RAMADAN – WEEK 1 Are you ready?

RAMADAN – WEEK 1 Are you ready?

Guess what folks, yep it’s that time of year again…Ramadan (2017 /1438 AH) is here. For those of you playing at home… Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar year where Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from sunrise to sunset. Sounds pretty tough and sure in other parts of the world where the daylight hours are longer and hotter, it may be. This year in Sweden, for example, daylight goes for 19.5 hours! In recent years, in Australia though, the fasting month has fallen on the shorter, winter days which means this year our fasting hours are approximately 11.5. So there should be no complaining from Down Under! Be that as it may, it’s really important to remember, fasting isn’t just about abstaining from food and drink. We often tend to forget the fast has a lot more to do with pressing the breaks on the ‘fast life’. Naturally, we all get caught up in the mundane rituals of everyday life. We are all so busy with family, work, studies, kids, schedules and so on. There’s always something we need to do, somewhere we need to be. The fast of Ramadan is a gentle reminder to think about what we are doing with our time and where we are heading. Ironically, we are ‘fasting’ but in natural fact the term ‘fast’, not only represents abstaining from certain things but more importantly marks a period of slowing down and reflection. Ramadan is also a time for breaking bad habits and setting goals in an attempt to increase such things as self-discipline, humility, patience & charity.  In saying that, what we call ‘iftar‘ or the breaking of the...
Fattoush Salad

Fattoush Salad

Fattoush… has to be one of the most popular salads (beside or perhaps just after tabbouli) on a Lebanese menu. It’s healthy, tangy and fresh with a perfect crunch from the addition of toasted pita bread. It’s also very easy to make and works as a great accompaniment to many meals. Here’s how to make it… Ingredients ½  cos lettuce, shredded 1 cucumber, diced 2 tomatoes, diced 5 radishes, sliced 2 spring onions, finely chopped ½ red capsicum, diced 1 handful parsley, chopped 1 tbsp mint, chopped 1 Lebanese bread Dressing 1 garlic clove, crushed 2 tsp sumac 3 tbsp olive oil 3 tbsp lemons juice 1 tsp salt 1 tsp pomegranate molasses Method In a large bowl place lettuce, tomatoes, capsicum and cucumbers, radish, spring onions, mint and parsley. Toast the bread under the grill until crisp. This may only take a couple of minutes so don’t take your eyes off it and let it burn. In a small bowl combine the garlic, sumac, oil, lemon juice, salt and pomegranate molasses to make the dressing. Break up the bread and add with dressing to vegetables. Toss gently and serve salad immediately....
All things Papaya

All things Papaya

I was never really the kind of person that experimented with food or new ingredients. I never really had the time, to be honest. My teacher/principal days left me very little opportunity to think about anything else, hence part of the reason for needing to move on. Since making that move, though, I’ve been increasingly inspired to give everything a go…ok, well not EVERYTHING per se but a lot more things! I have especially been eager to work with fruit and veg that I don’t regularly cook or eat. So every so often, I’ll eagerly go on a ‘hunt’ for something new or different. This time round it’s PAPAYA! I have spent the last few days experimenting with the tropical Papaya, one fruit that, I reckon, doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Well, not sure about you, but not so much in my world. I do love tropical fruits and so does the rest of the family, so not sure why I haven’t been including it in my regular fruit n veg haul! Although Papaya (and it’s close relative Pawpaw) are native to Mexico and Central America, Australian grown papaya is available all year round. It’s mainly grown in the warmer tropical climates of Far North Queensland and (I bet you didn’t know) is at it’s peak this time of the year!* There are two varieties that you can look out for, the Red Papaya & the Yellow Pawpaw. The Red Papaya is pear shaped with green/yellow coloured skin. The flesh is bright orange with a sweet flavour and soft, buttery consistency. On the other hand, the Yellow Pawpaw is rounder and larger with pale orange skin, a noticeable yellow...
Sumac Sweet Potato Wedges

Sumac Sweet Potato Wedges

So yummy! So easy to make! Perfect as a snack or as side dish! And that Sumac Tahini Yoghurt dipping sauce is so good, you could have it with so many other things. Here’s the full recipe… Ingredients 1 tablespoon sumac 1 tablespoon evoo  7 – 8 Sweet potatoes (approx 850g)  Method Preheat oven to 200°C Wash & scrub clean the potatoes (I prefer mine skin on!) Cut potatoes lengthways into wedges. Try to make wedges approxiametly the same size so they cook evenly. Lay in rows on a baking tray. Do not overlap. Bake in preheated oven for 40 minutes, turning once half way. Remove from oven and serve immediately with the dipping sauce (recipe below)! Sumac Tahini Yoghurt Dipping Sauce Ingredients 1 cup plain yogurt 1 tablespoon tahini paste Juice of half a lemon 1 teaspoon sumac 1 clove of garlic, crushed (optional) Method In a bowl add all ingredients and mix until all are well combined. Keep refrigerated until needed. Serve with chopped parsley.  ...
Let’s talk about that paste – that Hummus

Let’s talk about that paste – that Hummus

So let’s talk about ‘that paste’, that Hummus. Everyone loves it. Don’t they? Well, slight exaggeration, maybe not everyone (my daughter, as example number one!), but most people I would say. Many regions around the world try and claim hummus as their own but the fact of the matter is hummus is the Arabic word for chickpeas, and although it is now globally synonymous with the dip or spread, the earliest recipe for hummus takes it right back to Ancient Egypt. For the Lebanese, hummus has been a regular and genuine part of their kitchen for generations. There isn’t a household that doesn’t embrace it. In fact I’d be suspicious of any Lebanese restaurant that didn’t serve it! You can buy hummus pretty much everywhere now, from corner shops to large chain supermarkets. But let’s be real. That store bought stuff (and I’ve tasted a few) are nothing but sly impostors, disguised and presented as the authentic thing. Nowadays when I see it in the dips section of my local supermarket I can’t help but remember the GoRemy ‘All about that paste’ parody. “You said you get your hummus down at the corner shop. You know that dish ain’t real habibi. Make it stop!” It’s really funny. I posted a snippet from it on my Instagram recently. If you haven’t seen it, check it out here ‘All about that paste’. On a serious note, I’m sure we’ve all bought hummus from the supermarket because it is just so convenient. There are a couple of particular brands that I don’t mind the taste of when I’m really desperate (ask me if...
Lebanese Cucumber & Yoghurt Salad 

Lebanese Cucumber & Yoghurt Salad 

Although this recipe may sound like a dip, it’s actually not. Growing up, my Mum made this (Kh’yar wa Laban, as it’s known in Arabic) often and we loved eating it on its own like you would a salad. It was perfect on those summer days when a warm meal just couldn’t be tolerated! You can of course serve it as a side with other dishes or as a condiment. It’s great with a rice or even as part of a BBQ spread. Here’s the very simple recipe for you! What you’ll need: 2 cucumbers 1/2 cup fresh mint leaves 2 cloves garlic pinch of salt 1kg tub yoghurt (I prefer Greek) 1/4 cup water Method: Crush garlic cloves with a pinch of salt. Slice cucumbers in half, lengthways. Using a spoon, scoop out and discard seeds. Finely dice cucumbers into 1/2 cm cubes. Chop mint leaves. Add yoghurt to a medium sized bowl. To the yoghurt, add the garlic, salt, diced cucumber, mint & water. Mix until well combined. Serve with rice or meat. Or just enjoy it on its own!  ...
Visit Us On YoutubeVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On Twitter