼ cup of maple syrup or the sweetener of your choice
  • 1 lemon and few mint leaves for garnish and extra flavour
  • 2 cups Ice cubes

Method:

First off, you need to gel the chia seeds in order to fully benefit from its nutritional and flavorful value. So, place chia seeds in a pitcher container and mix it with boiled water. Stir well and let it cool. In an hour or so the seeds soak up the water, increase in volume and gel, so to speak.

Next, steep your tea bags for half an hour then let cool. Add to the gelled chia.

In a small pot mix whatever berries you have happened to purchase with ¼ cup of water and simmer for half an hour. Mash them in a fined meshed colander and extract the juice – 1/4 cup of juice will do.

Add the extracted juice and maple syrup to the pitcher and stir.

To serve: place ice cubes at the bottom of each glass. Pour chia mix drink in and garnish with mint and cut lemons. Stir well before drinking.  Enjoy!


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.


Green Pasta: Cooking with unripe tomato

My garden is frozen already, but not my green tomatoes. Last year around the same time I picked my green tomatoes and benefiting from my blog reader’s comment, I successfully forced them in to ripening ! Here is how

This year though I learned green unripe tomato could be used in a long list of delicious foods – from vegetarian stews, to chutney to green spaghetti. Here is a list of 20 recipes.

I did try some of them and LOVED this one: Spaghetti Con Pomodori Verdi   I replaced Arugula with spinach and omitted basil. And it looked and tasted wonderful – rich, refreshing, and a lot of fun! The dish in the pic is my own creation 😉

What is your favorite green tomatoes recipe?

 


Kale Chips

I was so excited when I first discovered the “massaged kale salad” and shred it here.

More excited still with my recent discovery of Kale chips. I followed Kate Eats Real Food’s recipe here and came up with an excellent – crispy and de-li-cious chips kale chips!!


Vegetarian dish, one type, three rules

Vegetarian, and this case vegan, stew-like dishes are healthy, easy and quick. Most important of all, when it comes to following a vegi recipe or inventing your own, sky is the limit!   Having said that, there are certain “rules” I always follow to in order to come up with a delicious AND pretty looking vegetable-based dish.

  1. Use at least one type of grains to supplement meat/protean.
  2. Use potatoes or one type of pasta to make the dish thick and filling
  3. Consider the cooking time of the vegetables being used and add each one to the main pot in appropriate intervals. Mixing everything together at the same time will certainly destroy the look of the dish

Read the rest of this entry »


Lentil-rice mix

This is another popular and hearty “mixed polow” usually served with fried or roasted chicken (or ground beef) and considered a casual and convenient dish. Well, I make it in a quite presentable (read fancy) way, without any kind of. Even before I realized how protein rich and nutritious lentil was, I always thought the dish is a perfect vegetarian meal and found it quite hearty on its own. So, my version of “adas polow” is meatless yet simply fancy!

Ingredients (serving 4): Rice, 3 cups. Green lentil” 1 ½ . Onion, 1 big, thinly sliced. Dried seedless raisin ½ cup, washed and dried. Oil: 4-5 tbsp. Turmeric, ¼ tbsp. Ground saffron, 2 teaspoon (1 soaked in 1 tbsp. of hot water for half an hour) salt, pepper and water as needed. Read the rest of this entry »